Upgrade your email marketing tender (and get a better deal)

Email_marketing_software_tender_dealThe number of tenders (RFPs, RFIs, RFQs) for marketing software is increasing. Companies can now write a tender for every mayor business software purchase.  May it be email marketing software, CMS, CRM, analytics or complete marketing automation systems.
But how do you make sure that your email marketing tender gets the attention it deserves?

Why do an email marketing tender

The increased use of an email marketing tenders is driven by economic pressure and professionalization of buyers. It is pretty logical to write a tender: it will help you make an informed decision and get the best email marketing company to help you. Good use of an Request for Proposal (RFP)  might even save you some money while doing it.

Implications of increased use of tenders

The market becomes (a bit) more transparent, personal contacts seem to be less important, because sales is more impersonal and quality and returns are in part measured by answers in writing. But this trend also has other important consequences for email marketing software companies.

For an email marketing software company this means

There are some implications for the supplier of the email marketing software:

  • There is time spent in reading and answering the email marketing tender, by some of the best people in your company. This drives up sales costs.
  • If the ESP salesteam doesn’t have the knowledge and experience, it results in a loss of revenue
  • If there is a shortlist of say 5 email marketing companies, the chances are you will lose quite a few tenders.
  • Time pressure and incertainty will lead to giving away margin

How your tender will be reviewed

email marketing software contract negotiationsSo what happens  when email marketing software companies that professionalize their sales and prospecting?

They will score the leads that come in. This is a good practice. Every organization would like to work with an email marketing company that has their tightly organized their processes. But don’t be fooled, sales processes are often not representative for day to day business. You normally don’t work with the sales team on your email marketing plan!

So what will they think about? Generally it would be on the following three factors:
1. Importance: The relative importance of your account for the ESP
2. Power and relationship: how strong is the relationship between your company and the ESP?
3. Chance: How does the email marketing company estimate their chances of winning and the ability to fulfill your needs?

This doesn’t have to be a conscious scoring by the email service provider. The ESP folks might just do it in the back of their minds. But it does have impact on the deal you are getting and by extention the business case your company can make.

How to making your email marketing tender stand out

If you want to have a smooth and fruitful email marketing software tender. Be at the top of the priority list for the email service providers. That means you should present your business case in a realistic but attractive way. If there are additional benefits to signing your account, mention them.

Will your email marketing efforts (and future business for them) increase? Do you have a sister company that will be evaluating their email solution soon? Are you an example for others in your niche? Be sure to talk about that. It will increase the importance of your account.

They will also examine and value the way you constructed your RFP and the contents of your email marketing tender. Be timely, polite, transparent (as far as you can) and ask the right questions in your RFP. It’s worth it.

Jordie van Rijn

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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