Internet Marketing

What is an ESP (Email Service Provider) Anyway?

What is an ESP (Email Service Provider) Anyway?

An Email Provider or Email Service Provider is known as an ESP.

They offer different ways to manage and send bulk email to individual email addresses for delivery.  members


For the list owner, an ESP may:

  • Provide email templates.   A template is a prebuilt layout, i.e. the front page of Newspaper with headlines and columns for stories, that allow the user to enter and/or replace certain objects and text within the layout.
  • Maintain a database of list email addresses for the list owner – addresses that the list owner collected and are opted-in to their list.   Such a database may contain, not only the first and last name of the database member (known as a list member) and their email address but may contain other demographic information collected such as member sex, age, and income.
  • Email messages, newsletters, and announcements, with or without attachments to list members.  Most ESP’s have mailing statistics available for the list owner to review the success of their mailings – which can include opens, referrals, bounces and delivery reports.

ESPs are notably helpful with all types and sizes of email lists.

blue envelopeThey allow the user of their service an easy way to manage their list membership with:

  • Tracking: Who and when someone subscribed as a list member
  • Automation: When someone leaves or joins, the list is updated accordingly
  • Complaints: Usually handled by the ESP
  • Custom templates
  • An HTML editor to create custom mailings
  • Personalized messages
  • Triggered Messages
  • Email Campaigns
  • Discussion: by creating a private discussion group for conversations with searchable archives.

So many ESPs how do I choose?

Like so many technology purchases, focus on what do you need – for example:

Is longevity important, is the company stable?  This industry is over a quarter of a century old!  Companies come and go, so longevity should be a consideration.  If you look around and do a little research you may find that the companies you think are, aren’t the companies they were.   There have been mergers, takeovers, and closers.

How about support?   At one time almost everyone was tasking support overseas. People who responded to support calls were difficult to understand, and that made it difficult to describe issues and solve problems.  From broken English to little or no support was a concern. Today, overseas support is still utilized by some ESPs, others may only allow emailed questions, some only offered an online manual, some use AI and a few offered continue to offer no support at all.

What about limitations?  Some ESPs only allow so many mailings per month or so many members before they want more money. What about an issue that just came up which will take you over the quota?  Do you want to send an attachment, is that allowed?

Do you need to send an email to one person, or send both a text and HTML message at the same time, is that supported?

Email Analytics, most if not all ESP’s offer them.  Can you review everything you need? Can you credit custom reports and see your results in graphic form?

Capabilities is a big issue.  Do you need something to just mail to clients or do you want to set up a sophisticated drip campaign?

Deliverability:  is your email accepted or blocked because your ESP has you on a shared IP Address?  Is DKIM and SPF set up offered?  Does your ESP have a good sending relationship with Gmail?

man with coffeeIn conclusion, consider using an ESP instead of bulk mailing from your favorite email client.

There are many ESP’s to choose from. Consider Dundee Internet mailing list services,

  • Dundee Email Hosting has been in the list business for over 20 years
  • We offer personalized support, you can call and speak to the CEO! email, tech guides all available 24/7
  • Attachments of any size are allowed, with no limit on mailings.
  • Our software has extensive reporting capabilities for your mailings and memberships.  We offer 8 categories of built-in reports.  AND you can create your own report with our Custom Chart tools.  All accessible in one location.
  • We care about your deliverability and your email reputation after all our rep is ours too.  We employ all the latest email authentication tools and monitor all mailings for issues.
  • A built-in segment wizard, drip campaigns, triggers, and transactional emails and so much more.

An ESP should be a company you can work with, is there when you need them as an integral part of your marketing strategy.   Try a demo, ask questions, review referrals.

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Always Use These 5 Emails For a New List Subscriber

Always Use These 5 Emails For a New List Subscriber

The hardest part is over. You have a new list subscriber. Now what?

