All to Know About Email Service Providers (ESPs)

Learn all about email service providers and how they can help you navigate the world of effective email campaigns.
Email remains integral to the heartbeat of digital marketing.

It's where the careful curation of content, compelling sales propositions, and heart-to-heart conversations happen.

However, with the sheer magnitude of emails being sent and received daily, cutting through the clutter isn't a matter of luck – it's a strategic business imperative.

In this blog, we dive into the world of Email Service Providers (ESPs).

If you've ever fretted about email open rates, felt intimidated by the setup of an email campaign, or wondered how the professionals make it look so effortless, you're in the right place.

What is an Email Service Provider (ESP)?

An Email Service Provider (ESP) is a platform that allows companies to design, send, and track email marketing campaigns. These platforms come equipped with many tools designed to make every aspect of email marketing more efficient and effective.

From compliance with email marketing regulations to sophisticated audience segmentation features, the right ESP can be the make-or-break in your email marketing strategy.

Email Service Providers are critical for companies that depend on email marketing to drive customer engagement and revenue. They go beyond basic emailing applications by providing advanced features such as automated campaign management, detailed recipient tracking, and improved campaign performance analytics.

How to Choose the Right Email Service Provider (ESP) For Your Needs

Compliance & Regulations

Choosing an ESP that prioritizes and enforces compliance with email marketing laws is non-negotiable. Laws like CAN-SPAM in the United States and GDPR in the European Union dictate strict rules regarding consent, privacy, and communication practices.

A reputable ESP should guide and support you in navigating these regulations, ensuring that your email campaigns align with legal requirements.

The CAN-SPAM Act sets forth guidelines for commercial email, emphasizing the importance of providing recipients with the option to opt-out, including a valid physical address, and refraining from deceptive practices.

An ESP committed to CAN-SPAM compliance not only assists in meeting these requirements but also helps in managing opt-out requests effectively, reducing the risk of legal consequences and maintaining a positive sender reputation.

For businesses dealing with European audiences, adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is imperative. GDPR mandates explicit consent, transparent data practices, and the right to be forgotten.

Compliance also extends to how an ESP handles and secures your data. A reputable provider should implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information, preventing unauthorized access or data breaches. This includes encryption, secure data storage, and adherence to industry-standard security practices.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is an invaluable tool that allows marketers to send different versions of the same campaign to distinct audience segments. This methodical approach empowers you to make data-driven decisions by analyzing the performance of various elements such as subject lines, email copy, or timing.

Opting for an ESP that excels in A/B testing opens avenues for strategic decision-making and continuous improvement. This feature optimizes email marketing metrics and improves personalization opportunities. It allows you to tailor your campaigns based on real audience preferences.

A/B testing doesn't just improve the user experience; it indirectly contributes to better deliverability by fine-tuning content for optimal engagement. Look for an ESP that offers intuitive testing interfaces, comprehensive reporting, and a commitment to improving your campaigns through actionable insights.

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation revolutionizes campaigns by transforming them into dynamic and responsive entities. Marketers can trigger emails based on user behavior, ensuring timely and relevant communication.

Whether sending a welcome email right after a user subscribes or delivering personalized content based on previous interactions, automation aligns messages with each subscriber's journey.

It enables the creation of campaigns that nurture leads, drive conversions, and enhance customer engagement.

Drag & Drop Builder

The beauty of a drag-and-drop builder lies in its simplicity and accessibility.

Marketers, regardless of their technical expertise, can effortlessly design and customize emails by intuitively dragging and dropping elements into place. This functionality streamlines the email creation process and empowers individuals to unleash their creativity without the constraints of coding intricacies.

With the drag-and-drop feature, you can visualize the layout in real-time, ensuring that your emails are not only visually appealing but also optimized for engagement. Choosing an ESP that prioritizes a robust drag-and-drop builder simplifies the complexities of email design, making it a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes.
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Audience Segmentation

Why is audience segmentation so important?

It's like the foundation of serving up relevant and captivating content to all your different audience segments.

With an ESP equipped with sophisticated segmentation capabilities, you can categorize subscribers based on demographics, preferences, past interactions, or purchase history.

This granular system ensures that your messages connect deeply with each group, fostering a stronger connection and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Deliverability Support

Crafting compelling email campaigns is useless if they don't reach the intended audience. To ensure maximum email delivery and deliverability, it's imperative to choose an ESP that prioritizes this crucial aspect.

Deliverability support involves a suite of tools and practices implemented by ESPs to optimize the successful delivery of your emails. This includes minimizing the risk of being flagged as spam, strategic management of IP addresses, and adherence to industry best practices.

A reputable ESP understands that deliverability directly impacts the success of your email marketing campaigns. Select an ESP that excels in this area to ensure that your audience sees your messages and improves your sender reputation over time.


