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What is an ESP?

team meeting email marketing

Email service providers, or ESPs, are excellent tools for businesses looking to connect with their customers via email. These tools offer you a great way to manage your outreach as well as allow you to deliver specific information, videos, and added value content that only your brand can generate for customers. They can also give you the ability to craft effective email campaigns for marketing purposes that offer branded coupons, lead magnets, and personalized outreach to targeted audience segments. You can schedule campaigns, track insights and engagements, and more with an ESP.

Automating your marketing outreach to be sent out at the optimal times for each time zone your customers live in is one benefit of using an ESP. You will be given targeted audience data to help you to craft email marketing campaigns that can reach many different kinds of customers. Using an ESP can help target demographics interested in your brand and your market space.

If you want to learn more about how to use an email service provider to benefit your brand, read on!

What is an ESP?

An ESP is an email service provider for email marketing management. This tool handles everything from sending scheduled emails to tracking data related to the opening of emails and engagement. You will often receive email templates, email campaign data, and more within your ESP. This kind of email marketing tool can offer you many of the data tracking tools that you need to generate really effective email marketing campaigns with ease.

You should spend time running their business, not managing emails all day long. This is the biggest benefit of an ESP. It will give you all that’s needed to make your email marketing campaigns effective and simple to deliver.


Why do enterprise marketing teams use ESPs?

Enterprise marketing teams use ESPs because they allow the data created by their email campaigns to be tracked. They also use them to respond to online outreach, offer coupons, added value offerings, and lead magnets. This gives you the ability to identify, segment, qualify, and nurture your target audience with ease. 

ESPs provide a level of customization through plugins and extensions that are impossible to achieve with a more basic email marketing platform. Enterprise marketing teams typically require customer reporting, campaigns, and setup. From automated marketing campaigns to custom nurture sequences to email compliance, your email service provider can help your team craft effective communication that sends the right message at just the right time.


What is an ESP most effective at?

An email service provider will help you and your team make quality email marketing campaigns from start to finish. You can craft scheduled email campaigns. You can also look at data related to interactions with the emails that you have sent. In addition, you can compare A/B email campaigns to see which are performing the best for your needs. Segmenting your contacts based on time zone, account, lead score or any other parameter can make all the difference between outreach that is effective and outreach that is sent right to the spam folder. This is one major benefit of using an ESP for your business marketing needs.


What do ESPs struggle with?

ESPs cannot do all of the work for your email marketing needs, however. There are still some parts of the email marketing process that need to be done by a marketing team. 

You will need to pay attention to how each email is created. The creation process is the hardest part of generating effective emails that will spark engagement activities. The right combination of headlines, images, and calls to action still need to be crafted with a human touch.

ESPs can also offer up lots of templates for your use, but you have to be careful not to use templates that look boring or tired. Many of these templates need quite a bit of dressing up to avoid your email outreach from being connected with spam email and sent to the junk folder.

Email templates are one area in particular that most ESPs struggle with. While there’s a lot that ESPs do well, across the board you’ll find their templates are poorly designed, often out of date, and limited in scope. 

Stensul’s email creation platform was created to solve this exact problem. Not only does Stensul give you more range in terms of email templates, but it allows your entire email creation team to collaborate seamlessly on your next campaign. Once emails are designed, written, and optimized, you can easily and securely upload emails to an ESP with a click of the mouse.


Pros and Cons of the 3 Major ESPs

1. Marketo (owned by Adobe)

Marketo is designed to help with account-level management. You can also target all kinds of audiences with ease with this tool on your side. Marketo is easy to use and can be a good choice for all levels of email marketing use.


  • Easy to learn to use
  • Offers great templates
  • Great personalized ads and reminders
  • Great customer interface


  • Data tracking could be better
  • Custom options are somewhat limited
  • Segmenting tools can take some practice to use


2. Eloqua (Owned by Oracle)

Eloqua is made for B2B use but it can work for all kinds of branding outreach for different business types. This is the right choice if you want your emails to be optimized for every kind of device.


  • Easy to use
  • Offers lots of great template customization
  • Simple navigation
  • Data management is easy


  • Product can run slowly and have downtimes
  • The knowledge articles for some features could be more detailed
  • Cannot add videos to emails


3. Pardot (Owned by Salesforce)

Pardot is meant to be focused on generating leads and doing outreach to new consumers. Converting outreach to engagement and conversion is a key benefit of this system.


  • Simple interface
  • Great integration
  • Easy to scale business use
  • Build great landing pages


  • Needs some folder customization options
  • Data reporting could be better
  • Sometimes limits your customization


Email Marketing Can Do Big Things For Your Brand

An ESP will take care of outreach to all kinds of people who need to engage with your brand. Your growing business can easily scale to a larger business with the help of this kind of system. You will be able to create custom fields and landing pages as well as send out effective emails to subscribers that might have forgotten about your brand.

Email creation doesn’t have to be difficult for you and your marketing team. Stensul is made to work with all leading ESP/MAPs to allow your team to collaborate along every step of the process from design, to copywriting, to review and approvals, to marketing ops, and deployment. Stensul is the collaborative platform for email creation. It lets you create better emails faster, leading to less wasted effort and better results for your business.

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