6 steps to take when choosing a B2B Email Service Provider
With so many ESPs out there, how do you know which B2B email service provider is right for you? When making a purchase that can affect your marketing for months, you need to do your research and gather some key information before you can make an informed decision.
Step 1: Find the ESPs that are good value for money
When comparing email providers, ask yourself, is this ESP value for money? We don’t just mean is it cheap and within budget. Look at the overall scope of the product. If they do charge more, do you get more for your money? If they are significantly cheaper – what aspects are they lacking? Can you afford to go without these? Determine what ROI you want to see from your email service provider and see which ESP is best suited to help you achieve this.
Step 2: Look at how simple their email templates are
At the end of the day, you want an ESP you can use. If you have no HTML experience, for example, you probably want a service that doesn’t require that from you. If the systems you are looking at are slightly more sophisticated, you might want an email service provider that offers you a dedicated account manager and support. Think about the architecture of an outstanding email design. Now think about what ESP is going to help you achieve that.
Step 3: Find a B2B email service provider that offers granular segmentation
Any good B2B email service provider will allow you to segment your email groups as you need to. Segmentation is key to personalising your email campaigns. If they were really clever, the ESP would integrate into your CRM so that you could segment your CRM data and email them according to their killer values, lead score or buying behaviours.
Some providers will give you the opportunity to use purchased data lists to reach more potential prospects than originally intended, which is a plus, but will ultimately go out of use once the GDPR comes into force. Make the most of it while you can!
Step 4: Find a provider that offers dynamic content
As we said, personalisation is key to B2B email marketers performing in 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with dynamic content, this is well worth researching as you look for the perfect ESP. By now we all know that personalisation engages far more contacts than general, batch-sent emails. Dynamic content means that sections of your emails can adapt to what your leads have engaged with previously to give a more enticing offer. Teaming this with strong workflows can make for the ultimate dynamic duo – pardon the pun.
Step 5: Look for an ESP that offers split testing
You want a provider that will allow you A/B split test. This will allow you to narrow down the best parts of different email designs until your final campaign is flawless. The importance of A/B testing is that you can test any and every part of your emails so that you can perfect your campaigns without any guess work. You want an ESP which will allow you to do this, as it will greatly benefit your email marketing. We couldn’t stress the importance of this step enough!
Step 6: Get an email service provider that will feed into your other marketing activities
A B2B email service provider such as CommuniGator, who use lead generation software alongside their email platform, can combine different aspects of each to give you the best solution possible. GatorLeads, for example, can identify the individuals visiting your website and feed them into whichever GatorMail campaign they suit best. Again, with strong workflows, this can help you to automate a highly effective marketing campaign as well as a nurturing campaign, giving yourself and your team time to focus on social media or events.
There’s a lot to look into with an email service provider, and this isn’t even everything you need to know. Think of what you want and need from a provider before you start looking so that you can choose a company that’s best suited to your marketing strategy.