Crafting the perfect email marketing campaign goes beyond compelling content. It's about seamlessly syncing data between your CRM and ESP. By choosing an ESP that prioritizes CRM integration, you'll have a unified view of your clients, setting the stage for personalized and effective email communication.

CRM integration takes your email marketing strategy to the next level by consolidating customer data. Using insights from your CRM, such as preferences, purchase history, and engagement patterns, to tailor your campaigns.

Harmonize these datasets, to create a holistic view of each client, enabling more targeted and relevant communication that resonates with their individual needs and behaviors. The synergy between your CRM and ESP simplifies campaign creation and enhances the overall customer experience.

Lead Capture Forms

Lead capture forms are the key to building a robust subscriber list, an essential element for any successful email marketing strategy.

When choosing an ESP, it's crucial to ensure the availability and effectiveness of lead capture forms, as they play a necessary role in capturing and growing your subscriber base.

A proficient ESP should provide user-friendly tools that allow you to design and implement effective forms on your website or other digital platforms. These forms can be strategically placed to capture leads at various touchpoints, converting website visitors into valuable subscribers.

Not only do these forms contribute to the growth of your subscriber list, but they also enrich the overall user experience, making it easy for potential leads to connect with your brand.

Don't underestimate the power of these forms in expanding your audience and cultivating meaningful connections with your subscribers.

Survey Tools

Email campaigns serve as a direct conduit to your audience. By utilizing an ESP with built-in survey tools, you can upgrade this interaction and effortlessly measure your audience's pulse.

This integration empowers you to collect valuable data and feedback directly through your email campaigns, providing a dynamic channel for understanding and responding to your audience's preferences.

With survey tools embedded within your ESP, collecting insights from your audience becomes streamlined. No need to rely on separate survey platforms anymore.

An ESP with integrated survey capabilities allows you to seamlessly incorporate surveys directly into your email campaigns. This not only simplifies the user experience for your audience but also enhances the efficiency of collecting crucial feedback, resulting in a higher response rate and more accurate data.

Best ESPs Out There

HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot’s email marketing tool is part of the larger inbound marketing methodology that the platform is renowned for.

Its robust design, automation capabilities, and integration with HubSpot’s CRM make it a favorite among marketers who value the ecosystem approach.

  • Is there a free plan available for Hubspot? No
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by Hubspot? $45 per month
  • Hubspot website
HubSpot Marketing Hub G2 Rating: 4.4/5 (10.712 reviews)
hubspot marketing hub g2 review


Brevo’s platform is designed for simplicity and efficiency.

It features an intuitive interface, advanced segmentation options, and AI-driven recommendations, making it an intriguing option for companies looking to use technology for customer engagement.

  • Is there a free plan available for Brevo? Yes
  • What's included in Brevo's free plan? 300 emails per day
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by Brevo? $25 per month
  • Brevo website
Brevo G2 Rating: 4.5/5 (689 reviews)
brevo g2 review


Mailchimp has transformed from a simple email service provider to a multi-channel marketing platform.

It's known for its creative tools, elegant templates, and a forever-free plan suitable for small businesses up to multinational corporations.

  • Is there a free plan available for MailChimp? Yes
  • What's included in MailChimp's free plan? 2000 contacts
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by MailChimp? $9.99 per month
  • Mailchimp website
MailChimp G2 Rating: 4.4/5 (5.087 reviews)
mailchimp g2 review


Braze emphasizes customer engagement over traditional email marketing.

It stands out thanks to its push, email, and in-app messaging coordination, aiming to create a seamless and omnichannel experience for recipients.

  • Is there a free plan available for Braze? No
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by Braze? Custom
  • Braze website
Braze G2 Rating: 4.5/5 (926 reviews)
braze g2 review


Klaviyo specializes in data-driven, personalized email and SMS marketing for e-commerce businesses.

It’s praised for its robust segmentation, ease of use, and seamless integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento.

  • Is there a free plan available for Klaviyo? Yes
  • What's included in Klaviyo's free plan? 250 contacts
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by Klaviyo? $20 per month
  • Klaviyo website
Klaviyo G2 Rating: 4.6/5 (1.019 reviews)
klaviyo g2 review


Iterable distinguishes itself with a focus on personalization at scale.

Its capabilities enable marketers to craft dynamic and contextually relevant messages, ensuring each communication feels tailor-made to the recipient.

  • Is there a free plan available for Iterable? No
  • What's the cheapest plan offered by Iterable? Custom
  • Iterable website
Iterable G2 Rating: 4.4/5 (534 reviews)
iterable g2 review


Your choice of ESP is key to your email marketing success. Each provider comes with its strengths and focuses, and it's essential to assess your business needs and goals to make the right selection.

In the battle for engagement, an ESP that supports creativity, personalization, compliance, and deliverability can be your strongest ally.

Whether you're just getting started with email marketing or looking to take your current strategy to new heights, an ESP is a tool worth investing in.
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