E-commerce Eye Candy: Choosing an Email Service Provider [Interactive Tool]

April 23, 2013 by Elan Sherbill.

Email marketing is often praised as a low-cost, high-return marketing investment. But choosing the right email service provider (ESP) depends on many factors. How does one balance costs against capabilities? How does a business fulfill the needs of today while planning for the growth of tomorrow?

Our friends over at ROI DNA, a digital marketing agency, created the Email Service Provider Matrix to guide companies through the process of choosing an email provider.

ROI DNA: Email Service Provider Matrix

ROI DNA: Email Service Provider Matrix

The interactive email matrix tool analyzes 10 individual ESPs against 29 specific email marketing capabilities. These criteria are organized in terms of:

  • Price (low cost vs. high cost)
  • Campaign setup features (templates and surveys)
  • Reporting (basic vs. advanced)
  • Deliverability (private IP address and campaign throttling)
  • Lead management (Scoring and nurturing)
  • Integration with other systems (CRM and SMS)

A supplementary blog post offers strategy and practical advice for the selection process, including 18 questions customers should pose to vendors.

It’s best to know from the beginning if a requirement can be accommodated by the ESP. ROI DNA advises buyers to provide potential vendors with concrete examples of the email programs they would like to run in real life. They should explain to vendors how their current ESP isn’t satisfying their needs and how it could improve.

With understanding and diligence, choosing the right email service provider can be an affordable and effective way to gain new customers and retain old ones.

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