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What to Look for When Choosing an SMTP Service for Email Marketing

The right choice of an email service provider (ESP) plays a critical role in the deliverability of your emails and how effective...

Written by Niel Patel · 2 min read >
SMTP Service

The right choice of an email service provider (ESP) plays a critical role in the deliverability of your emails and how effective your marketing will be.

This article will list the major factors to consider while choosing the best SMTP service.

  1. Service Сost

The most obvious thing to take into account is how much the service will cost. Does it fit into your marketing budget?

Email service providers usually charge depending on the number of addresses on your email list or the volume of emails you send each month. Any amount you spend should generate a healthy return on investment through sales.

  1. Security and Privacy

Security is a core concern in choosing an SMTP service. Your provider should have solid security features to prevent your data from being hacked and used for nefarious purposes.

Any email provider you pick should have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on their website. They should also provide multi-factor authentication, which prevents outsiders from logging into your account.

  1. Ease of Use

You should select an email service provider with an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate. A cluttered interface can frustrate users, especially marketing staff that don’t usually have the technical know-how.

The best SMTP service should be easy to use right from the start without needing live instructions and external help. However, for more complex setup, well-written and accessible documentation is also critical.

  1. Consider the Delivery Rate

Email delivery rate refers to the percentage of your emails that actually land in the recipients’ inboxes. It’s calculated by dividing the number of delivered emails by the total sent emails.

89% and above is a reasonable delivery rate for an SMTP provider, and 95% and above is excellent. Anything below 80% means there are some unsolved issues, and many of your emails won’t get to their intended recipient. Note that your figures may initially be lower if you haven’t emailed your subscribers for a while.

  1. Are Trial or Free Plans Available?

A good SMTP platform should offer a free plan or a free trial. This enables you to test the features before making your final purchase decision. Without a free trial or plan, you may end up not liking the platform, meaning your money is wasted.

  1. Does the Service Provide Core Functionality?

Does the platform you select perform well in the core function of delivering messages to the addresses on your list? Does it provide templates to help you create professional emails with little stress? Does it offer dedicated IP addresses to let you send emails faster? These are the types of questions that you must ask. 

Your platform must perform its core function well to be worth choosing. Be sure to list all of your specific requirements before you evaluate the available options.

  1. Tagging and Segmentation

Tagging and segmentation are ways of breaking down your email list into several groups to send more targeted emails. For example, you can segment your list according to purchase history, engagement rate, and demographic information. 

An ideal SMTP service should support tagging and segmentation, as these features can improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

  1. Personalization

Personalization is a marketing tactic that involves using subscriber data to send custom and personalized emails. For example, an email that begins with “Dear [Customer Name]” is personalized.

These types of messages are more effective because they make the recipient feel important. An ideal SMTP provider should enable you to personalize your emails with ease.

  1. Message Automation

A good SMTP platform should let you send automated messages. For example, you can send an automatic welcome message to anyone who signs up for your list. Message automation takes away a lot of stress from your marketing efforts. More advanced systems will allow you to create complex event-based scenarios.

  1. Customer Support

Things can go wrong at any time, and you’ll likely need to talk to a customer service representative to solve your issue. Hence, your email platform should offer customer service via email, telephone, or live chat.


We have listed the major factors to consider while choosing the best SMTP provider. Every platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, but it should score high in most factors, just like UniOne.

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