A new list subscriber should feel their membership is important to you and worthwhile for them.  It’s essential to keep this person engaged with your emails: Targeted emails sent on a regular basis does just that.  Besides all the future emails your new member will enjoy, there are at least 5 email types that your list member may receive from you, one time or another, essential emails that keep list members engaged. They are the:

1. The Welcome Letter: Once a new member is added to your mailing list it is important to greet them and to show gratitude for taking the effort to follow your content. The content sent,  should be personalized for the new subscriber, i.e. address them by their name. The welcome letter sets their expectations; what information can they expect from their subscription, how often will you be mailing, and so forth.  AND always include an unsubscribe link or create a “no response to this email will remove you from this list” option, in case they were added by mistake. Make sure you ask your new subscribers to whitelist your email address with their ISP so future mailings won’t end up as marked as SPAM.  Keep a warm and sincere tone, as with any interaction with people you may never get another chance to make a good first impression and loyal list member.

2. Birthday Emails: These emails are self-explanatory. With Dundee Email, you can enter your list members birth date into the system for future automatic mailings.  The Birthday Greeting you create will arrive in their inbox at the right date on the time you designate.  This is a perfect way to make them feel special, and don’t forget to add a sale coupon just for them.

3. Re-engagement Letter: Have you noticed that your open rates are suffering? Your subscriber rate might be up, but are they interacting with your content and generating sales? Maybe it’s time to ramp up user enthusiasm. An emailed discount for products/ services may not be enough. When designing a reengagement email, think outside the box.  Make eye-catching subject lines and unusual proposals to bring your users back into the fold.  Consider including a brief survey, to find out what they are thinking.  Ask when they want to hear from you, what really interests them.  Note their likes and dislikes and use this information to tailor future email campaigns – deliver the content they want at the time they want it.

4. Reminders: We all get busy and use reminders to make sure all our tasks get completed. Personally, I find myself making lists and using a ridiculous amount of post-its to stay on track of things I need or should do, your customers are no different. Everyone has a list of some sort to remind them to pick up their dry cleaning or buy milk at the grocery store.  However when shopping, most likely they wouldn’t leave their shopping cart sitting in the middle of the store and walk out, but when they shop online, it’s easy to leave that cart.  This brings me to the 4th letter,  the  Shopping cart abandonment email reminder.

Email list members are just like us; Fill up a virtual shopping cart,  pretend to check out, just to view the shipping costs. Or they select that blue scarf, then buy it at different VS (virtual store).   They didn’t finish the transaction because they simply do not want to give out all that personal information – OR-  they are worried about site security.

In all shopping cart abandonment situations,  a reminder email about their unfinished purchase maybe the nudge they need to close that sale.

A reminder email for shopping carts has three general components, an eye-catching subject line, the abandoned items and a call to action. The subject line should entice the recipient to open your email one that evokes an emotional response.  Once the email is opened, showcase the items they left behind and highlight any special features they may have missed, like a 30-day return policy.  Design the email for a one-click purchase: automatically take them to their account to pick up where they left off.

5. Goodbye letter: Sometimes no matter what you do your member still unsubscribe. Goodbyes are the hardest in real life and goodbyes to a list member, well not as hard to write.  Goodbye emails are not widely used; Most people do not want to pester their newly unsubscribed members. However, it is important to send a final email to your previous subscriber thanking them for their loyalty, and,  trying to once again make them an offer to stay. Some of the most successful goodbyes are simple,  to the point with little or no images.  The goal of your letter is to get them to stay, then allow them to alter their email preferences – too much mail turns readers off too.  Remember use tools, a survey, profile page or both.

For mailing lists, the goals are always the same. We want an active, engaged subscriber, it’s not just enough to have many subscribers we want them to open their emails, forward them to friends and become customers of our products or services. The key to reaching your goal is to keep the lines of communication open with our members by interacting with them at all stages whether they are new, haven’t opened an email in a month, or are unsubscribing.

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Does This Email Campaign Make Me Look Fat?

Does This Email Campaign Make Me Look Fat?

There are many things to consider when someone writes copy for an email campaign.

