A simple case of over-promising and under-delivering
All of us have fallen into the trap at one time or another. I sure have. A salesperson or sales team puts on a great show. All of the product demos are impressive, and the sales team seems to have satisfactory answers to every question that your team asks. The team even shares its roadmap of new releases with you, and everything seems in line with your expectations.
You go into the relationship with your ESP with a high level of excitement, and a clearly defined strategy and list of tactics. You run into a hiccup right out of the gate, but still aren't worried. After all, hiccups with a new technology relationship are expected. Then comes another hiccup followed by another one. Next, you run into situations where the system's capabilities don't meet your expectations. Guess what -- you've been a victim of your ESP over-promising and under-delivering.
The best approach at this point is to create a list of issues and circle back with your ESP's sales team, account team, and executive management. List your grievances and how performance fell short of expectations. In some cases, this exercise will be all it takes to cause positive change. In other cases, the problems may not be fixable.
In my experience, non-fixable problems include the overall reputation of the ESP, the ESP's relationship with each of the ISPs, ability to get your email into the inbox, reporting, training, and service. If these problems sound too familiar, run as fast as you can. There are a handful of good ESPs that will meet your needs and give you what you need to succeed with all of your email marketing objectives.
Sean Cheyney is the VP of marketing and business development for AccuQuote.
On Twitter? Follow Cheyney at @scheyney. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
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Thanks for the comment Annie. I hope that the ESPs view the article with your suggestion in mind.
These 6 reasons to fire an ESP not only warn people looking for the right ESP to consider these options seriously, but it also gives a good guideline to ESP themselves on the sort of level they need to participate on to be considered against their competitors. Thank you for setting the caliber high!
Hey Sean,It all comes down to this; the problems that you've mentioned aren't a reason to fire a vendor, but a reason to fire the person that selected an inadequate vendor in the first place.I've already gone point by point to your post and you haven't given me anything back other than insinuating that my view is colored from an ESP perspective and that I haven't any client-side experience. Did you bother checking me out before making such assumptions? