Definition: Email Service Provider [ESP]

In marketing, an Email Service Provider (or ESP) is a company that offers email marketing services. The main difference between an ESP and an email client is that an Email Service Provider allows a much larger quantity of email to be sent for marketing purposes.

Basic functionalities of an ESP include:

  • email templates
  • subscriber list management
  • message distribution
  • statistics and reports

Some Email Service Providers also offer advanced functions such as message automation, responsive layout, advanced list maintenance, and more.


What are the benefits of using ESP?

Some benefits of using ESP include:


1. Protect you from being blacklisted.

When emails are sent in bulk, you are at risk of being marked as a spammer. Major ISPs will block your entire company domain from sending any future email if you are identified as a spammer and that will cause interruption to your email marketing campaigns. One of the biggest advantages of using an ESP is that it will prevent you from facing these types of problems.


2. Help you stay in compliance with email regulations

Another benefit of using Email Service Provider is that it helps you stay in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, an American law that sets rules for commercial email. Most ESPs are in compliance with such email regulation and will help prevent you from facing any CAN-SPAM Act related violations and penalties.


3. Assist in subscriber list management

Email Service Providers give you tools to manage your mailing list automatically. When people subscribe or unsubscribe to your newsletter, the tool will help update your mailing list. Moreover, some ESPs offer functions that can segment your subscribers to better assist your email marketing campaign.



4. Provide campaign tracking and analytics

Another benefit of using an Email Service Provider is that it will help you analyze the overall performance of your email marketing campaign through its tracking and analytics tools. You will be shown the percentage of subscribers that opened, forwarded, clicked, or exited your marketing messages.

When emailing from your own email address, bounces can be particularly difficult to address. ESPs will group bounces into different categories, and make them easier to understand (and fix).


5. Provide creative templates

Most ESPs provide visually appealing templates for you to craft email campaigns that will get your subscribers’ attention. This will save you both time and work.


Top Free Email Service Providers

Here are some of the top free email service providers to get you started:

  1. Sendinblue
  2. ConvertKit
  3. MailChimp
  4. AWeber
  5. MailerLite


Synonyms for Email Service Provider

Email Marketing Platform. Email Marketing Service Provider


SummaryEmail Service Provider Definition

Glossary Index

About Tiffany Liem

Tiffany Liem is a digital marketing specialist who creates effective digital marketing strategies that help businesses find new customers. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with an MS in Management and BBA in Marketing.