Many businesses handle their own email marketing inhouse, with varying rates of success. Others seek to grow their business – irrespective of their size – by outsourcing to experts – Email Service Providers (ESP).
Email service providers can help businesses with services that are not available inhouse such as expertise in list management, surveys, tracking and analytics. It takes time to learn these skills. And while you develop them inhouse your competition may be actively addressing your target markets with professional email marketing campaigns via an ESP. Perhaps it’s time you reconsidered your approach to email marketing?
Choosing the right provider
If your business does opt for an external provider, how do you select the right one? Here are some selection criteria that may help you:
- Easy interface – Look for an ESP whose systems are easy to use and include drag and drop functionality.
- Reporting – how flexible and detailed is the provided reporting? Ideally, reports should include: open-rates; click-through rates; and deliverability success.
- Customer support – how good is it really – ask one of the ESP’s customers.
- SPAM savvy– your brand can’t afford to be associated with SPAM. How much importance does the ESP place on compliance to anti- SPAM regulations?
- Free trial – do they offer a free trial?
- Flexible pricing plans – there are many options to choose from depending on the volume of emails to be sent. Choose carefully.
- Target marketing know-how – does the ESP understand the importance of targeting the market and market segmentation? Look for examples of their past campaigns that reflect understanding of the importance of targeting combined with the appropriate content.
- Under the bonnet – Check to ensure that the ESP provides you with a private IP address rather than one shared with other customers. This will avoid the SPAM sins of another customer affecting your reputation with the ISP and ultimately non-delivery of your email.
There are considerable benefits that can come from outsourcing your email marketing. The trick is finding the right provider for your business.