As one of the most commonly outsourced services, an ESP (email service provider) can be a great asset to a marketing team. Choosing the wrong one, however, can slow projects and inhibit email creativity, as well as cause issues with subscribers.
Finding the best ESP for your company means more than just wandering out into the marketplace with a wad of cash. It’s about understanding what your team — and your customers — uniquely need from the email marketing channel.
Many of the case studies I produce for the MarketingSherpa email marketing newsletter deal with an ESP switch, in differing variations. Usually, I’m writing about a stellar campaign that was produced after a marketing team broke free from the constraints of an ill-fitting ESP.
If the search for an email service provider is done correctly, it should be labor intensive. Which means you don’t want to have to do it very often.
Step #1: Perform an audit on the processes and workflows you currently have in place
One of the most difficult aspects of list cleansing isn’t always the drop in numbers — it’s convincing senior leadership why it’s necessary.
During MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down in the Media Center with Jeffrey Anderson, Digital Marketing Manager, A Place For Mom. The company is a for-profit senior care referral service.
Anderson explained why it’s important to cleanse your list of inactive users and how you can convince the senior leadership of your organization that list cleansing is imperative to staying relevant in today’s ecommerce marketplace.
How does a marketer know when it’s time to start cleansing their lists?
I would think that anyone with a list that’s significantly old should look at removing subscribers that are inactive and not engaged. Definite indicators include really low open rates. If your open rate is just below benchmark despite having consistently good content, there’s probably some dead weight.
Editor’s Note: Since MarketingSherpa recently formed an affiliate partnership with ClickMail to help the value-added reseller of ESPs get more attention for its nifty ESPinator tool, we thought it might be worthwhile to rerun this blog post to give you ideas for using a Web-based tool in your own content marketing. (Original publication date: Feb. 22, 2011)
Content marketing goes well beyond publishing whitepapers and blogs. Your company can provide videos, slide decks, webinars and even Web-based tools — like ClickMail’s ESPinator.
ClickMail pairs companies with email service providers (ESPs) and helps them establish effective programs. For years, its marketers have published a blog and an annual PDF guide on how to select an ESP.
“We’ve always felt that we had a clear view of the strengths and weaknesses of the various ESPs,” says Marco Marini, CEO, ClickMail. “From that, we evolved into an annual guide on selecting the best one. It’s completely vendor-neutral. It doesn’t talk about any vendors at all, just what the factors are.”
The ESPinator is the next step in that strategy, Marini says. Launched in early 2011, the tool asks users a series of questions and suggests up to three ESPs that are well-suited to their needs.
“Every vendor at a trade show says their solution is the best. There truly isn’t a best solution. It all depends on what your specific needs are,” Marini says. “There are more than 30 ESPs in the tool, and we don’t have a relationship with the vast majority of them. So this is truly more for the email marketing audience.” Read more…