This can include but not limited to:

lady on social media

  1. the Audience (grammar used and reading level)
  2. Subject Line,
  3. the introduction paragraph,
  4. html or plain text or both,
  5. to the use of images,
  6. links or video inclusion.

All these different elements add to the length of your email.

However, the length of an email should be reflective of the subject at hand.  For example, Mary, a subscriber to the Hand Lotion Newsletter, only expects and wants information on hand lotion.  She is interested in the content of the email when the Subject is: ‘Brands That Are Proven to Relieve Dry Skin”. However she couldn’t care less about the subject “Free Moisturizes to Try.”

Likewise, Ken also a subscriber, doesn’t really relate to the Hand Lotion Newsletter when the title is “Rose Scented Lotion”. However he is interested in the subject “Save on Fragrance Free Natural Relief Lotion.”

Both Mary and Ken are interested in content, Mary wants to learn how a product could help her, Ken wants to save money.

Because each of these emails are different, the length should be too. Although secondary, as long as the email content is well-defined, brief, and compelling.

Here are a few tips for maintaining proper email manners and keep your email campaigns from looking fat.

    1. To Say or Not to Say that is the Subject. Keep the Subject Line under 50 characters. Most mail clients only show that many characters in the inbox.
    2. What is your point? Write a personalized, focused messaged.  Do not add unnecessary verbiage by adding an introduction paragraph with links and images.  This adds length to the email message and time to get to your message across. If the reader actually takes the time to read it.
    3. Who Are you? What industry you’re in will play a large part on what length of email you’ll be sending.   Non-profits may prefer more donor stories with links than images. Conversely, subscribers to a big box retail email list may prefer several clickable images with minimal wording.  For best results, test your emails.
    4. It’s Individuality that counts. Mary, as stated wants information. She expects a longer email than Ken who is skimming down your message to see if there’s a coupon.  As the content creator of the email, length is relative to the Subject and the person reading your message.

Offering a preference page to capture unique interests, demographics, and their ideal frequency, may help you categorize your list members. This information maybe, just maybe help you come up with the right length of words to send.

With a reputable mailing list, businesses of all sizes can grow.  Stick to a sending schedule, segment your list, personalize, timely, relevant messages based on your recipient’s preferences.  Keep your messages focused, your sentences simple, not too wordy and test, test, test. In the end the results can vary.  Remember a fat, information laden email may be warranted and expected in certain circumstances and deleted in some others.

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easy steps to keep list churn down So Pay Retention!

easy steps to keep list churn down So Pay Retention!

You worked for hours to create the best offer ever, it’s so good, so compelling, you even impressed yourself.  Who knew you were so creative to come up with a “call to action” that most people would have a difficult time saying no to. You’re anxious to see the results of this offer and can’t wait to get it into the hands of your customers.   The vehicle you use to do this, email. Unfortunately, you will not get the response this ad piece deserves because your mailing list is not quite up to par.  In fact, it probably takes less effort to build an effective” opted-in” list than it takes to create a great offer, so let’s review how easy it is to maintain and continue to build an effective opt-in email list so you can concentrate on creating great offers.

First there is list building,

Successful list building requires a combination of on-going subscriber retention and new subscriber acquisition. Two different actions that work together toward the same goal. First, realize there is no typical size for an opted-in email list.   Member size is attributed to many factors including:

  1.  Size of the company
  2.  Is there an established email marketing strategy
  3.  What are your email marketing expertiseRetention
  4.  In house control or using and ESP
  5. How addresses are collected  and as you can imagine there’s so much more.

Regardless of the size, the common goal for all list owners: keep list churn down and retention up.  It’s not unheard of to lose 30% of your opted-in list to churn, and if you are not successful adding new list subscribers regularly, well there goes your ROI

Retention is simply

  1. (try) Maintaining the same level of subscribers each month.
  2. Keeping list churn low.
  3. Adding new opt-in subscribers

With minimal effort retention is easy if you avoid working against it.  Do not add uninterested subscribers to your list.  Instead set up automatic subscriber tools. You can set up a single opted-in form on your website for your potential list members. Before they are added to your list the form requires an action on the part of the potential subscriber; normally entering their name and email address and then click on a “Subscriber” check box.  This will leave you with a subscriber who is interested and engaged in your future email.

