Email Marketing Services – The Tools Your ESP Should Offer

Choosing an email service provider can be daunting, especially when you have no idea what to look out for, or what to compare. Here are some of the standard email marketing services your email service provider (ESP) should be providing:

Tools to set up and manage your mailing list

In order to send out your email newsletters you need to gather subscribers. (In most countries it is illegal to send bulk email messages to someone who hasn’t opted in to receiving your mailings.) Most ESPs can assist you in creating a subscription form and adding it to your site, blog and Facebook page. You should also be able to set up a double opt-in process. These subscriptions should automatically be added to your mailing list, or address book. Some ESPs will even offer you the option of importing contact lists from other programs, like Microsoft Excel or Outlook.

Tools to create your own HTML email newsletter

Of course, the most exciting part of your email campaign is creating your email newsletter. Ideally, your ESP should cater for all levels of design expertise. Most ESPs, for instance, offer free email marketing templates that you can easily edit and use for your mailings. If, however, you have an idea of what you want your newsletter to look like, but you’re not an experienced designer, look out for an email marketing platform that offers an easy-to-use template builder. That way, you should be able to easily create a newsletter that reflects your business brand.

Of course, if you have HTML knowledge or design experience, most ESPs do give you access to HTML newsletter editors.

Sending tools

Any bulk email service should provide you with the tools to ensure a safe, reliable send and a high delivery rate. So check the sending features of your service provider. Will they allow you to do test sends or give you access to testing tools? Will you be able to preview what your email will look like in different inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc.)?

Make sure that your ESP offers a spam checker, allowing you to check whether your email contains anything that might trigger a spam filter. Your ESP should boast good relationships with major internet service providers, that way your email is less likely to be marked as spam.

Tools to track and monitor your campaign

It is standard for email marketing companies to offer you tools to track and monitor your campaigns. Look out for an ESP that will provide you with comprehensive reports and statistics on all your sends, allowing you to see how many of your email were delivered, how many were opened, etc. It is also important that you’re able to see why delivery to a particular subscriber failed – whether their inbox was full, your email was caught in a spam filter, or if the email address was incorrect.

By tracking your campaigns you’ll be able to see how your send performed and ensure that you continually improve on your campaigns.

Sign up with a provider who offers all the email marketing services you need.