A consideration for many businesses is whether they should use a SaaS email marketing platform or one which is on-premise. In layman's terms, the debate is whether to host your own email server or to use an outside source company for these needs.
SaaS stands for 'Software as a Service.' It refers to a company which creates software which is then hosted and distributed to clients via the internet or 'cloud.' On-premise refers to the creation of a personal internet server which is hosted by the company itself and contained within the company.
Each option has associated pros and cons, as well as a unique set of requirements. The largest considerations for companies of all sizes are security, system integration capabilities, performance, cost, and ability. We get more in-depth on each of these options below.
Security is of the utmost importance for all companies, but those working within certain sectors (like financial institutions) need advanced options. In these instances, a self-hosted platform is the best option because SaaS solutions use the cloud. It is significantly easier to access information on the cloud versus what is safely stored within the walls of your own company and software.
System integrations refer to the ability to link varying software or platforms to work together. In reference to email marketing specifically, many companies prefer to have this linked directly to their CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
Both SaaS email platforms and on-premise email broadcasting systems allow integrations. The on-premise integrations, however, will comply with the strictest IT security policies and remove the risk of a breach in sensitive information. The primary consideration here is how vital data protection is to your industry and specific company.
Both forms of email marketing systems can perform well, but just how well an on-premise solution has the capability to perform will depend largely on the following two sections: cost and ability. But this is a very variable consideration because different email service providers will also deliver different performance levels.
The best option when considering performance is to first establish your company's ability to operate and maintain an on-site solution. If, in the end, you decide a SaaS is the better option it is highly suggested you research different companies and choose one which is proven to deliver high levels of performance.
One could argue that both options could technically give the same level of performance, except more capital would be initially put out for on-premise solutions. Performance is normally proportional to cost. Often, email volumes are simply not large enough to justify the extra expense simply for a boost in performance.
Cost of An On-Premise Email Broadcast System
Hands down it is significantly more expensive to operate an on-premise email broadcasting system. This is largely due to the fact it requires additional staff to operate and maintain the system, as well as extensive equipment.
If cost is a deal breaker, you will want to steer clear of an on-premise system in favour of a SaaS. This applies to small companies, non-profits, or start-ups.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. The first would be those companies which require the utmost security measures. Another is when email volumes are extremely high, such as tens of millions monthly. In this event, running an on-premise solution could end up being more cost efficient if you have the proper team and know-how to operate one.
This last consideration depends entirely on your company. These systems, which highly secure, require additional staff to maintain them. You will typically require anywhere from two to six or more IT employees for your system. Also consider the cost of equipment, as mentioned above. Do you have the ability to operate, maintain, and afford an on-premise solution?
Each situation is different, and therefore requires personalised thinking and decisions. After carefully considering the key points above you should know whether an onsite email broadcast system is right for your business.