Even better is the confirmed subscription or closed-loop opt-in (also known as double opted-in) options, this follows the same process as the single opted-in method, except, a confirmation email is sent to the subscribers before they are added to your list. The new list member must verify they want to join your list by confirming their membership.

Between the two methods mentioned, closed-loop opt-in has always been considered one of email marketing’s best practices. Both single and closed-loop opt-in programs are designed to provide automatic list growth and email address verification which in turn, gives positive support to your good sender reputation. .

Retention centers on, not only best email practices, but also on high-quality, relevant content.   Keep your list churn down by keeping content engaging and special.  Go that extra step for your readers, so for example, what they receive from you, cannot be easily obtained from other sources. (i.e. your store offers a 20% discount to walk-ins, you present your list subscribers with a 30% discount coupon)

Engaging emails are good, but make those special emails great with segments. The use of segments is by far, is one of the best email tools available. Segments allow the email marketer to target specific groups or people with relevant content that directly address their needs, wants and interests.

As you target those specific groups of people do not stray from the value you originally promised your list subscribers. When someone signed up for your weekly “tips and hints on dog grooming”, make sure you deliver a newsletter every week, with “tips and hints on dog grooming.” Moreover, to keep that list churn down and your retention numbers up: Email communications should be consistent.

  1. Don’t make the mistake of taking time off or mail sporadically
  2. With each mailing, use the same format and logo*
  3. Keep the same FROM address on each marketing piece
  4. Send fresh content, to keep your audiences interest.
  5. *From time to time revise your presentation, graphics for example
  6. Analyze your current email campaign results and use that data to streamline your next campaign

And, to keep your campaigns going and growing, utilize all opportunities to add new subscribers to your lists, opportunities that are both off and online

  1. Landing pages, should always include an opportunity to join your list, especially for those folks referred to that page by a friend
  2. Confirmation pages, whether sent in response to a white paper download or a sales receipt, provide a way for the recipients to subscribe to receive future communications from you
  3. Website, using analytics, place opted-in opportunities on the pages with the most traffic
  4. Include an opted-in offer to join your list on all your social networking pages. Include  them with your mobile marketing efforts too
  5. In house employees, train each and every one to offer a customer or potential customer the opportunity to sign up to your company newsletter
  6. All printed materials, from yellow pages (are they used?) to brochures, fliers, sales receipts and coupons, include a url to login and signup for your newsletter

There are other methods for list building, depending on how it’s done, who you do it with and how well it’s received. These include;:

  1. List rental (not always recommended)
  2. Guaranteed lead programs
  3. Paid search engine marketing
  4. List bartering

By implementing some of these methods your company will (economically)  build a concrete subscriber list that has become so critical for email marketing success.

Questions?  Feel free to comment below.

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How To Increase Email Campaign Engagement in 4 Ways, Even if Your Subscribers Are Finicky.

How To Increase Email Campaign Engagement in 4 Ways, Even if Your Subscribers Are Finicky.

Email is a marketing phenomenon.  It’s uncommon to find someone who hasn’t joined an email list at least once in their lifetime: even those in their 80s and beyond.

And in our lifetime, undoubtedly, email marketing is historic in itself.  The amount of subscribers worldwide is astronomical, the number and types of mailing lists are uncountable which, in the long- run, can be a real problem for email marketers.  Why?

Because, as more competitors’ join the email marketing bandwagon the odds are your “open rates” will decline.

You agree, that there is only so much a person can and will read.  Depending on how many lists your subscriber actually subscribes too, your email messages may be in endless competition for reader attention.  You may find out the local Pizza joint, who emails weekly coupons has better open rates than your special email coupon of the week-or-your biggest competitors newsletter always gets a second read while your newsletter is deleted.  What can you do?  To compete on an even playing field with those other  coupon specials and rival “newsletters” your focus should start with the inbox.

