6 Signs it is time for a new Email Service Provider

As your business grows and changes, your email marketing needs change too, and your ESP needs to keep pace…or get replaced.

Businesses tend to switch ESPs every 18 to 24 months, for the very reasons we’ll outline in this article. What are the 6 Signs it is time for a new Email Service Provider?

If you’ve been with the same email service provider for more than a year and your level of frustration is rising (and your ROI is not increasing), consider these six signs that it’s time for a new ESP:

1. You’re done with making do.

What might have been an efficient and useful platform in the past might not be keeping up with your company’s changing needs and growing sophistication. If your team spends precious time working around the platform rather than with it because you can’t customize templates for different departments, for example, that’s a sure sign you’re ready for a new ESP.

2. Your in-house email list has grown…a lot.

As your email list grows, so does your email volume, and that can affect the price you’re paying to use your email service provider’s service as well as that ESP’s reliability if it can’t scale. Make sure your ESP can handle that list growth now, as well as any projected growth in the future. But also make sure it’s still cost-effective for your business to stay with that ESP. If not, start shopping!

3. Your email deliverability has dropped.

Not all email service providers are created equal. Strengths and weaknesses differ among them, as do email deliverability rates. If a low email deliverability rate is a chronic problem, despite all of your efforts to improve your email deliverability, it could be the ESP is the culprit. Try taking another email provider for a test drive and see what affect that has on your delivery rate. Even bumping up your email deliverability rate incrementally from 93% to 95% can translate into vastly better ROI as your emails make it into more inboxes…meaning you have more potential opportunities to convert.

4. You’re ready to automate.

Automated email is no longer the way of the future. It’s the way now, because automated emails offer the ultimate in timely, personalized email messages. If you’re ready to put triggered, event-based email marketing to work for your business but your current ESP’s platform lacks event driven email marketing features, then the best email service provider for you is probably a different one.

5. You’re ready for mobile.

You’re ready for mobile…but is your ESP? Mobile email marketing is not a matter of cramming a desktop-sized template onto a mobile-sized screen. If you’re adding mobile marketing to your email mix, your ESP needs to offer more than cramming, with automated options for mobile emails that will render correctly on most devices without any hand wringing or hard coding on your end.

6. Your analytics are sub par.

Is your current ESP giving you all the analytics you need to make informed decisions? Over time most e-mail marketers would appreciate more sophisticated testing and reporting tools. To be constantly improving your email marketing, you must be constantly monitoring it, watching for sudden changes—like a jump in your bounce rate—but also for trends, either positive or negative. If your ESP’s reporting isn’t delivering the insight you need, or doesn’t enable easy testing, consider divorcing that Email service provider.

Although you might be intimidated by the idea of switching email service providers, it doesn’t have to be scary. Be armed with a thorough understanding of your requirements and good email service provider comparison tools and you’ll move beyond frustration to satisfaction.

These are six signs that it’s time for a new ESP but other reasons exist, and you just might have your own for being ready to switch. The key is to recognize the need and proper reasons for a new ESP before staying with the current one becomes costly, either in dollars spent or opportunities lost.

Image via flickr (cc)

About Marco Marini

With 25 years in business, Marco is a walking encyclopedia of all things email: best practices, technologies, trends, and more. Marco is currently the COO of iPost, an email platform built for marketers by marketers. iPost an easy, flexible, dynamic marketing automation solution for email and mobile marketing. He has also held key marketing positions with CyberSource, ClickMail, eHealthInsurance, DoveBid and IBM Canada.

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