We all evaluate our email vendor on a day to day basis. While working with them we determine if we are happy with the service and email tooling. But we are not evaluating to actually pick a new email vendor.
Most email marketers choose the partners who they feel comfortable with and stay with them for a long term. But it is healthy to evaluate our email vendor every once in a while.
Look at the Landscape
It is good to take a close look at the Email Marketing landscape every now and again. Typically this includes all types of vendors: technology partners, service partners, list brokers, consultants, etc. that “have always been there” and support your business. See if you are getting what you should be getting. Is your current email tooling still up to standard? Are you paying too much (or too little)? Looking beyond your countries borders might also help, who are the Email Service Providers that make the world go around?
Key areas to evaluate Email Vendors
But how to differentiate between all these vendors saying they are experts at e-mail marketing. Lets have a look at these Email service Providers. After running a lot of Request for Proposals (RFP) for clients, I can tell you most of the evaluation and scoring process can be streamlined into a couple of key area’s:
- The ESP business model (are they focused on email send volume or services?)
- Technological capabilities
- Total cost of ownership /operation (TCO)
- Service and Support
- Deliverability (Monitoring, resolution and reputation services)
- Other services they offer
Getting the most out of it
Even if you are not so familiar with the world of email marketing, take these points into consideration when building your shortlist of partners.
- What does an ideal partner mean to my company?
- How can I manage to get the most out of a partner?
- Am i still in the right email marketing market segment? (small, midlevel, enterprise)?
- How much am I willing to spend (time/money) in evaluating different vendors?
- How will I evaluate the success of a partnership?
Sometimes the level of service that clients get in the email marketing space is subject to decay, starting off fine but later on in the relationship it gets worse and worse. Even up to the point that the service level becomes lower what most would deem value for money. So it is good to evaluate your email vendor every once in a while, keep your expectations and the vendor sharp. You get what you pay for AND what you ask for.