Litmus' 2018 State of Email Service Providers

A marketer’s email service provider is the cornerstone of their email program. It’s their most critical tool and a major budget item.

But frustrations run high. Marketers told Litmus that limitations with their ESP was third on their list of biggest challenges for 2018. And 16% of brands said that changing ESPs was on their list of email marketing priorities for 2018.

Based on our State of Email Survey of 3,000 marketers, our first-ever State of Email Service Providers report takes a detailed look at the ESP marketplace to better understand the pace of consolidation in the industry and its causes; the most popular ESPs across various sectors; and the functionality provided by ESPs.

Some of the key findings from the State of Email Service Providers include:

  • At the current rate of consolidation, the top 10 email service providers will control more than two-thirds of the overall market by the end of 2019.
  • The percentage of brands using a homegrown email platform has fallen 44% over the past two years to just 6%.
  • The most popular ESPs can vary considerably when looking across geography, company size, industry vertical, and more.
  • Third-party tools that supplement ESP functionality have a huge impact on ESP satisfaction.

This 26-page report analyzes and explores each of these findings and much more, with over 20 charts providing data-based evidence of current ESP trends. Use the results to better understand the marketplace and your options, as well as the ways that you can boost the functionality of your current ESP.

>>Download the free report

A Snapshot of the Email Service Provider Landscape

While there are clear market share leaders in the email service provider industry, brands still have a long list of ESPs from which to choose. How long? Respondents to Litmus’ 2018 State of Email Survey mentioned more than 240 ESPs when asked which platforms they use to send marketing emails.

Twenty email service providers were used by at least 1% of respondents. In this post, we list those in order of popularity among our respondents, all well as the other 220+ ESPs.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Last Word on June 2018

The Last WordA roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & reports

California passes landmark privacy legislation (IAPP)

Yahoo Mail aims at emerging markets and casual users, launches versions for mobile web and Android Go (TechCrunch)

GDPR Aftershocks: What Happened to Deliverability? (ClickDimensions)

4 Common but Serious Email RFP Mistakes (Only Influencers)

A Gentle Nudge: How Email Drives Webinar Attendance (MediaPost)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Pier 1 Imports, 6/7 – For when Dad says, “Don’t get me anything.”
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/4 – Here’s what we’re getting Dad
Michaels, 6/17 – Last-Minute Gifts for Dad are a Snap with Same-Day Pick Up!
Anthropologie, 6/25 – These outfits? Cue the fireworks.
Gap, 6/13 – Use code GETMORE and do just that (everything’s included)
West Elm, 6/13 – Because you deserve it: Complimentary shipping with code HUMPDAY
RH, 6/17 – The Maxwell Sofa Collection. Choose from 180 Fabrics & 65 Leathers
White House Black Market, 6/17 – TWO Looks in ONE Dress
Petco, 6/2 – Calling all smarty cats…this one’s fur you!
Hayneedle, 6/4 – Dining out? We’re in.
Southwest, 6/12 – Memories on sale now.
Banana Republic, 6/17 – “Chic in 60 seconds.”
Crutchfield, 6/17 – Expert advice meets awesome 4th of July deals
Aeropostale, 6/20 – Swim + Shorts = Beach Ready
Miracle-Gro, 6/7 – The Best “Mulch Hack” for Summer
Victoria’s Secret, 6/24 – How to show off your shoulders this summer
Barneys New York, 6/24 – The 5 Swimsuit Trends to Know
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/20 – Here come the weddings: perfect picks for every event
Jetsetter, 6/30 – What’s Your Travel Style?
Samuel Adams, 6/7 – Like Whiskey? Give us your thoughts on our collaboration with Boston Harbor Distillery
Gilt, 6/2 – #Instaworthy: New Summer Arrivals
Barneys New York, 6/20 – 8 Reasons to Listen to This Podcast

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Faster Is Rarely Better When It Comes to Email Creation Process Tasks

Webinar Recording and Q&A: Email Workflows that Work

The Under-Staffing of Email Marketing Teams: 4 Faulty Justifications

The Last Word on May 2018

Holistic Email Metrics Matrix: Are you seeing the whole picture?

