Email service providers (or ESPs) are digital platforms where you can design and send marketing emails to people who have in some way, shape, or form subscribed to receive emails from you.
These ESPs can help you keep your emails organized so you know what type of emails to send to which subscriber. Many ESPs will also allow you to build automated sequences that send emails at specified intervals once someone subscribes. Some also have their own design platform to make the emails pretty and easy to read.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? It is, but not all ESPs are made equally. There are quite a lot of features and options (and price points) that you should be aware of before making a decision.
Email Service Provider Features
We have a few top features that we find extra important when helping clients choose email service providers.
We have learned that if a platform is not easy to use, people won’t use it. Especially when email marketing is something that many business owners struggle with to begin with, adding in a big learning curve and you might find yourself with a service you pay for and don’t use.
What can we say? People love getting pretty emails! While valuable content is of the utmost importance, a well designed email is an email people will read. Regardless of content quality, your emails should use photos, graphics, fonts, and design elements like columns and boxes in order to encourage subscribers to read and reply.
We believe you get what you pay for. There are free ESPs out there, but they usually offer services you don’t need, charge per subscriber over a certain amount, are glitchy, have little support, and/or are difficult to use. However, small business owners and entrepreneurs generally cannot afford large ESPs, especially in the early building years.
Our Fav Email Service Provider
Having worked with M A N Y email service providers, we definitely have a favorite. Flodesk!
Flodesk checks off all the boxes for us and our clients. It’s extremely easy to learn and navigate, the designs are gorgeous, and has the essential integrations without being cumbersome or overbearing. We encourage all of our clients to switch to Flodesk, whether we manage their email list or not.
Mailchimp vs. Flodesk
Mailchimp is definitely one of the more popular ESPs. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that if you already are using an email client, it’s Mailchimp. While its array of features and integrations, and low cost of entry (free) are appealing, Mailchimp is a beast to learn. It also has (quite frankly) a ridiculous amount of features that most business owners will never use. Moreover, no matter how good you get at designing in Mailchimp, you won’t find better templates than Flodesk. They’re beautiful, easy to customize in your branding and stand out in the inbox. It’s also an easy process to create automation, landing pages, and save custom templates.
How to Choose
Ultimately, this is going to be a personal choice that works best for your business, budget, and skills. A more tech-savvy person might be willing to code their email design instead of using a template. Businesses with bigger budgets might be able to afford an all-inclusive service or platform. However, we’ve worked with businesses of all sizes and budgets and on all kinds of ESPs and the one we keep coming back to is Flodesk.
Which email service provider do you use for your business, and why?
Psst! You can get 50% off your monthly subscription to Flodesk using our affiliate link. Yes, we get commission ($19 to be exact) but it’s worth it – we swear.