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What Is an Email Service Provider (ESP) And Why You Need One

Today we are talking all about ESP. No, not in the telepathy sense that Mary Roach spends a chapter discussing in her book Spook. We are talking about Email Service Providers, ESP for short. We are going to first give a rundown on what an email service provider is and why any company should utilize them and how.


We first talked about email marketing back in October in this blog post here, https://www.elementalplans.com/post/5-ways-to-utilize-digital-marketing-to-your-advantage. We discussed how email marketing campaigns can benefit you and your company. ESP plays a major role in email marketing for businesses, so it’s important to understand this before we dive deeper.


What is an ESP?

ESP or Email Service Provider is exactly what it sounds like. It is a business that supplies email marketing support and services to businesses like yours. If you are wanting to send out mass emails or deal a lot with email in your business, you should have a designated ESP to use. If you ever want to run an email marketing campaign, having an ESP is ideal to make sure you are complying with all rules.


These companies have created email marketing platforms customers can use to send out things like bulk emails to a list of consumers that have subscribed to email notifications from your website. You can send out emails like:

  • Promotional emails

  • Newsletters

  • Company updates

  • Email campaigns


Why You Should Use an ESP

Email service providers are viewed as inexpensive and often free to use, so price shouldn’t be a barrier for companies to utilize an ESP. There are many benefits to using an ESP and we will go over a few here:


1. Great Deliverability & Compliance

When using an ESP, they will protect your deliverability and even more importantly, keep you from getting blacklisted. Often, sending out mass emails from your domain can cause you to get flagged as spam, thus sending all your emails into customers’ spam folders. Some can altogether be blocked, and customers may never get a chance to see your emails.

With an ESP, your emails are protected because they send out emails that won’t flag them as spam. They make sure that you are complying with any regulations and rules that are out there to avoid getting blacklisted.


2. Manage Lists

When creating your subscriber list, make sure that each person has consented to receive these emails. An added bonus for some ESPs is that they offer services that update those lists automatically when a new subscriber inputs their information on the form you provide. Same with anyone wanting to unsubscribe. An ESP will automatically take that person off the list.


3. Templates & Personalization

As small business owners, it can be hard to find time to create visually appealing email templates to send out to subscribers. Or you can’t afford to hire a graphic designer to do it for you. ESPs can provide you with customizable templates that you can use for mass emails. You can change many things, like color and font, and add your company logo as well. ESPs also personalize the emails you send out. They can add the email user’s name to make it more personalized.


What You Can Do With an ESP

A lot of email service providers let you upload content as well as personalize it on their website. You can also upload a list of subscribers to receive emails.

Many ESPs are free with all the basic features, but if you’re wanting something more advanced, you can subscribe to a large ESP with added features like more storage space or customizing your content, as we listed earlier.


Many ESPs specialize in a specific market, like B2B or B2C. Depending on what your end game is, you’ll want to choose an ESP that specializes in that particular market.


Looking at all the facts, it would be silly of a small business to NOT utilize an email service provider. It’s low or even free of cost to use with so many benefits that would outweigh even a small monthly fee. To give you peace of mind and streamline your email marketing campaigns, it seems too good to be true. But it is! So, without further ado, here are a few ESPs that we would recommend:

If you have any questions, need a recommendation on which ESP to use, or want us to help you with your email marketing, message us on our website!


Sources

Adobe Experience Cloud Blog, “Email Service Providers”, https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/email-service-providers, DX Adobe, March 26, 2021, Accessed October 31, 2022


VettaFi, “What is an Email Service Provider and Why Do You Need One?”, https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2020/06/02/what-is-an-email-service-provider-and-why-do-you-need-one, Crystal Lee Butler, June 2, 2020, Accessed October 31, 2022


Aland, Maggie. “The 6 Best Email Marketing Software of 2022.” Investopedia, 11 Nov 2021, https://www.investopedia.com/best-email-marketing-software-5088645. Accessed 8 November 2022.

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