There is more to choosing an email service provider than just the feature list. In order to fully achieve your email marketing goals you need a partner who is going to support you all the way, and not simply spend their time trying to sell you the next fancy new feature. Here is my take on what our customers believe is important to them when selecting an Email Service Provider.
Account management & Services
Email marketing requires a vast range of different skills, and it’s highly unlikely you will have the experience to cover them all within your team. At Emailcenter, not only are you are assigned with your own dedicated account manager to help provide strategic advice and direction, but our clients are also able to take advantage of our experienced Professional Services team who can handle all the design, implementation and technical services to help make your life as a marketer easier.
Look for an ESP where they are nimble, with all the key team members you need from the same office – as soon as you start needing different skills from different departments or even countries, co-ordination and communication can break down and cause delays and complications.
If you have a question regarding something you are working on, you want it answered straight away. Having an ESP who you can simply pick up the phone to raise your issue with is essential, rather than waiting around for your query to be responded too via email or online chat. Emailcenter has a office based support team who are on hand to deal with any questions you may have, as well as the option to use our support ticket system if you wish.
An ESP might have been founded 15 years ago but do the people you deal with have that sort of history? Just having a huge roster of big name clients doesn’t mean you will benefit from that if your account handlers have never been involved with those campaigns. Look to meet the people who will be working with you to determine whether they will add any value to your email marketing, or simply not offer you anything you don’t already know.
Integration isn’t just about getting some basic customer data automatically in your email platform. It’s also getting a rich customer history, browsing behaviour, product and category information for automated and personalised content, sending of transactional emails and rich reporting data for your own systems. Failing to scope out the future integration needs of your business might find you struggling in 12 months time to move your email marketing forward if your ESP can’t support those needs.
The Right Capabilities
If you are going to pick the right ESP for you then the best place to start is by looking at the type of emails you want to send. From here you can work out how each ESP is going to work for your setup, and what compromises each one will have. If you go through an exercise without this detail and just look for a tick against ‘dynamic content’ or any other feature you might be frustrated when you don’t have the capabilities and flexibility when you come to implement your new email strategy.
Feel as though Emailcenter may be the right fit for your email marketing requirements? Get in touch with one of our email experts to discuss how we can take your email marketing to the next level.