When consumer expectations’ aren’t well thought out, your campaigns will suffer resulting in low inbox rates: subsequently, low engagement levels.   As a marketer it is prudent to consider consumer expectation as you develop your email campaigns. Here are some suggestions:

(ONE) Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.

Always send a Welcome letter to new subscribers, “to acknowledge their new membership with a timely, well thought out messsage; to thank your new member for joining, set their future expectations by explaining the purpose of your email list and most importantly – to start a subscriber relationship with them”

Create a simple mailing schedule with emails that have a themed subject.  Your subscribers will get in the habit of expecting your newsletter and immediately recognize who it is from.

Design a email newsletter program that has your readers lined up to read the next in the series: Take a cue from the soap operas.

(TWO) Segment Your Memberscontrol your email campaign

Create mailing segments based on subscriber history, such as active subscribers who are engaged with your list versus those who are not..

Consider mailing from two separate domains, your main domain address, for those happy engaged list members and from a sub-domain or secondary domain to those who need to be stimulated, as they are less engaged.

When mailing from a secondary domain, the results of segments directed to those less engaged can easily be monitored. You can also experiment with mailing frequency, volume, subject line  such as with A/B split testing.  You will find that a  secondary domain address comes in handy for different email campaigns too.


Even with A/B testing and secondary domain addresses, the more emails sent, the more it becomes essential to keep your audience happy with personal, relevant messages. Expect higher email campaign engagements such as increased open rates when you selectively send email based on this type of segmentation. This works well even with the most finicky subscriber.

(THREE) Data Dust

Avoid all those nasty spam traps, invalid accounts and other issues that hinder deliverability by keeping your data clean.

Use an opt-in process to avoid problems, made sure your lists are yours, not rented or purchased.

(FOUR) Just in Time

Add trigger email triggercampaigns to your marketing mix

A triggered email is an essential part of customer service as they demonstrate to the subscriber that they come first, evident by your quick response.

Triggered messages increase customer loyalty, as rapid responses to any relevant action has the overall effect of increasing the importance of your brand.  And trigger email campaigns offer endless opportunities to engage with prospects and customers at the exact time when they’re thinking about your brand.

All four approaches can go a long way toward ensuring engagement and high inbox delivery.  Any of these strategies, alone, you will find is not enough if you’re losing ground.   That’s when you need an email marketing program that includes all four tactics and more.  Need help or more information, call us at 888-222-8485 or email

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Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing

Selling your goods or services on the Internet can be cost effective, profitable, fun and a learning experience all rolled into one.  Once you have your web site up and running, the shopping cart ready to be filled, merchant accounts in order, SSL certificates in place, PayPal accounts ready to go and your competitive pricing sheet, do you sit back and wait for the search engines to list your hard work or do you proactively bring customers to your virtual door?  We all know the answer, so you engage in something called Internet marketing also know as web marketing, online marketing, Internet advertising, or eMarketing; no matter what you call it, you can’t avoid it if you want to sell.

And sell you will, but to who.  Once you leave your store doors open, they are open 24/7 and not just to the people in your neighborhood.  You’re open for business world-wide (what shipper are you using again?)  So take advantage of your potential customers, use the digital media available to you, with all the bells and whistles allowable.  And on the forefront of this digital marketing media is the use of Opted in e-mail lists.

Using Opted-In email you not only draw potential customers and current clients to your web site you essentially tie together your Internet marketing efforts of creativity and technical wizardry. All aspects of your virtual shop focused on your advertising and sales efforts, done completely by email.

Email allows you to use a comprehensive strategy that complements your company’s business and sales goals.  With the use of list management you can elicit interest and sales from personalized targeted marketing messages created just for them.

Email marketing is cheap, giving you just-as-it happens results with proven higher sales ratios as you’re able to reach a targeted audience at the push of a button. Reach a wide audience for a fraction of your traditional advertising budgets.  And hire Dundee Internet Services, Inc to help you reach your Internet Marketing Goals.

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