Choosing a right email marketing infrastructure for your type of business is a crucial decision that will affect your operational costs, infrastructure costs, performance and delivery and will ultimately decide on the overall success of your business in the long run.
The options that are available today to choose from are:
Email Service Providers (ESP)
There are multiple ESPs available in the market. They provide email marketing services which include many other features and functionalities other than sending the email message, like campaign management, segmentation, etc. These ESPs offer their services as SaaS solutions (Software as a Service). ESPs include Mailchimp, Aweber, Ariticmail and so on.
Cloud SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) Relays
These entities provide services of sending email messages but lack other essential features required successfully to carry out a marketing campaign like campaign management tools, insights into email delivery reports, etc. These too are cloud-based (SaaS) services. SMTP Relays include Amazon SES, Mandrill, SendGrid, MailGun and so on.
On-Premise MTAs (Mail Transfer Agent)
These are the On-Premise software solutions which are located at the organization’s premises and provide services for sending email messages. Like SMTP Relays, these solutions also lack a front end to manage features for a marketing campaign. On-Premise MTAs include Port 25, PowerMTA, GreenArrow.
About SaaS Solution
SaaS (Software as a Solution) is a licensed software hosted by a third party and is made available to its users/customers on the subscription basis. Unlike locally installed software, these applications are installed in a public domain and are made available to its users through the internet.
Differences between SaaS and On-Premise Email Solutions
- SaaS has lower cost of entry, is more scalable and the security and IT infrastructure responsibility resides with the vendor, as compared to On-Premise solutions
- On-Premise solutions have granular control, visibility and configuration options that SaaS does not provide
- On-Premise solution is cost effective as compared to SaaS when email volumes are huge
Advantages of using a Hybrid Email Solution
1. Flexibility in Routing Emails to different SMTP Relays
A hybrid solution allows an email marketer to route their marketing emails through various mechanisms like different SMTP services. One can easily route their highly engaged recipients through economical SMTP relays and less engaged recipients to other reputable ESPs which would be costly, but email deliverability will be better than individual relay servers. Moreover, by using this mechanism, one can easily avoid IP/Domain reputation damage on their preferred channel for less engaged recipients.
2. More cost effective and scalable solution
Above a certain volume of emails (approximately 1 million per month), an SMTP relay server is more cost effective. For ESPs or SaaS solutions, the cost will keep on increasing based on the volume of emails. Similarly, for scaling, an On-Premise MTA requires additional investments in more equipment and SaaS requires increased payments for using more services on the cloud.
The hybrid solution encompasses the advantages of both the worlds in a flexible manner. Different types of emails (transactional receipts, promotional campaigns, upsells, password recovery, new brochures) have different costs. Using multiple email delivery mechanisms to send various types of emails reduces overall marketing costs and helps in scaling up in an economical way.
3. Better customization options and analytics
SMTP relay servers provide extensive customization options as compared to SaaS solutions or other ESPs. Moreover, different ESPs have their differentiated customization options. Using a Hybrid Solution can provide you with the flexibility and advantages of all of them.
Also, a Hybrid Solution would provide a better real-time delivery data and analytics for your email campaigns and better transparency in email delivery by utilizing the tools from all of the worlds.
Increased Return On Investment (ROI) by Flexible Routing to different SMTP relay service providers.
There are different types of e-mails to be sent to customers/leads by an organization. These comprise transactional receipts, promotional campaigns, upsells, password recovery, etc. These emails can be categorized differently and can be sent using different mechanisms. For example, the transactional receipt or password recovery and other such emails to highly engaged customers can be sent using SMTP relay solution, thus reducing costs while promotional campaign and marketing lead emails can be sent using powerful dedicated SMTPs which will be costly but more efficient concerning recipient response.
Overall costs can thereby be decreased using segmentation of email recipients, thus increasing the ROI while managing the leads and carrying out marketing campaigns without loss of effectiveness and efficiency.
Recently, Steve Dille – Senior VP of marketing at SparkPost, mentioned about following advantages of using Hybrid Email Sending Strategy:
- Easy scalability
- Protection through redundancy and recovery
- Gaining flexibility in security and privacy compliance
Detail about the above blog post can be found here.
4. Performance Enhancement
SMTPs have different deliverability to the different segment of emails. For example, an Indian SMTP provider will have a higher deliverability to a “.in” domain than a Canadian relay service provider. Similarly, the top notch SMTPs will have consistent and better deliverability to leading ISPs (Internet Service Providers) like Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Moreover, certain SMTPs will have better deliverability to certain specific verticals like online games, retail, etc. Thus, a Hybrid Solution encompassing multiple SMTPs would show better overall deliverability and performance over ESP SaaS or On-Premise solutions.
About EasySendy PRO
EasySendy Pro is a hybrid email marketing platform for the digital marketing team. It integrates with multiple SMTP relay service providers and enables delivery of email campaigns to a list of opt-in emails. You can split test email deliveries across the relay servers and check reports, track email clicks, opens of each email campaign. It also has smart autoresponder and email list segmentation.
To support Micro-Deliverability in Emails; currently, EasySendy Pro allows integration with SMTP relay gateways like Amazon SES, Mandrill, SendGrid, Sparkpost, Leadersend, Dyn, Elasticemail, MailGun, SendinBlue, MailJet, TipiMail, and MailerQ. If you are sending an email to a list of above 25,000 email subscribers, then, Micro-deliverability of the email through multiple SMTP gateways provide better email open rate.