ESP VS Marketing Automation Software

Home / Ideas / Marketing Automation vs. Email Service Provider (ESP)

March 21st, 2022

Marketing Automation vs. Email Service Provider (ESP)

Let’s jump right in! Email marketing is a necessity for any business looking to engage with its customers and there are a number of platforms that can be used to facilitate this strategy. But which one is right for you?

Maybe you are thinking that Mailchimp or Constant Contact is going to give you the best bang for your buck… but have you thought about functionality?

Email Service Providers (ESP)

Email Service Providers (ESP) are programs that allow users to create lists and send emails to those lists. ESPs allow you to upload contacts, design emails and schedule email blasts. Rinse and repeat. You will get a few KPIs in your analytics, like open rate and click rate, but nothing too complex.

So what should you use when you want to go beyond these capabilities? Maybe you are ready to take your email campaigns a step further.

Enter marketing automation! It is a common misconception that marketing automation software and email marketing software platforms have more similarities than they do differences… FALSE. It is true that they both will allow you to send emails… but that is (essentially) where it ends!

Marketing Automation

You may have guessed it by now, but I am a BIG fan of marketing automation software and the immense amount of functionalities that they provide. Not only do they allow you to send emails, track engagement, build landing pages and schedule social media they also provide you with actionable insights into your audience’s behavior. These insights allow you to better optimize your marketing efforts from real-world data.

Often marketing automation software comes with a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) but that’s a story for a different day.

ESP vs. Marketing Automation

There are a number of talking points that we could cover here. I could write paragraph after paragraph about the benefits of leveling up your email software to a more all-encompassing option. Instead of making you read through that… the Kinetic design team opted to make a graphic that outlines the key differences of ESP and marketing automation software — enjoy!

Visual representation of the key differences between Marketing Automation and Email Service Providers
This post was originally published October 13, 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.