E-mail Strategy: Effective Ways to Select an E-Mail Marketing Vendor
Marketers are turning to advanced strategies and technologies to ensure their e-mail messages are delivered properly and welcomed by their recipients. But many companies need outside help and decide to hire an e-mail service provider, or ESP.
In a recent white paper, Atlanta-based e-mail service provider Silverpop Systems offers advice on choosing the right ESP for your needs. Here are some of the firm’s top tips.
1. Focus on your needs first. Assess the state of your e-mail marketing program and decide what you need to accomplish now and in the future. Establish a business case, goals, timeline and budget before starting the vendor search.
2. Decide whether to do an RFP. If you already have an experienced e-mail marketing staff and sophisticated programs, you may not need to do a formal request for proposals. Other companies may go through the formal RFP process. If so, you need to decide whether to seek RFPs for full-service application service provider (ASP) solutions, self-service ASP solutions or collaborative ASP solutions.
3. Plan for growth. You want the vendor to meet your current needs, but you also need a firm that will anticipate your growth for the next 12 to 14 months and be able to keep up with it. You don’t want to have to start over with a new firm in a few months because your first choice couldn’t handle your company’s growing e-mail needs.
4. Dig deeper on references. Skip over the vendor’s marquis-name references and ask for names of companies that aren’t called as often. Don’t just talk to companies that are in your field. Rather, seek companies with an e-mail volume, level or type of service similar to yours. Try to speak with one client who has worked with the vendor two or more years, one who has been a client six to 12 months and one who has worked with the firm less than six months.