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How to Pick an ESP (You Don’t Hate)

90 percent of marketers consider email a channel of strategic importance. So why is it that so many of them hate their Email Service Provider (ESP)?

It’s common to hear stories of clunky and outdated ESPs. Any of these sound familiar?

  • Requiring IT to change a “schema” in order to collect new customer info.
  • Waiting days (yes, days!) for the results of a segmentation.
  • Dealing with difficult and unintuitive interfaces built over a decade ago.

If any of this is familiar, it’s time to consider replacing a tool you can barely tolerate with a platform you actually enjoy using.

Here is a handy checklist of the five things to look for when comparing options.

Is your next ESP…

MODERN?

Technology has evolved rapidly in the last five years, so why are you still using an ESP with an interface that’s straight out of 1999? Let’s face it — not all systems need to look like Salesforce. Your customers expect a modern and sophisticated experience, and so should you.

Choose an ESP with a modern user interface that’s both sleek and functional. Your eye for design will thank you, and you’ll save tons of time.

FLEXIBLE?

Nothing hinders your ability to deploy campaigns like having to ask for an engineer’s help every time you want to experiment with data or add new behavioral events. Your user profiles serve as the launchpad for all types of messaging, so dynamically updating them is a must.

Choose an ESP that allows on-the-fly additions to your user profiles and makes them available immediately for segmentation.

SEAMLESS?

Many marketers get stuck with a legacy provider that claims to be an all-in-one “cloud.” But like a subpar buffet restaurant, these giant SaaS vendors don’t do any one thing particularly well. Much of their functionality has been pieced together through multiple acquisitions.

Choose an ESP that was built with seamless multi-channel marketing in mind. Everything else is just a distraction.

SCALABLE?

Enterprise companies expect an enterprise marketing solution to scale with their business, but they often become disillusioned when their one-stop-shop struggles to keep up with their list growth.

Choose an ESP that is nimble enough to support rapidly growing companies with hundreds of millions of users.

REAL-TIME?

When it comes to email marketing metrics, up-to-the-minute reporting is essential. And yet it’s not uncommon for legacy platforms to take hours or even days to deliver the results of a segmentation or other experiment.

Choose an ESP that delivers real-time reporting, so you can iterate on the results and be better informed for future campaigns.

Lastly, your ESP is only as good as the people who support you. Make sure that your provider offers live chat with knowledgeable customer success managers, so your issues get solved in real time — not days afterward when it’s too late.

Don’t worry about bookmarking this blog, or worse, printing it out (gasp!). Take this growth marketing checklist on the go by downloading the PDF version.

To learn more about how to pick an ESP you won’t hate, request a demo of the Iterable Growth Marketing Platform.

Iterable

Iterable is the growth marketing platform that enables brands to create, execute and optimize campaigns to power world-class customer engagement across email, push, SMS, in-app and more with unparalleled data flexibility. An integrated, cross-channel solution—built for marketers, trusted by engineers, designed with intelligence.

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