Email marketing solutions – the difference between small, mid-market and enterprise

If you’re searching for a right-fit email marketing solution, it is good to know what area of the market you need to look.

The earlier you know where to look, the better. Dividing the market is a great way to quickly go from a long to a short list of potential email marketing solutions. It will enable you to search way more efficiently.

So how can we divide the market? What are the differences between email vendors? And how to quickly assess in what segment an email vendor is in?

Small market email marketing solutions

The small market email marketing solutions are perfectly fit for the organisations that have little (feature) requirements. You are basically looking for a way to send your simple emails, no fuss. The companies that use these email marketing solution don’t have a big need for personal service or consultancy from their ESP.

While some of the email tools in this market are only fit for sending small amounts of email, don’t be fooled, other simple solutions are perfectly capable of handling the largest amounts of email.

How to spot a small market email marketing solution

A small market email marketing solution has some of the following characteristics:

  • Usually put pricing on their website, might offer a forever free email marketing plan or a free trial
  • Most user support is self-service
  • The end user support staff is much bigger than the implementation and consulting staff
  • One size fits all contracts (if any)
  • Reporting is usually very basic
  • They don’t offer a campaigner for planning event driven mailings, at most an auto responder
  • Openly offering affiliate programs is a much used sales tactic

Mid-market email marketing solutions


The mid market is the most blurred piece of the market. ESPs have specific strong points, but might lack in others, so it is very important to know what your requirements are and what you are expecting them to deliver. Things get a bit more serious in the mid-market.

It is a good fit for businesses that are more ambitious and are in need for a more extensive email program. Some of the email vendors here will offer full service email marketing. Others will not, but will help you get set-up.

How to spot a mid-market email marketing solution

In the mid market, email marketing solution often have the following characteristics:

  • They can handle large amounts of email
  • Can present a client case of a sophisticated email program
  • Have at least a couple of big brand brand clients
  • Have staff looking over your account or a fixed account manager

Enterprise market email marketing solutions

The enterprise market is where companies go when they need a sophisticated or high level solution. Data, integration, deliverability and automation are key when things get serious. Of course pricing is even so serious and these suppliers as a rule of the thumb will not take on small clients.
It is a good fit for businesses with scale (either in size or depth) that that are in need of a sparring partner od that is on the same level. Enterprise market email marketing solutions will still have their strong points, but have all the basics covered.

How to spot an enterprise market email marketing solution

In the enterprise segment, email marketing solution often have the following characteristics:

  • Have many clients that do email marketing globally
  • Often have high profile CEO and consultants on board
  • Will offer a dedicated ‘success team’ if needed
  • Will be able to complete the most complex data, automation and integration projects

Let us know

So what are your experiences? What kind of email marketing solutions do you use? And does a first impression always match the market segment of the email vendor?

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.