How to Choose an Email Marketing Company for SMBs

Having an email service provider (ESP) can take your email marketing for your small business to another notch. But for it to happen, you’ve got to choose the right ESP. Instead of naming all ESPs and giving you all their features, we will discuss what you should be looking for when searching for an ESP.

Answering the following questions will help you determine the type of email marketing business campaign you need. You can then use these answers to determine the type of ESP you need for your business.

1. Who is your audience?

Before deciding on your email service provider for your small business, you need to decide on who you’re marketing to.

How large is your email list?
Will you need help growing your email list?
How well do you know your audience, and do you plan to treat them the same?

The onboarding process is likely to be a difference, depending on how you plan to communicate with your subscribers. Demographics can shape your email marketing campaigns and dictate the tools you’ll need.

2. What kind of content would you like to send them?

Now that you know who your audience is, you’ll need to decide what kind of content you want to send them. When choosing an ESP for your SMB, you need the one that supports your email marketing needs and customization needs.

For instance, do you plan on sending the same content for your business, or do you want to personalize the texts? If you were to send brink-and mortal industry business owners, statistic emails would likely be for everyone (like nationwide sales). Customized email content would be personalized for let’s say New York businesses. The latter could be about promotions and local sales in Manhattan stores.

Also, decide whether you’ll need your ESP to be integrated with a CRM. For example, do you need subscribers to receive birthday wishes? Depending on the needs of your SMB, do you need integrated auto-responders or lifecycle capabilities?
Lifecycle emails are based on the users at different milestones in your business. This can be a coupon code for the subscribers who just purchased a product for the first time, or a “We want you back “email for customers who aren’t buying from you anymore. Certain actions trigger Auto-responders, for example, cart abandonment.

3. How often (and when) do you want to send emails?

For email marketing, many ESPs are charged in cost per thousand emails sent (CPM). When deciding how much is reasonable, calculate the amount you plan on getting from every email. Small businesses love email marketing because it’s consistent, reliable, has high ROI and highly scalable when done right.

So to answer “when” remember to consider the rate at which you plan to grow your list.

4. Why are you emailing your subscribers?

The goals every SMB has in their email marketing campaigns are different. For instance, your business could be doing great but has a poor social media presence.

In this case, you might decide to do an email marketing campaign to increase your social media following. If this is your case, you’d need an ESP that has social media share buttons. As a result, your engagement level increases and leads to a huge following. Remember your “Why” is basically your guide on running your email campaigns.

5. How much support does your small business need from the ESP?

All email service providers have different support features. Some are basic packages, while others have advanced options.

The amount of support you need depends on how sophisticated your campaigns are.

Take Away

Email marketing is a jackpot for small businesses. It comes with multiple benefits at a very cost-effective rate. With that said, to make the email campaigns easier and more effective, it’s crucial to have the right ESP.
Answer the above questions and outline the features you need your ESP to have, before choosing one.