How To Choose the Best Email Provider for Your Business

Published on: June 20, 2024

Last updated on: July 1, 2024

With email marketing remaining a crucial marketing tool, choosing the right email service is extremely important. It’s quite simple: no matter how brilliant your message is, it will only impact potential customers if it arrives in their inboxes.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about different email providers and how you can choose one for your business needs.

Source: GIPHY

Email Service Provider: Definition and Types

An Email Service Provider (ESP) is a company that provides email services and solutions for its clients, enabling email correspondence and marketing campaigns. ESPs store customers’ email addresses and facilitate sending marketing emails to subscribers.

Examples of Email Service Providers

Source: EmailFirm

More advanced email options supported by ESP are:

  • Email marketing automation
  • Adding tracking pixels
  • Customizing email format
  • Segmenting your subscribers’ list
  • Integrating your email with your website
  • A/B testing for your email content

Here are the main types of email services:

Email Clients Email clients are stationary desktop applications that allow you to operate single or multiple email addresses. This email service type can help you perform various operations, such as creating, sending, and receiving emails. One example of an email client is Microsoft Outlook.
Webmail Another type of email service is webmail. Unlike email clients, you can access webmail via a web browser. You are most likely familiar with popular email websites like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.com.
B2C Email Providers As a B2C business owner, you may know how effective highly personalized email marketing campaigns are. B2C email providers like Braze or Drip can help you launch customer-centric email marketing campaigns.
B2B Email Providers If you need data-driven emails for serious businesses, consider using popular email service providers like Hubspot, Phonexa, or Marketo.

 

Read more about how to sign off B2B and B2C emails to satisfy your customers.

How Can You Benefit From an Email Provider?

There are many practical benefits of using email service providers:

Deliverability Increased deliverability leads to increased revenue. You may be surprised that every dollar spent on email marketing will result in 42$ earned by a company. It makes perfect sense to start using top email providers to make more.
Customer Engagement Keeping your customers enticed can be challenging. However, your chances of engaging your audience increase if you provide them with dynamic content. The best way to achieve this is to use advanced ESP functionality.
Campaign Monitoring In the ever-changing marketing world, it is vital to measure your marketing campaign effectiveness and react promptly to any shortcomings detected. ESPs allow you to analyze and report the data about the success of your marketing strategy. So, you will be able to modify your emails to increase their impact on your customers.
Cross-Channel Marketing Campaigns The increase in the influence of social media on customers’ buying choices forces businesses to consider multi-channel marketing campaigns. Luckily, many ESPs facilitate the integration of social media elements into traditional email marketing strategies.

What Should You Consider When Choosing Email Providers?

Choosing the wrong provider can become a deal-breaker for your email marketing campaign. You should understand your business requirements and the criteria a potential ESPr should meet.

Here are the factors you should consider when choosing an email service provider:

User-Friendliness Look for an ESP that offers a simple and intuitive email account navigation and reporting system. Plus, consider if any special training is required to use the platform correctly.
Reputation How well-known and reputable your ESP is influences whether customers will be eager to open your emails. One way to check your provider’s reputation is by looking at its domain score.

Check more on how to improve your email deliverability

Automation Marketing automation tools can become quite a game-changer. Check if your ESP can create quick and easy marketing strategies, such as shopping cart abandonment reminders.
API Make sure your company can use the platform to integrate your internal CRMs, shopping carts, and purchase systems with your email service provider.
Cross-Channel Integration Your email providers should be able to integrate with social media platforms so you can boost your social media presence and collect relevant customer data.

Also, don’t forget about visual styles and graphic designs. An email service provider with great visual representation on different devices will boost your conversion rates quickly.

Check how social media influencers can increase the success of your marketing campaign. 

Security Ensure your ESP uses firewalls, password protection policies, and encryption safeguards.

Do not take cybersecurity lightly. For instance, if your email account is hacked, there’s little you can do to recover from damage caused by data leaks.

Customer Support Ensure your ESP can help you if you face unexpected bugs, deliverability problems, or other difficulties.
Price Make sure you are financially capable of covering email service costs. If you are not ready to allocate extra funds, consider using free email providers. Fortunately, many popular email providers offer free email servers.

How Do You Choose the Optimal Email Provider For Your Business?

