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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Email is one of the most effective tools that a business can use to promote their product or service. With this in mind, it's important that your email service provider, or ESP, is fit for the job you want it to do. There are so many different providers on the Internet that it's hard to know which one is right for your business.

The biggest factor to consider is whether you choose a provider with a public or private IP address. An IP address is a unique code that identifies where data is sent from. If your ESP shares an IP address with a number of users, one of those users could send mail that's seen as spam and have the IP address 'blacklisted'.

This means that any emails you send from your shared IP address could be blocked by spam filters because of someone else's actions and not get delivered to your potential customer. Be in control of your business with a private IP address only you have access to.

Next, look how much storage space the email service provider is giving you. Some will limit the amount of messages you send out a month and the amount of data you receive in your inbox. You need to make sure you won't ever reach your limit or you won't be able to contact your customers. Even worse, you might not be able to receive an email from a customer if your inbox is full. Also think about your options if your business expands. Does the ESP you are with offer upgrades to fit your new needs?

In email marketing
, it's good to know how effective your messages are in making a reader act on what they've read. Choose an ESP that offers statistics to measure the success of your emails and consider any improvements. Your ESP could gather statistics on how many people have opened your email and also how many have clicked on the hyperlinks within that email.

A good bonus feature to look out for is if your ESP allows you to use functions in their emails. Functions allow you to add data personal to your customer from your database into the email. For example, "Hey [user name], check our summer offers", could grab your user's attention as reassure them that it isn't a spam message.

Before you agree to any contract with your ESP, make sure they have a support service that can help you when you have any problems. Make sure you can always be in contact with your customers by choosing an email service provider with a number of different ways to get support. Look for online and phone support as a minimum requirement when choosing your ESP.

Finally see if your email service provider will give you a free trial. With all of these things mentioned above, it's easier to see if the service provider suits your business by giving them a try. 


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