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.