Selecting a proper provider is easier if you define how email service functionality will complement your marketing goals. Set clear marketing goals, understand the processes behind email marketing, and know how to use ESP tools.

Graphic depicting the integration of email and social media platforms for digital marketing

Source: Email manager

To learn more about an email service provider

  • Check feedback from other ESP clients
  • Ask for feedback about the ESP from businesses that operate similarly
  • Create a final list of several email service providers and sign in for a trial period with each of them to get first-hand experience and make an informed decision

The Three Best Email Services of 2023

First, it’s worth noting that even though free email providers offer decent services, they may occasionally have some limitations or ads. But then again, small businesses can benefit immensely from using free email providers.

Gmail

Screenshot of a Gmail interface displaying an email inbox

Source: WrorkSpaceUpdates

Gmail is one of the most popular email providers worldwide, offering 15 GB of storage space and robust anti-phishing and anti-spam protection. Gmail works in tight connection with Google Drive, Meet, Calendar, Docs, and other Google services. The daily email limit for free mail accounts is 500 emails a day.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use, with Google Smart Compass’ suggestions simplifying the email designing process. Gmail also has an offline functionality, making it possible to write emails even if you can’t get online.

However, larger-scale business organizations may require additional email services. Gmail covers them with Google Workspace, which supports custom domain names and email addresses and offers storage of 30GB to 5TB.

Microsoft Outlook

Landing page of Microsoft Outlook

Source: Pro Profs

Microsoft Outlook is another excellent free ESP, offering 15 GB of inbox storage and 5 GB of OneDrive cloud storage. Outlook also provides access to online and mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Business email users can benefit from the Focused Inbox feature, which segments emails and helps avoid distractions. In addition, Outlook allows you to add polls directly to emails.

Unfortunately, Outlook’s free email services have basic message encryption. If you need more advanced security features, consider a prepaid plan.

For a monthly charge of 7$, you will get 5 GB of mail storage, 5 TB of cloud storage, Teams video calling, and desktop versions of Microsoft Office. The price may seem higher than other popular email domains, but the end benefits of cloud storage and office apps are great.

ProtonMail

Landing page of Proton Mail

Source: WHSR

ProtonMail is one of the top email providers, known for its advanced privacy and security features. It offers intuitive navigation and a variety of tools, such as:

  • Importing other email service inbox
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Proton VPN access even
  • Proton’s cloud storage (500MB for free users)

To start a free email account with ProtonMail, just sign in with a username and a password.

The disadvantage of using a free ProtonMail account is a small storage space limit. However, you can increase the space capacity for only 5$ per month. Switching to a prepaid plan will also get you 15 GB of storage, 15 email addresses, and unlimited labels and filters.

Learn from the Best at MailCon on July 28th, 2024 in New York

The world’s biggest email and performance marketing conference MailCon is back with a long-awaited one-day show on July 28th in New York City.

Every attendee will get:

  • Email marketing sessions reinforced with panels and workshops
  • Speaking and exhibition opportunities
  • Networking with world-class email marketing experts

Get your tickets before it sells out! 

For those new, here’s more about MailCon:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gmail the best free email service provider?

Each business requires its own ESP type. Gmail is the most popular ESP nowadays. However, you should not stick to the popularity but to the functionality of a specific ESP. Consider the needs of your business when selecting the best email service to suit your marketing strategy.

Should I pay for an ESP?

It depends. Consider your business requirements and the scale on which your company operates. If your subscriber list exceeds 50,000, you most likely will have to pay service providers.

What is the average price for an email service provider?

The price of email services depends on the email list size. it ranges from 0-99$ per month for a list of 5,000 subscribers. However, if you have more than 50,000 subscribers, be ready to pay up to 270$

How to find a good ESP?

A simple Google search will help you compare the core features of different ESPs and make an informed decision. Alternatively, you can hire a marketing consultant to help you choose the best email provider.

About the author

MailCon
MailCon

Owned and operated by Phonexa, MailCon is a global community that connects marketing professionals with the latest technology, trends, and strategies in email marketing, marketing automation, mobile and omnichannel marketing. Our fantastic team of content writers contribute to this blog with inspiration from the incredible community of marketers we are privileged to host.

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