An Email Service Provider or ESP is software used to run email marketing campaigns at scale. It can also refer to email clients like Gmail and Outlook.
What does an Email Service Provider Do?
The main purpose behind using an ESP is to send mass emails to a list of subscribers in an organised way. Yet, most email service providers today offer many extra features that make the process smoother.
Some of those additional features include:
Creating new email templates or using pre-made snippets
Email marketing automation
Managing the email list with the ability to add, edit, or remove subscribers
Email list segmentation options to break your subscribers into smaller sections
Email marketing plays a significant role in any marketing strategy. Businesses of all sizes use it to communicate with their leads and turn them into customers.
But the options you have without an ESP are limited.
It's hard for anyone to manage long lists of subscribers manually.
That's where the role of an email service provider comes.
With all the amazing options you get by using one, you'll save your business lots of time, energy, and money while driving it to achieve great results.
Any business that wants to grow with email marketing must use an email service provider.
What to look for in an Email Service Provider?
An excellent ESP allows you to manage your email marketing effortlessly. It should make the whole process faster and more efficient.
But the most important thing is this:
Your emails should end up in the inbox folder. A well-written, personalised email doesn't exist if it's never read — which is what happens if it goes straight to the spam folder.
Before you consider any other aspects, make sure your emails will go to the inbox folder.
Another thing to think about when choosing an ESP is the user interface. A beginner-friendly, easy-to-use UI is also a priority because some actions can be challenging to perform. For example, it shouldn't be hard for you to divide your customers into smaller segments.
Email performance tracking reports must show graphs and clear statistics.
Also, setting the time for automated emails shouldn't be so tricky because it's something you'll spend lots of time doing.
Best Email Service Providers
Email service providers differ depending on pricing, the features they offer, customer support, etc.
Here are some of the most popular ones you can try:
GetResponse is an email marketing tool that helps businesses reach a wider audience and communicate directly with their customers.
It features over 180 professional templates placed in various categories, e.g. signup, sales, download, promotion templates, etc. Instead of creating a design from scratch, users can use the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor to make suitable changes to the template they choose.
Users can also create templates or landing pages from scratch if they want to.
With GetResponse, users can create an email list, send emails to their contacts, automate the emails via autoresponders, and view and analyze email campaign statistics like open rates, clickthrough rates, etc.
Zoho Mail is an email hosting solution for small businesses, which uses the domain name of users (i.e. email@example.com). Zoho Mail has an intuitive interface that enables seamless communication between team members.
Users can also socialize with team members in a personal space, and integrate their emails with chats to easily keep track of conversations.
Zoho Mail offers functions that help users be organized and productive throughout work day - users can create manageable tasks, organize their contacts, add bookmarks/sticky notes and keep track of upcoming events and meetings.
Although Zoho Mail has a huge portfolio of other Zoho apps, it also integrates well with an extensive slew of external apps like Dropbox, Salesforce and Evernote. Zoho Mail also provides migration tools with which users can migrate all their data from other popular email providers like G Suite and Office 365.
Constant Contact is an email marketing provider that provides a wide range of tools to help small business and nonprofit organizations reach a bigger audience and forge strong relationships with their customers.
Constant Contact offers over 100 customizable templates that users can edit with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. Users with coding abilities can also create custom email templates.
Constant Contact also has a feature that can scan a website and automatically generate an email template that has the site’s brand colors and images.
With Constant Contact, people can create personalized welcome emails and autoresponder series that can be sent automatically to subscribers based on certain triggers.
This email service provider also allows for businesses to import user data spreadsheets and email applications like Outlook and Gmail.
ProtonMail is an email service provider that uses client-side encryption to protect user data and email content from the reach of advertisers and government agencies. This encryption even prevents ProtonMail itself from reading the emails users send through them.
Emails are encrypted with AES and a user-supplied password. The email can only be decrypted when the recipient enters this password into the link sent to them. This prevents third parties from monitoring the email content and user data.
With this tool, users can send and receive sensitive content without worrying about it getting into the wrong hands.
Other tools include: Gmail (Google Workspace), Aweber, Mailchimp, Drip, Constant Contact etc.
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