A snapshot of the email service provider landscape

While there are clear market share leaders in the email service provider (ESP) and marketing automation platform (MAP) industry, brands still have a long list to choose from. How long? Respondents to Litmus’ 2020 State of Email survey mentioned more than 230 ESPs when asked which platforms they use to send marketing emails.

Twelve companies were used by at least 1% of respondents. Three years ago, there were 20 used by at least 1%—which goes to show how the ESP landscape is constantly changing with mergers, acquisitions, and new players.

In order of popularity among our respondents, the top 12 ESP brands are:

  1. (includes , , and ): used by 18.1% of respondents to Litmus’ State of Email survey

  2. (includes ): 11.1%

  3. (includes , , , and ): 7.6%

  4. (includes , , , , , and ): 6.2%

  5. : 5%

  6. (includes and ): 3.5%

  7. : 3%

  8. (includes ): 2.8%

  9. (formerly Watson Campaign Automation/Silverpop): 2.8%

  10. : 1.5%

  11. : 1.2%

  12. : 1%

State of Email Service Providers report from Litmus

Dive deeper into the state of the ESP landscape

See the top ESPs and MAPs your peers rely on—by geography, company size, industry, and more—in our latest State of Email Service Providers report. Plus, hear from some of the actual ESPs themselves. And get advice on how to find out what’s best for your needs.


Please note that the list above is based on user market share, not user value market share.

That means the comparative market shares listed do not necessarily reflect the comparative size of these ESPs as companies. Additionally, these listings don’t consider past changes in market share, the strength of future offerings, your unique business and team requirements, or a myriad of other factors that may be critical to comparing or selecting an ESP. For those reasons and others, these listings shouldn’t be considered as an endorsement or recommendation of one ESP over another.

Litmus works alongside any email service provider and is proudly ESP-agnostic.


Litmus works where you do

Litmus integrates with the email marketing platforms your team uses every day. Maximize your marketing technology investment, increase efficiencies through simplifying processes, and reduce errors with ESP Syncing and the Litmus Extension.


The ESP industry’s long tail

While those ESPs control the vast majority of market share, there’s a healthy long tail of ESPs in the marketplace as well. Some are up-and-comers; some specialize in serving organizations in a particular industry vertical; some offer special functionality; some offer email as part of a much larger service. It’s a rich and diverse landscape.

In some cases, it’s also interesting which vendors our respondents described as ESPs. It’s evidence that the definition of an ESP is changing.

In alphabetical order, the remaining ESPs used by the respondents to Litmus’ 2020 State of Email survey are:

  • (formerly SmartFocus formerly EmailVision)

  • (formerly SurveyGizmo)

  • (AWS, includes (SES), , and (SNS))

  • (formerly iModules)

  • (formerly Lyris, includes )

  • (formerly etouches)

  • (includes and )

  • (formerly Appboy)

  • (formerly KANA)

  • (formerly CheetahMail)

  • (formerly Clang)

  • (includes )

  • (formerly Yes/Infogroup)

  • (formerly e3 Software)

  • (formerly dotMailer)

  • (includes )

  • (formerly eELead1One)

  • (formerly Blue State Digital)

  • (formerly Freshmarketer)

  • (formerly GovDelivery)

  • (formerly Informz and Real Magnet MagnetMail)

  • (formerly IBM Unica)

  • (formerly Infusionsoft)

  • (formerly InMail)

  • (formerly Blue Hornet and Teradata Marketing Applications)

  • (formerly Ignite Knowledge Marketing)

  • (formerly Episerver and Optivo)

  • (formerly Fishbowl)

  • (includes )

  • (includes )

  • (formerly eBay Enterprise)

  • (includes , formerly Salesfusion)

  • (includes and formerly CallidusCloud)

  • (formerly StrongView)

  • (formerly Newsletter2Go)

  • (includes )

  • (formerly MailPlus)

  • (formerly Digital Alchemy)

  • (includes and formerly Pulseconnect)

  • (formerly Acxiom)

Understand the ESP landscape

Your ESP or MAP is the cornerstone of your email program. It can propel email marketing growth through enhanced efficiencies, or it can hold you back. And, it’s your most critical tool and a major budget item.

Based on our State of Email survey of over 2,000 marketers, our State of Email Service Providers report takes a detailed look at the ESP marketplace to better understand the most popular ESPs across various industries, geolocations, company sizes, and more.

Originally published on July 23, 2018, by Chad S. White. Last updated on April 13, 2021.

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