Email continues to be a powerful force for marketing ROI. The 2012 DMA survey shows email returned $39 for every $1
spent, a rate far better than any other form of online marketing. The challenge is that email marketing has—and must—
become more sophisticated. So too must eMarketers and the email service providers who serve them.
To help make your ESP selection process easier, this guide covers the 9 essential questions you need to ask any
prospective vendors—and yourself. We have researched and adapted these “thinking points” to help you keep pace with
the new direction that eMarketing is taking. For example:
• Relational data has become the lynchpin of successful eMarketing because it is the best way to drive engagement by
automating triggered emails, dynamic content, and personalization that brings email as close to a 1:1 experience as
• Today between 30 percent and 50 percent of email is opened using a mobile device. Your ESP must be able to help you
easily optimize your users’ experience.
• Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are now so ubiquitous, failing to simultaneously share messaging across such
channels would create a conspicuous absence.
• Customer support and service ethics have become a better gauge of ESP quality, and in fact, have become the #1 reason
companies decide to switch vendors.
• Don’t just ask potential vendors, “How can you do what we want to do?” Ask them “What more can we be doing, and
how can you help us make that happen?”
Most ESPs today have similar features. Differentiators are fewer and therefore more important. Everyone can load lists
and has a WYSIWYG editor. But who supports relational data and complex, customer lifecycle automations? When making
a choice, it helps to first determine the organizations and companies that are similar to you. Who do they use? And what
capabilities make their eMarketing stand out?
We hope this Guide fulfills its purpose in making your ESP search easier and more effective. As always, we look forward to
your feedback. Cheers to you. Choose wisely. Choose well.