Marketing Tech Talk #8
Today’s Marketing Tech Talk podcast will discuss a universally dreaded email marketing responsibility- the ESP vendor selection process. Your search for a new ESP may come from a new initiative to lower costs, reduce resources, or make integration improvements with your existing data warehouses. Don’t underestimate the arduousness of this project. Change is difficult for many, and any time you move from one technology’s UI to another, there is a learning curve and time needed for acclimation. The first step is writing a RFP.
What is a RFP?
A request for proposal/information (RFP or RFI) is a document issued by a business or an organization to request vendor bids for email software and services. The RFP provides a procurement framework to streamline the initial stages of contractor solicitation.
A well written RFP demands attention
Both the email vendor and the organization writing the RFP find the ESP vendor selection process challenging. For the initiator of an RFP, it can be like walking a political tightrope, asking for input from stakeholders and then narrowing the feedback into priorities. Even from the vendor’s perspective (although grateful for the opportunity), it can be time-consuming and tedious to communicate effectively with the prospective business’ decision makers and influencers.
Consider your team’s time
An organization will schedule meetings with various stakeholders to determine the RFP’s criteria. Once needs and wants are established, these same stakeholders (usually made up of middle management and the C-Suite) will be asked to sit through 3-5 vendor presentations.
If you have been involved in an ESP vendor selection project, you probably have thought to yourself during one PowerPoint presentation or another, “How much time and money are we spending on deciding on an ESP, never mind the purchase price!”
Let’s do some quick math based on these assumptions:
- Five person cross-functional team
- Four vendor finalists
- Ninety-minute demonstration from each vendor
- Value of $150 an hour for each employee’s time
The total internal cost (not counting the opportunity cost)… just to sit through four PowerPoint presentations is $4,500!
The question this episode of Marketing Tech Talk will attempt to answer is:
“What can I do to streamline the RFP process and ensure my organization finds the best ESP for our unique business?”
John Caldwell from Red Pill Email shares best practices in the ESP vendor selection process
In this 31-minute podcast, Marketing Tech Talk host Jeff Rice will discuss ways to streamline the RFP process with guest John Caldwell of Red Pill Email. This episode will draw on John’s 18 years of service in the email industry, and experience in helping companies such as eHarmony, Teleflora, and WebEx increase their bottom line using email marketing.
In this program, we explore several key elements in the discovery process < 10:28 > and three costly RFP mistakes to avoid < 12:35 >:
- Mixing non-functional or functional questions together < 15:04 >
- Including repetitive requirements from each department< 19:22 >
- Not considering your corporate culture < 24:19 >
Listen or download the entire interview now. The podcast is 31 minutes long, the perfect length to listen to during your morning or evening commute.
Do you have marketing questions you would like answered on this podcast? Post them on @MKTing_TechTalk, and will try to get them answered by our guests.
Red Pill Email’s: “Email Vendor Features and Functions Guide“
Red Pill Email’s: “Selecting and ESP Provider” whitepaper
Brick Street Software’s Email Whitepaper: “Make a splash with every message, even the mundane”
Guest: John Caldwell, Principal & Founder of Red Pill Email
Having been in the email space since 1996, Red Pill Email founder, John Caldwell, has worked on the agency side, the client side, and as a consultant, using deployment tools that range from ESPs to in-house to homegrown email systems.
Experienced in integrated email marketing and operations, John has worked with a number of major clients that include Teleflora, eHarmony, Experian Consumer Direct (FreeCreditReport.com), WebEx, and more.
He is a Member of the Email Experience Council of the Direct Marketing Association, serving as Chair of the Marketing & Membership Subcommittee for 2013-2014, Co-Chair of the Email Measurement Accuracy Roundtable/Advisory Board from 2009 through 2013, and a member of the Speakers Bureau.
Named as one of the “50 Marketing Leaders over 50 You Should Know” in the May 2013 edition of Global CMO Magazine, John is always flattered when referred to as an email marketing expert, however tends to think of himself more as a practitioner.
Host: W. Jeffrey Rice, Director, Marketing Strategy at Brick Street Software
W. Jeffrey Rice, Director of Marketing Strategy is responsible for sharing Brick Street Software’s brand through positive and helpful interactions with customers and the marketing and IT community. His eclectic background, ranging from sports entertainment to a leading global manufacturer has allowed him to excel at collaborating with cross-functional teams to successfully commute objectives, draw out subject matter expertise, and drive effective campaigns.
Jeff previously held the position of Sr. Research Analyst at MarketingSherpa. He examined email and mobile marketing’s best practices and authored a number of influential publications on the topic, including the 2012 Email Handbook and The Email Benchmark Report. Rice’s work has been cited in online publications including Forbes, HubSpot and Independent Retailer. In addition, Jeff has conducted live full-day strategic email certification classes with marketers from AT&T to Yamaha at the ESP User Conferences, Email Summits, and regional workshops.
Jeff holds a B.S. in Sports Management from Springfield College, and an MBA from Anna Maria College. Springfield College’s deep-seated humanics philosophy helped hone Jeff’s aptitude for teamwork and service.
Marketing Tech Talk: Tackling the trials and transformations of technology in marketing today.
Marketing Tech Talk shares research, thought leadership and best practices in digital marketing from both the perspective of marketers and technologists. Each episode W. Jeffrey Rice and a special guest will discuss the latest technology, ideas, products, services, and approaches that positively influence marketing, sales, customer service, and most importantly the customer’s brand experience. Follow us on twitter @MKTing_TechTalk