This article is published in parallel to our podcast episode entitled, “ESPs.”
An Email Service Provider (ESP) is a service which allows you to send an email to your subscriber list. Typically, when a new article is published on your website, you can automatically send an email to your subscribers (aka followers) alerting them of your brand new post.
You would also use an ESP to send out a digital newsletter or any announcements you might want about your practice or healthcare complex.
An email service provider differs from an email account in that it can better send bulk emails and has a higher chance of avoiding spam filters. Email service providers are most often used for email marketing campaigns, allowing the user to filter subscribers in almost anyway, demographic information, stage of marketing, etc.
For our purposes, an ESP allows us to send emails/newsletters to a large group at one time and automatically.
Email List of Your Subscribers
Every office and healthcare organization should be growing an email list of their subscribers, or patients. In this way, you can keep them updated with new information from your website or news about your healthcare organization. Don’t forget to ask them to “opt-in” (basically asking their permission to receive emails from you).
Your website should also have a subscription opt-in form, allowing readers to give you their email address so they can keep up to date with your website.
Free Email Service Provider
Both Russ and I like Mailchimp (www.mailchimp.com). It has a free service managing up to 2000 email addresses. 2000 is a substantial number. We’ve each used it with dozens of our projects and use for RussandRandy.com!
There’s really no reason not to start here. The free version allows you to customize and opt-in form (the form you place on your website), collect email addresses, has custom forms and allows you to design your outgoing emails. It’s more than enough to get started.
aWeber.com charges monthly regardless of the size of your email list. You can filter you/sort/categorize your subscribers better and it, too, works very well with any site, especially WordPress.org.
Phone support is available for aWeber and only for the upgraded version of Mailchimp.
How Does it Work?
With every new article on your website, the RSS feed will notify the ESP of the update. The ESP will then broadcast an email to your subscriber list.
The ESP makes communication with your subscriber list automatic and seemless!