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Comparing Email Service Providers

By Dave Chaffey 25 Sep, 2015
Essential

Use these 17 points to check your email service provider has all the features you need to produce fully optimised email marketing campaigns

Optimising your email marketing is no easy task, if it was, everyone would be getting fantastic results from their email campaigns.

A major factor in either facilitating or constraining how effective your emails are is the functionality available in your "Email service provider (ESP)", which today is often called "Marketing Automation" or "Marketing Cloud" services. To help select the best fit of provider based on the most important features or 'functionality',  we have produced this handy Email service provider checklist to see if your email service provider is providing you with all the features you need. For members, we also have a more detailed guide for choosing your email service provider.

Email Marketing Management FeatureLevel:
Does it allow to create different groups of prospects? (segmentation) Essential
Does it have a range of standard fields? Can you add custom disclosed fields easily?Essential
Can a landing page be set up to capture email addresses which are then added to the database? Intermediate
Can relevant field be updated if a subscriber clicks on
part of an email or web page?
Advanced
Does it have mobile responsive templates?Intermediate
Does it easily allow you to bulk import and export from files?Essential
Does it allow to add content based on profile features (Dynamic content insertion) Advanced
Does it allow the emails to be displayed as plain text at the click of a single button? (to circumvent image blocking)Intermediate
Does it allow you to preview what your email will look like in different email readers?Intermediate
Does it allow data integration and and sharing of content with the 4 main social networks?Intermediate
Does it allow data to automatically be added to the CRM system (CRM integration) Intermediate
Does it allow you to send abandoned cart and service emails? (Ecommerce integration) Intermediate
Can campaign tracking codes be defined for campaigns and automatically added to web pages? (Analytics Integration)Essential
Does the service give you a spam score for each email and a breakdown of spam elements in the email?Essential
Does it show you delivery rates and open rates?Essential
Does it allow you to set up Google Analytics campaign tracking?Intermediate
Does it allow you to score leads? e.g. based on downloads of content Intermediate

We also have this list of providers to help you compare email service providers and you can check out Email providers in our marketplace.

 

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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