Friday, November 30, 2012

Choosing a new ESP isn't always the right answer

A friend was asking me today about how he should go about evaluating an email service provider for his client. The current ESP being used is a well known one, but in his due diligence efforts he wants to be understandably thorough.

Here's roughly what I said:

The main ESP's are all pretty good these days and usually the same names tend to appear when large companies want to change. In short, it's a mature market and they all have reasonable products. Sure, there are lots of benchmarking stuff reports that compares the major players, but you're not going to go significantly wrong with any of the key ones (hopefully),

However, the principle areas of risk with any email system are:
- understanding all the functionality (e.g. Dynamic, automation, etc)
- using the package correctly (e.g. Improving deliverability)
- developing a coherent testing & learn approach
- integrating it with back end systems (e.g. CRM)
- integrating it with website analytics 

In short, a decent ESP is a good tool in the right hands, but then so is a chainsaw
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