Email analytics are powerful… and also dangerous. Used correctly, analytics can inform both wise strategic decisions and smart tactical improvements. Used incorrectly, analytics give you complete confidence to make bad decisions.

Unfortunately, there are lots of ways to reach the wrong conclusions with analytics, including:

  • Being overly focused on campaign metrics like opens and clicks, and failing to look at performance over time
  • Not recognizing the influence of your email marketing efforts on the performance of other channels like direct mail and social media
  • Focusing too much on company-centric metrics like email marketing revenue and not enough on metrics that indicate how subscribers and inbox providers feel about your emails

All three of those are symptoms of not seeing the big picture when it comes to email marketing metrics. Our Holistic Email Metrics Matrix provides that perspective.

>> Read the entire post on the Litmus blog

CCPA: What Marketers Need to Know about the California Consumer Privacy Act

Driven by the continued rise in consumer data breaches and growing privacy concerns, the State of California has passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The law will significantly strengthen privacy in the U.S. when it goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

The law is part of a global trend toward stronger privacy protections and greater data transparency, of which the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are a part. However, the CCPA makes little mention of email and doesn’t mention permission at all.

A separate bill still under consideration in California, AB-2546, would address strengthening anti-spam laws and moving California—and in effect the rest of America—away from the opt-out marketing permission standard established by CAN-SPAM and putting it more in sync with international anti-spam laws.

The CCPA focuses exclusively on data collection and privacy, and is roughly in line with the provisions of GDPR on those issues. The law explicitly mentions that it’s in response to the misappropriation of Facebook data of at least 87 million people by Cambridge Analytica.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

Faster Is Rarely Better When It Comes to Email Creation Process

Creating an email campaign is complicated, taking about two weeks on average from start to finish, according to Litmus’ 2018 State of Email Workflows report. Brands with 500 or more employees take even longer, dedicating 54% more time on average than smaller companies on each of their emails.

Hours—sometimes many hours—are spent on each of the eight stages that are part of the typical email creation process:

  1. Email conception & planning
  2. Copywriting
  3. Graphics & design
  4. Coding & development
  5. Data logic and setting up in email service provider
  6. Testing & troubleshooting
  7. Reviews & approvals
  8. Post-send analytics & analysis

Marketers who describe their email programs as successful spend more time on every facet of email production compared to those at less successful programs. The only exception is reviews and approvals, which both groups spend the same amount of time on.

Let’s explore that one exception—email reviews and approvals—because it strikes us that this stage is different from others. How so? Well, it seems exceptionally inefficient.

>> Read the entire post on the Litmus blog

Email Workflows that Work webinar

Your workflow is an expression of the investment you make in every email—and is itself a predictor of email program success. Most brands spend weeks planning and executing each email they produce. But what’s the secret to building a workflow that enables your team to get higher-quality emails out the door, faster?

In this webinar, Litmus Community & Product Evangelist Jason Rodriguez and I dive into the key findings of Litmus’ third annual State of Email Workflows report and break down the top 5 opportunities to improve your email workflow.

Along the way, we share details into how Litmus has acted on each of these opportunities, making changes to its own email workflow.

>> Watch the recording, download the slides, and read the Q&A on the Litmus blog

Email Workflows that Work webinar

Creating a high-performing email takes time and the right resources. Most brands spend weeks planning and executing each email they produce. But what’s the secret to building a workflow that enables your team to get higher-quality emails out the door, faster?

Using insights from the largest email industry survey of its kind, Litmus’ third annual State of Email Workflows report takes a detailed look at how email teams tackle every stage of the email creation process—from planning and building to quality assurance and sending.

In this webinar, Jason Rodriguez and I dive into the report’s key findings and break down the top 5 opportunities to improve your email workflow that you can put into practice immediately. You’ll learn…

  • How email teams leverage project management software and email briefs to keep email campaigns on track
  • Why collecting feedback and approvals is the largest drain on time in the email process—and how you can streamline this step in the workflow
  • Why more brands are embracing modular design, and how this design approach can reduce your production time
  • And more!

