Email Service Provider Comparison listed as top challenge

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Need help with an Email Service Provider Comparison? It appears you are not the only one. Reported by the EEC, comparing Email Service Providers is one of the top 10 challenges that email marketers face today.

We found it quite surprising that Email Service Provider comparison is one of the top challenges in email marketing.

Email Service Provider Comparison as a top challenge

In a research of 300 marketers (client side, vendor side, agency side, thought leaders, former clients and colleagues), the researchers asked “What Are the Top Challenges You or Your Clients Face Today?”

It’s is not so often that a research into marketers’ challenges goes into the relation with a vendor. These kind of researches generally use multiple choice questions. Normally the top challenges would be reported as:

  • Creating relevant content,
  • Growing and maintaining a quality email database,
  • Integration of systems,
  • Lack of email marketing strategy and
  • Generating and proving ROI.

Researchers always have quite the influence on survey results. In the best case scenario there is an extra field called “other challenges”. But in this case they did pay attention to the relationship with the ESP.

The number one challenge for email marketers is their limited budget and resources. That is pretty consistent with other research. But the number #3 and #6 challenge are interesting.

Managing multiple partner and vendor contracts

Marketers sometimes have 5 – 6 vendors and partners in the email marketing automation space at the same time. One of the top challenges is managing multiple email partners and vendors, listed as number three in this research.

What makes managing multiple vendors especially challenging is that each vendor has its’ own unique way of doing things. Creating a workable and efficient marketing environment with multiple vendors is an added challenge. It can ask for integration of multiple (real-time) CRM databases and marketing systems. This calls for marketing automation of data tasks, but beyond of what you would normally expect the infrastructure to look like. According to the researchers, it often ends up in failed efforts and wasted resources.

Help with Email Service Provider Comparison, mainly RFP or RFI help

We know that selecting the right Email Service Provider is not easy in a untransparent market. So it is a pretty challenging effort knowing that a marketer first has to dig up their company specific requirements and assess them with multiple choises. On average companies go through a vendor selection or evaluation about every three years.

Maybe we would not have ever known that companies do struggle with Email Service Provider Comparisons that often, if the research had stuck to the top 5 challenges, but luckily they published the top 19 and for that we thank them. Mainly RFP and RFI help was listed as the number 6 challenge. That is right, this totally blew my socks off.

One of the reasons given is that procurement, IT and/or marketing divisions often work against each other during the selection of a marketing system. They do have different goal or have problems marrying their multiple goals cost-efficiently. This does emphasize the need to put together the ideal team when selecting your next ESP.

The full report was an internal study conducted by information era marketing + consulting, llc (EIMC) in 2012, the blog post by Dori Thompson can be found here.

Is budget also your biggest challenge? And what about the Comparison of Email Service Providers? Let us know in the comments.

About Jordie van Rijn


Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named on of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2016 " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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