An Email Service Provider, commonly referred to as an ESP, is the technology a business employs to manage and deliver email marketing communications. These solutions are generally hosted on servers and also operate the necessary hardware and/or software to deliver bulk emails.
The exact scope of what an Email Service Provider offers is quite broad, but at a minimum, they allow for the maintenance and management of email lists for opt-in users, and sending of emails to those lists. Additional features of an ESP may include the capabilities to segment email contact lists, build email templates, as well as analyze and track email campaign performance.
An Email Service Provider is necessary for any business looking to successfully implement a comprehensive email marketing program, but there are also additional tools and technologies which can be used in conjunction with an ESP to enhance email marketing efforts. These tools allow you to use dynamic content to automatically deliver relevant communications to each recipient, insert personalized content and product recommendations, obtain more advanced data and analytics, and more.