6 Essential Questions to Ask When Selecting an Email Service Provider (ESP)

DIGITAL MARKETING OPERATIONS Posted December 10, 2014

Econsultancy’s latest Email Marketing Census report reveals that for the eighth year in a row, marketers have agreed that email marketing delivers the best return on investment compared to other channels, including: PPC, Search, Direct Marketing, Social Media, and Content Marketing. However, emails are useless unless they actually make it to your recipients’ inbox.

Recently, Report Path reported that of nearly 500 million messages, 17% of all permissioned commercial email –1 message in 6 – failed to reach addressees’ inboxes.

The impact of these missing emails can be significant. Last month, shares for one US retailer dropped by 15% in a single quarter after it revealed problems with an email provider. It meant many of the company’s daily email blasts were not being delivered in that period of time.

You’ve probably read all the tips about subject lines, open rates, engaging content, powerful call-to-actions (CTAs), and strategic email landing pages. But let’s take a look at email deliverability from its most foundational level — your email service provider (ESP). The most effective techniques for improving email deliverability should be able start with your email ESP vendor.

6 questions to ask your email provider:

  1. Are they on a dedicated IP address?
  2. Do they perform reputation monitoring on their IP address?
  3. Do they test in all major and latest email clients (including iPhone 6)?
  4. Do they regularly provide reports on how email campaigns are performing?
  5. Do they perform SPAM scoring, and do they proactively provide recommendations to help lower their clients’ SPAM Score?
  6. Do they proactively suggest deployment date/times and throttling schedules?

Remember, any email that is not delivered is lost opportunity. There are many factors that are working against you, so make sure your ESP is working for you.

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