ESP vs Testing Platform

What’s the Difference Between Email Testing Services and Email Service Providers?


Is Email on Acid an email service provider (ESP)?

This is the #1 source of confusion people have about our service. The answer? No. Email on Acid is an email testing service. So what’s the difference? To set the record straight, let’s go through the process of creating an email campaign to see how the two types of services differ.

Email Design

Email testing services like Email on Acid feature design tools and templates that make creating impeccable emails that much easier. Using our Email Editor, you can build your email using either our responsive and fluid hybrid templates or code from scratch.

Email on Acid Email Editor

Once you’ve come up with a design that you’re happy with, you can preview your email in real time, gaining feedback and fixes for your code as you go. This allows you to trouble-shoot before you even begin your testing.

Most ESPs offer customizable templates or builders that allow you to drag and drop images and text to create your email. With this said, a vast majority of ESPs don’t offer the real time feedback that can make the creation of flawless emails so efficient.

If you do opt to design within your email service provider, we play nicely with all ESPs.

Email and Landing Page Testing

After you’ve developed your final design, you may think you’re ready to click send – STOP! Do you want your email to end up looking like this in your customers’ inboxes?

Email and Landing Page Testing

Even performing your own ad-hoc testing by sending the email out to a few different email clients won’t do the job, as you could be missing the fact that the width of your email is wonky on an iPad or your CSS animations can’t be viewed on Outlook. Failing to test and then fix these issues across all of the most popular clients and devices can spell disaster for your marketing ROI.

This is where an email testing service like Email on Acid comes to the rescue. Email on Acid allows you to test across the most popular email clients and devices to give you a comprehensive view of what every customer on your mailing list will see. We process your email through our system in less than 5 minutes so that you can ensure that your email does not contain broken links or errors in code. You can then transfer your tested email back to your ESP to share its beauty with the masses.

Sending the Email

Once your email has been thoroughly tested using an email testing service, you can send your email in good conscience. This is a job best left to ESPs; email testing services like ours leave it to them as well!

ESPs have the server strength necessary to successfully get your email into your list’s inboxes – not an easy task. In sending the email, ESPs are able to track a variety of analytics, which brings us to our next point of difference.

Email Analytics

A major benefit to using an ESP is their ability to collect detailed analytics regarding your email list and campaign success. Many popular ESPs (Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor, to name a few) provide analytic tools to track subscriber activity and email deliverability. These tools can in turn be used to optimize your future email campaigns to make them more successful the next time around. These analytics also provide you with a wealth of information so you can better segment your list. After optimizing your list through segmentation, many ESPs provide dynamic software opportunities that allow your email to best connect with specific audiences.

Email testing services work hand-in-hand with ESPs to provide you with the most comprehensive analysis of your campaign post-send. At Email on Acid, we go beyond reporting just clicks and opens and provide you with advanced analytics such as heatmapping, engagement reporting, client tracking and geolocation reporting.

It’s Not One or the Other: Use Both

In order to execute an effective email campaign, utilizing both your ESP and email testing service is crucial. The two types of service providers work harmoniously together to ensure that your campaign is flawless and efficient from start to finish, and can make a huge difference in the success of your campaign. While we’re sure most of you are already employing an ESP in the distribution of your emails, consider the incredible impact that adding an email testing service will have when working in conjunction with your existing efforts. See the results for yourself by trying Email on Acid’s free 7-day trial.

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.