Email marketing support – what should you expect from a good ESP?

One of the most important parts of a cloud email marketing solution is the customer support pinned to the tool you are paying for. Let’s be honest, the more dedicated and sophisticated service you are buying, the more questions you will have and need to be answered.

So what does great email marketing support look like?

The need for Email marketing support

In self-service, it doesn’t matter if a service has a 100 or a 1000 pages of documentation – there always will be the need for direct support. This is why a good customer service that addresses all your concerns and questions is extremely important. An alternative to relying on self-service is a full-service ESP, where all issues connected to your email marketing are managed by your provider.

Choosing the right ESP is a business decision and at the end of the day there is always the issue of internal time versus external costs.

Perfect email marketing support attributes

In the self-service ESP scenario, what does great email marketing support look like? Here is a list of key attributes you could expect from a proactive customer service.


Fast response times with valuable solutions

Being ticketed for 48 hours only to get a half-baked answer you already found online yourself is very disappointing, but too often a reality. Knowledgeable support is a big deal. Most often it’s the first test showing the approach of your ESP to customer support and how good your support knows your needs and circumstances.

Direct contact via email, phone and other channels

First of all, you should make sure you are talking and working with a real person, not with an anonymous group of people hiding behind role-based email address. It’s very important, because it helps you maintain real connection with your expert. Talking via phone or Skype allows for brainstorming, which should be appreciated by any marketer.

Active help with implementation of technology and features

Implementation of technology and features is all about developing your initial email marketing strategy and making it efficient by implementing technologies and processes: segmentation, triggered messages, welcome emails series, retention, list growth, sending time optimization, list hygiene.

Your ESP should be a partner that advises you about the strategy to generate the best results. Marketers often want to implement tactics like abandoned shopping cart emails, but miss the expertise to execute on them. This is exactly where an active involvement of your Email marketing support expert comes into play.

Ongoing campaign monitoring

Running email marketing campaigns means dealing with a very dynamic environment. Your email marketing support should keep an eye on your account: statistics, deliverability, segments or creatives.

A good example could be sending a sale campaign for an online store where the CTR from first day is too low. Your customer support expert for instance should advise to resend the campaigns to non-openers and broaden the granular segments in order to improve the reach of your campaign.

Second example, email marketing support tracked a deliverability issue and starts working on the ISP postmaster side to deal with the problem pro-actively.

Those examples just show that ongoing campaign monitoring allows you to experiment and together learn how to generate the highest revenue from your email lists.

Proactive approach

Your account manager should be active in providing email marketing support. His job shouldn’t be limited to waiting for your potential questions. On the contrary – he should be proactively asking questions to understand your business, tailor solutions and advising on ESP best practices to improve your email marketing program.

It could be for example introducing a life-cycle based messaging workflow for free trial account users or having a call every week to talk about the current strategy and make changes if required.

Informing about legal issues

Anti-spam and privacy legislation is constantly evolving and marketers need to be one step ahead of all the changes. New laws are introduced almost every year. The Canadian new anti-spam law CASL and regulations for tracking user actions on the websites for marketing purposes are just examples from a long list of changes. Key business and technological processes should always follow the most recent regulations.

Weekend availability and Murphy’s email law

This is a very common pain. Murphy’s email law states: „if something can go wrong, it will take place during a weekend”. So it’s very important to get email marketing support or at least an escalation procedure that covers those days. Because your business should be making money on Sundays and Saturdays too, am I Right?

Email marketing support has to feel at least partially responsible for your product and marketing results, virtually become part of your team. In the ESP world, when you decide to choose a more advanced solution or when your email marketing is growing from simple bulk sending to more advanced – it very often means dealing with warming-up dedicated IPs, list hygiene, segmentation strategy, funnel tactics and much more. For all those aspects you need a reliable partner on the ESP side.

About Krzysztof Jarecki

Krzysztof has been professionally involved in the email marketing industry since 2003. Initially, on the programming front, then later, focusing on email deliverability and online marketing best practices. Today, as the CEO of ExpertSender he leads the company into the multichannel marketing platform market.

He is an active participant in key international email industry organizations, including, MAAWG, ESPC, EEC, Signal Spam and the Internet Society of China. Krzysztof is a contributing writer for several online email marketing publications.

Strategically, he is engaged in product research and development, while overseeing the relationships with ISPs and the biggest customers in the USA, Europe, Russia and Asia.

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