Email Workflows that Work: 5 Trends to Help You Create Better Emails Faster
June 21, 2018
1pm ET / 10am PT / 5pm GMT

Your presenters:
Chad S. White, Research Director, Litmus
Jason Rodriguez, Community and Product Evangelist, Litmus

Can’t make it on June 21? Don’t worry. Register and you’ll receive the recording of the webinar.

>> Register for the free webinar

4 Faulty Justifications for Under-Resourcing Email Marketing Teams

Insufficient staffing and resourcing are major, persistent problems in the email marketing industry. Email marketers told Litmus that insufficient staffing was No. 2 on their list of the biggest email marketing challenges of 2018. They also told us that adding new staff and expanding their use of agencies and freelancers was at the bottom of their list of email marketing priorities for 2018.

The failure to address what is clearly a common problem may be because of several misconceptions and blocking issues. Here are some common ones:

Everyone is under-resourced, so this isn’t actually a problem. It’s just whining.

Lean programs are successful programs. It forces teams to get creative.

We’ve had trouble attracting full-time employees to work on our email team. We’ll just have to make do with the staff we have.

We don’t have time to do the research required to determine the best way to resource our email marketing team.

We tackle each of those, sharing research on why those shouldn’t be holding your program back.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Last Word on May 2018

The Last WordA roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & reports

After GDPR, here come the Unintended Consequences (MarTech Today)

Browse abandonment email test results (ZettaSphere)

Privacy Commissioner issues new guidance to help address consent challenges in the digital age (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)

The New Rules of Email Subscriber Acquisition (Only Influencers)

Should big tech companies like Facebook be broken up? (Recode)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

GoDaddy, 5/3 — It’s World Password Day. Fire up a fresh one.
Ann Taylor, 5/1 – Mother’s Day Is May 13th
Vera Bradley, 5/2 – See what the stork brought: Mother’s Day gifts for the new mom!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 5/1 – The gift of fab: perfect presents for her
UncommonGoods, 5/7 – 25 Ways to Thank Mom
Hayneedle, 5/13 – Mothers, we appreciate you.
ModCloth, 5/4 – The feline awakens
Lego Shop, 5/4 – May the 4th starts… NOW!
Applebee’s, 5/5 – Two Neighborhood Drinks for Cinco!
HP, 5/13 – It’s celebration season!
Godiva Chocolatier, 5/18 – Diplomas don’t happen without them
Chili’s, 5/27 – Celebrate National Burger Day with the Burger Experts.
Home Depot, 5/28 – Honoring the Fallen. Serving Their Families.
American Red Cross, 5/31 – Help us honor America’s heroes
FansEdge, 5/31 — $TBT Fathers Day Retro Gear. Gift Him Memories.
Barneys New York, 5/2 – Here Comes the Sun (And New Arrivals)
Anthropologie, 5/17 – Oh how we’ve missed you, shorts.
Banana Republic, 5/20 – Tailored athleisure? Game changer.
Victoria’s Secret, 5/31 – Because Summer layers are totally a thing.
Target, 5/5 – Patio: Open & score a promo code for EXTRA savings on SALE stuff.
Target, 5/12 – Want a Pinterest-worthy patio for less? Up to 25% off + 10% off
Pier 1 Imports, 5/31 – Drinks by the pool or dinner on the patio?
Miracle-Gro, 5/31 – Flea, Tick & Mosquito-Related Illnesses Rising, CDC Reports
Kate Spade, 5/12 – ready for the beach?
Saks Fifth Avenue, 5/14 – Summer weddings decoded
Hayneedle, 5/16 – Room to grow: Try vertical gardening!
Epicurious, 5/5 – The best canned tuna is…
Hayneedle, 5/18 – Giveaway + This Old House’s Charleston Home Renovation.
Jetsetter, 5/20 – 11 Places to See Before It’s Too Late
ModCloth, 5/14 – Your recently restocked faves come in every shade.
Michaels Weddings, 5/20 – Introducing michaelsweddings.com: Your New DIY Wedding Headquarters

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Email List Validation: 11 Expert Predictions About AI

A Snapshot of an Email Team

Email List Validation: 9 Expert Marketers Share Their Thoughts on the GDPR

Coming 1-Year Anniversary of Email Marketing Rules’ 3rd Edition

The Last Word on April 2018

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