Earlier this week RSG updated our Marketing Automation / Email Service Provider vendor evaluations. It's a vibrant marketplace, with some newer entrants challenging aging giants, some surprising innovation, and B2C vendors adopting some automation services initially born out of the B2B side of the market.
If RSG subscriber inquiries are any indication, this space is heating up again. Email remains an important engagement channel -- along with suitable mobile messaging, targeted social distribution, and well-timed print mail drops. But enterprises want to get smarter about what they send, to whom, and when.
RSG subscribers to this stream can download the full evaluations immediately (login required).
Visualizing the Marketplace
RSG covers 14 vendors in this space. Roughly speaking, the outbound messaging marketplace can be divided into two traditional categories:
- B2C-oriented "email service providers" (ESPs)
- B2B-oriented "marketing automation platforms (MAPs)
To be sure, both categories of vendors have borrowed features from the other, but important distinctions remain, and a savvy enterprise will get clear about use cases before creating a short list. (Also, the two categories do converge a bit when you get into small-business solutions, of which there are very many -- none of which on the chart above.)
Then within each category you'll find vendors selling multi-module suites (where you may or may not be able to disentangle email marketing on its own), versus more pure-play solutions that tend to get sold independently.
As always, if your employer is not yet an RSG subscriber, you can download a free sample vendor evaluation from this marketplace, and let us know what you think.