Forrester Wave Email Service Providers 2022 – our analysis

Forrester Research released the latest version of their Forrester Wave Email Service Providers report, Q1 2022. The Email Wave report gives an overview of email marketing service providers in the Enterprise B2C marketing segment compared to each other. It then places the email service providers in 4 categories based on their Offering and Strategy.

Forrester Email Wave Research method

Email service providers are billed, interrogated, surveyed, demo-ed, scored, ranked, and strip-searched before being placed into the final Wave by Forrester. The report is most known for its Wave graph, but also has a paragraph dedicated to each vendor included, with some background information.

Forrester Wave Email Marketing Service Providers 2022

forrester wave email service providers 2022

The final ranking labels the vendors as “Leaders,” “Strong Performers”, “Contenders” or “Challengers”. The outcomes of the ESP scorecard in the Forrester email marketing service providers report 2022 are charted onto the Wave graph.

The Forrester Wave scores the email marketing software providers based on Current Offering, Strategy and Size as high-level categories. There are 24 criteria that go with them.

1. Features / Current offering

The vertical placement of a vendor is on the Forrester Wave graphic is based on the ESPs current offering. This includes: Campaign management, Dynamic content, Reporting and analytics, Data, Privacy, Security, Distributed business model support, Artificial intelligence, and Full-service support.


  • Privacy and security are now separately scored criteria, both seem more important than ever and are indeed are two seperate items – makes sense.
  • The scoring of “vertical capabilities” has been dropped
  • There is now a 15% score for full-service capabilities. Service gives partial score for offering technical services and full score for offering agency services as well.

2. Strategy / vison

On the horizontal axis, we find Forrester’s evaluation of the vendors’ Strategy and Vision. Sub-criteria are: Product vision, Innovation roadmap, Market approach, Performance, Partner ecosystem and cCmmercial model.

  • The Partner ecosystem is a new scoring criteria, which makes good sense as the market is moving towards a more eco-system like models with “hubs”, “tools marketplaces” and “agency partner expert directories”
  • Market approach as well is a new category in strategy / vision.

3. Market presence

The size of the circles represents relative scale of their Market size. Email marketing revenue, globalization, and Email employees (employees that are dedicated to the email product).

Email Service Providers included in the Forrester Wave

Forrester included 13 email marketing software solutions vendors in the report – looking at enterprise-level email marketing vendors only.

  • Acoustic –  Acoustic Marketing Cloud
  • Adobe –  Adobe Journey Optimizer
  • Braze – Braze Customer Engagement Platform
  • Cheetah Digital, Cheetah Customer Engagement Suite
  • Cordial – Cordial
  • Emarsys – emarsys customer engagement platform
  • Epsilon, Epsilon PeopleCloud
  • Iterable – Iterable
  • Messagegears – Messagegears Customer Marketing Platform
  • Netcore – Netcore Cloud
  • Oracle – Oracle Responsys
  • Salesforce – Salesforce Marketing Cloud (not Sales or Service clouds)
  • Zeta Global – ZMP: Zeta Marketing Platform

The only vendor marked “Challenger” in the 2022 wave report is Acoustic, who is marked as non-participating vendor. So again yet all participants can be at least partially happy with their place on the graph.

Acoustic, is quoted working and retooling their platform for the ground up, we shall see if, how and when to expect the rejuvinated of the platform formerly known as IBM Watson, Watson Campaign, and Silverpop.

Notable changes in included email providers
The Email Wave report from Forrester comes out every 2 years. There are other reports in adjacent areas like Cross Channel Campaign Management, and Enterprise Marketing Software Suites. If we look at changes in the included vendors in this report, some notes:

  • Newcomers are: MessageGears, NetcoreCloud and Emarsys.
  • Bluecore, Dotdigital, and Exponea are no longer included.
  • Exponea was purchased by Bloomreach early 2021.
  • dotdigital is mentioned in exclusion because of having less than 25% emphasis on enterprise, for the same reason iPost and Selligent were mentioned.
  • Bluecore is mentioned as excluded because of a vertical specialization.

Comparing the Forrester Wave email marketing vendors reports.
Here are the visuals from the three last Forrester Waves Email Marketing Services.

forrester waves email vendors 2022 2020 2018

Download the Forrester wave Email service providers, Q1 2022

If you want to see / download the full Forrester Wave Email Marketing service providers 2022 report for yourself, you can acces the on the following pages.

Access the report (registration required):

  • Courtesy of Cheetah Digital here
  • Courtesy of Cordial here
  • Courtesy of Emarsys here
  • Courtesy of Epsilon here
  • Courtesy of Iterable here
  • Courtesy of MessageGears here
  • Courtesy of Netcore Cloud here
  • Courtesy of Zeta Global here

PS: We are set to add further insights, and will be updating this page regularly.

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, online marketing strategy, software selection, campaign management, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. He tested, reviewed, and wrote about 100+ business software including email marketing services, CRMs, ecommerce platforms, and online course creators. Published in-depth email marketing guides for financial service, ecommerce, travel, restaurant, and fashion industries.
Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch" by Entrepreneur magazine. Companies like Scania, KLM, Unilever, AEGON, CZ, FNV, NRC Media have asked me for advice.

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)