Below I am sharing the questionnaire I used to ask E-mailer vendors before sorting them for email marketing.
I consider below mentioned factors important while selecting a email vendor but different managers use slightly different factors for choosing a vendor.
Please fill in details against each factor/question below.
1. Email automation (drip and triggered) –
- What is the Degree of flexibility allowed on the tool.
- Lead scoring ability of the tool (ability to identify the most engaged subscribers and communicate with them accordingly)
2. Deliverability – (rate of successful handoff between servers)
- Is your company/tool is rated by analysts like Forrester, Jupiter, eMarketer, Clickz, marketingsherpa or any other renowned agency?
- Is deliverability consistently monitored?
- Can you have you own dedicated IP mail server address?
- Do you have a team of postmasters to interact with ISPs?
- What is the recipient’s inbox hit rate ?
3. Authentication support
What all levels of authentication support offered (mark all offered) –
- SPF (sender Policy Framework)
- dkim (domainkeys identified mail)
4. Usability – how easy is it to use the tool based on the below factors (mark response against each factor)
- ease of navigation
- the testing environment
- account configurations
- profile settings
5. Integration – (integration with Web analytics, Crm, Cms and custom reporting dashboards
- Does the platform/tool have pre-configured integrations with the platforms we want to integrate to?
6. Segmentation and targeting
- Can we determine past recipient behavior?
- Does the platform offer support for data tables (relational data)?
7. Reporting and analysis
- Do the tool/ Platform provides standard metrics including total emails sends, deliveries, opens, click through and forwards.
- What level of detailed reporting is available for bounce messages (i.e. why did a message bounce)?
- Does the platform offers downloadable, programmable (i.e. set and forget), post-click through reporting?
- Do you have flexibility to customize the reports?
- How easy is it to export results?
- Can we tag links for analysis in Web analytics tools?
8. Sub accounts
- Does the platform provide option to create sub accounts? (To separate or share data and content among departments.)
- If yes, does the platform provide ability to set various permission levels and feature sets on sub accounts?
- What is the server uptime?
- How many releases and/ or upgrades does the ESP (service provider) do on a quarterly basis?
- How much unplanned downtime did the tool suffered in the last 12 to 24 months?
10. Customer service
- What hours are calls answered?
- What delivery capacity exists (i.e. marketing messages vs. transactional messages)?
- What mta (mail transfer agent) is being used?
12. Platform training
a. Are there costs for initial or follow-up training?
b. Is training available both online and live?
c. Is training mandatory before being allowed to call customer support?
- How safe is my internal database?
- Do you have network intrusion detection?
- Do you have Firewalls installed?
- Employee screening?
- What are the encryption safeguards?
- What type of audit trails is available? Can you see who logged in and did what?
14. Differentiates and supports marketing and transactional emails
- Does transactional messages are send with a different dedicated iP address?
- Does the platform have ability to send rich-media (htmL) transactional messages that allow for metrics tracking (opens/clicks)?