More and more marketers turning to ESPs for e-mail

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Working with an e-mail service provider as opposed to an in-house e-mail system can save marketers money, according to a new study by Jupiter Research.

The study looked at marketers who use a hosted provider for e-mail marketing services and those that choose to deploy e-mail in-house, and found that the majority of marketers are working with ESPs.

"I think that more marketers are choosing to outsource to an ESP because they have the platforms in place," said David Daniels, analyst at Jupiter Research. "They also have a staff that can think about strategic issues such as deliverability and how to deal with rich media and content."

According to Daniels, some marketers, especially online travel sites such as Travelocity, have incorporated e-mail into their business models.

"If you look at a company like Netfilx or Ticketmaster, e-mail is so incorporated into their way of doing business, more than just a way to broadcast multichannel marketing," he added. "So it makes sense for them to work with an ESP who can deal with e-mail issues."

Daniels added that centralizing e-mail communications helps a business organize and build a good reputation, especially when various departments within an organization are using e-mail to market.

Surprisingly, working with an ESP can be much more affordable not just in terms of the centralization, but in terms of dollars. Most marketers that deploy e-mail in-house are spending about $100,000 a year on the executives who manage e-mail marketing. This is more than those who work with ESPs spend in an annual budget for e-mail services. But, money isn't everything.

"Marketers looking for an ESP should not be swayed by rates, but should look at the quality of the ESP and their references," Daniels added.

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