The foundation of successful email campaigns are made with the ESP you partner with.
You depend on your ESP to deliver, both for the email fundamentals you use and the performance you need.
Your ESP, one of the most critical parts of your marketing strategy is also one of the most critical parts of your marketing budget.
Just what is the core function of an Email Service Provider – the core functionality of an ESP is to send emails. If your ESP integrates with other applications to do “everything” most likely you are connected to 3rd party software. These partnerships have developed between companies to enhance the ESP experience, such as Magento, an e-commerce platform integrated with well know email providers.
Most of us use E-commerce, which seems to be the driving force for system integration. E-commerce users want their customer to see account details, check what’s in stock, delivery dates, return policies and so forth. They want it convenient for the customer. They want to receive and give correct information in a secure, safe environment.
Most businesses believe, to make the online shopping experience easier, the customer database should be accessible, right from the web; ideally a simple gateway to all and any customer information. Not only Information, but mechanizes, that allows programs to capture customers buying habits, sales frequency and referrals, and in turn use this information to send an email when needed. An integrated system.
For complete customer access using integrated software, databases need to be available to various systems, and each one must be secure. Trusting that your vendor, such as an ESP that integrated with an e-commerce system, will have the necessary security in place, is risk businesses are taking.
E-commerce customer can be your email customers without integration: the e-commerce software updates when needed and the ESP takes care of their own security.
Easy, safe and secure without integration and just as seamless to the customer – and you are less vulnerable to breaches.
Software hackers normally attack the weakest point in your software. Vulnerabilities can hide anywhere: careless users, the software itself; networks, ISP’s partners, vendor systems, vendor access and so forth. When you use an ESP with an integrated system, on their end their IT department probably needed to grow, which adds expenses that trickles down to the user. Security may seem good, but remember, a hacker only needs to get it right once.
Remember these breeches? Did integrated systems play a part?
- PayPal accounts affected – 1.6 million customers
- Henry Ford Health Systems – account affected ’20,000
- Equifax – patch exploited
- Adult Friend Finder
- Target Stores
- JP Morgan Chase
- US Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- Sony’s PlayStation Network
- RSA Security
- Hartland Payment System
- Home Depot
- Verizon: Affected 3 billion users
If your ESP, is part of an online integrated system, what would you do when something happens along the way – (misconfiguration, exposed passwords, hacker, glitch) that could have a domino effect on your entire business? And then you have your innocent user, the one who is a victim of phishing email – who inevitability gives away their password, downloads ransomware and sends you a legit email with that attached as part of a comment to an order they placed. How many systems are affected then?
Realizing that not every customer will need every element you offer, using one platform for all services may also increase your licensing per user expense. Those additional costs don’t always translate into a better overall system. You may find limited email list features, features you may like and use more often are no longer available.
Reduced features are only one of the biggest drawbacks of integrated software. Integrated software pages are shown to be less powerful when compared to stand alone applications. And yes they characteristically have fewer features compared to their specialized feature rich counterparts.
Integrated software usually has weak areas: you may have an excellent e-commerce solution but a mediocre list management program.
When integrating different programs and applications, software developers do not tend to specialize in one area. For example, there may be a company working on an upgrade in e-commerce shopping cart, while the other, shopping cart abandonment will be upgraded and tested at a later date. And then there’s patches and continual security issues that are a concern in the overall product offering.
If you are using an ESP integrated with your favorite e-commerce package ask yourself, how do the cost analysis of functionally compare to using a traditional ESP to manage your email lists and the integrated platform?
As stated, the core functionality of ESPs is to send emails. With every function beyond that, brands have third-party options. And the majority of brands take advantage of supplemental software to improve their email creation process without integration.
Expecting your ESP to deliver all the functionality you need to plan, create, test, send and analyze the performance of your emails is realistic with Dundee Internet. Expecting your ESP to integrate and work smoothly with your accounting software, e-commerce, ordering system and website, is not.
Trust your ESP and find the one that works for you that does their job well.
Dundee Internet offers exceptional email management tools: not new, they were always there –