It’s possible when you hear the term email service provider, you think of your email inbox service — Gmail, Outlook, etc. But in the marketing world, we also use the term to describe the platforms that send bulk emails to our customers and contacts. If we are doing a lot of sends, we also will use the segmentation and automation capabilities baked in.
When it comes to choosing the best email service provider for our needs, it can helpful to understand the landscape of options. So let’s take a look at the state of email service providers, thanks to a great new report published by Litmus.
In the report, we can see what email platforms are most popular by industry and region. We can also review the state of email marketing from a technology and platform perspective, and who the key players are. Some big takeaways:
A lot of orgs are looking to migrate to a new email service provider
- 16% of brands said that changing ESPs is on their list of email marketing priorities for 2018
Email market consolidation (through mergers and acquisitions) has resulted in a few very big platforms doing most of the work:
- The top 10 email service providers comprise 63% marketing emails sent, with Salesforce leading all systems
- MailChimp is the 2nd most popular email service provider overall, although that is mostly on the small and medium sized business side of things; Oracle email systems are more popular among enterprises
Some email service providers are more common for certain industries
- Marketo is the top ESP for Tech companies
- Oracle is the top ESP for Retail
Email Service Providers do more than email, but many companies look beyond the ESP for many crucial functions
- 63% of teams use third party analytics tools for their email marketing
- 96% of teams use outside tools to plan their email content
- 73% of teams develop their HTML email templates outside of their email service provider
The fact that so many marketing teams are doing so much email marketing work outside of their ESP points to a common challenge: oftentimes, the systems are not optimized for creation and reporting — two key elements of any marketing campaigns. In order to get the most out of the systems (and to ensure you’re in the right one), it’s a great idea to perform a thorough email marketing audit.