“Businesses have learned that permission-based email marketing is an effective way for their organization to sell to known prospects, send out an email newsletter, and build customer loyalty,” said Dan Forootan, president of StreamSend Email Marketing. “They have also discovered the need for an ESP because their regular Internet service provider is not designed for – and sometimes prohibits – bulk mailing. Here are ten key features they should look for in an ESP to help them execute professional, organized email marketing campaigns.”
1. Determine if you need a private IP address
If your email volume is large enough, you may not want to share an IP address with other customers at your ESP. Too many spam complaints against another customer could get your shared IP address blacklisted by a major ISP, preventing your emails from being delivered. Check with your ESP to see if you should have a private IP address.
2. Customer support and training
Your ESP should offer both online and phone customer support and training.
3. Robust infrastructure and locations.
Make sure your ESP has multiple, high-speed connections to the Internet through more than one source and hardware redundancy in case one of the Internet connections fails or there is a hardware failure. You will also want redundant location, e.g., data centers in two locations. Many ESPs will offer “click-tracking” tools that require links to go to the ESP first to track the click, and then they redirect it to your Web site. If the ESP servers go down, the valuable prospects and customers reading your emails won’t be able to click through.
4. Good Reporting
The ESP should offer a variety of user-friendly reports: deliverability success, open-rates, and click-through rates.
5. CAN SPAM compliance.
Your ESP should require customers to comply with the CAN SPAM Act and make it very easy to do so.
6. List Segmenting.
Your ESP should enable you to segment lists by demographic and other criteria. Targeting subsets of your list with content relevant to them leads to more successful email marketing campaigns.
7. Find your “Look”
Pre-built templates may be fine, but at some point you may want your own unique look and feel, so find an ESP that has experience building HTML email templates. Not only will you want the aesthetic benefit of that experience, you will want practical advice on readability, reader responsiveness and the necessary testing to make sure your emails work across all email platforms.
8. Free trial.
Most ESPs offer a free trial. Do a test drive to see if the service meets your needs.
9. No term contract.
Do not sign up for a service that requires anything beyond a month commitment. If you are unhappy with your service, you should be able to cancel and switch services at will.
10. Pricing Structure
ESPs host your email list on their servers. Some charge a monthly fee based on the number of emails on your list, while others charge a monthly fee based on the maximum number of emails you think you will send per month. Be sure to choose a pricing structure that fits your needs.
StreamSend offers an easy-to-use, affordable and reliable email marketing software solution designed to help businesses make the most of their time and money when sending an email newsletter or other email campaigns. StreamSend offers a number of industry-leading standard pricing plans and also has strong private-label and affiliate programs. Started as part of EZ Publishing, a web hosting and design company founded in 1998, StreamSend is now the company’s flagship product.