ESP is short for “Email Service Provider.” If you have a blog that you’re looking to drive traffic to, email is key component. Using a blog combined with an email and integrated social networking strategy is an effective and practical plan for bloggers just starting out
Bloggers that are in the habit of bookmarking and web surfing will come back for return visits to your page to see what your latest content is. Non-bloggers aren’t always in the habit of returning to blogs of their own volition. This is why email is such a powerful component: It reminds people of your blog and provides links for them to click on and see your latest content. For the cost, it is one of the best forms of internet marketing out there.
When it comes to choosing an ESP, it really depends on what you’re trying to do. Here are three options I would consider depending on what you’re doing (of course this is not a comprehensive list of options):
I like Aweber for two reasons: They provide effective Hover Forms for email capture and they work great with blogs with virtually no time input.
The Aweber Hover Form automatically appears when a user brings up your site. It emphasizes the option visitors have to sign up for your email list. You can customize the form in regards to appearance, how it appears, and how often it appears. I recommend setting it to appear once, so return visitors don’t have be interrupted by it on future visits. The other feature I like about Aweber is that you can design emails that are created automatically around new posts on your blog. For me, I designed an email that goes out once-a-week to subscribers with all the latest blog posts from the previous week. The only time investment with Aweber hover forms and emails is on the front-end of the process.
2. Constant Contact
I like Constant Contact because of their user friendly email template design system. If you want emails that are visually appealing and easy to design, I would recommend Constant Contact. They’ve also recently added social media integration features with their email templates as well.
3. Google Feedburner
Google Feedburner is the only option of these three that is free. Google Feedburner is a free Google App. It allows people to sign-up and receive an email version of each of your articles when they are posted. I recommend Google Feedburner because it’s free. Personally, I don’t like the idea of clogging up peoples’ email inbox on a daily basis (because I write articles on a daily basis), but there are a lot of people who don’t mind it. If you only blog 2-3 times a week or less, this would be something I would definitely recommend looking into.
Either way you go, it’s important to implement an email component along with social media if you’re looking to drive traffic to your blog and disseminate your information effectively.