Email Service Providers (ESP) generally offer their services based on one of three models. In order to determine which will be the best solution for your individual situation, you need to determine how you will be using these services, including:
- Number of Addresses: How many email addresses do you currently have permission to use? How many additional addresses will you reasonably gather over then next year or two? Our experience with retailers, for example, is that by simply asking your customers for their email address at the time of a purchase, or by having a simple form at the checkout area, you can reasonably add 2,000 additional email addresses to your list each year.
- Frequency: How often will you be sending out emails messages to the group? Once per week or every day may be too many, but once per quarter or twice per year may be too few to keep your products and services “top-of-mind”. A good gauge that you are sending too many is to watch your unsubscribe rate.
- Segmentation of List(s): Will you be targeting your email messages, or simply sending each broadcast email message to the entire group? By matching your messages to the specific interests or needs of your clients, you will earn higher open rates and reduce your unsubscribes and increase your sales. We evn know and use a provider that can send to a radius of x miles around a zipcode!
This will give you a good idea as to the quantity of email you need to buy.
ESPs generally offer their services in three different ways:
- Based on Total Number of Addresses: Your rate depends upon the number of addresses stored on their servers, regardless of how often you use their services. There is no limit to the number of emails you can send each month. This is often best for mailers with lower numbers of email addresses who send with a high frequency.
- Rate Based Upon Number of Monthly Email Messages: Your monthly rate will provide you email credits to be used with each message. Your requirement can be calculated by number of emails campaigns in a month times the number of addresses used for each campaign. This is often best for those with a high number of total email addresses, but who segment their lists and send focused and targeted email messages.
- Per Email Pricing: This “pay-as-you-go” schedule is best for infrequent mailers. Paying a monthly retainer for unused messages will make your cost per message extremely high overall.
Only by determining your expected usage, and calculating your net individual per email message costs will you be able to figure out which is the best plan for you.
We are familiar with most of the many major ESPs. Let us help you determine which plan is right for you. If you represent a non-profit, ask us about how you can do your email campaigns without any messaging costs!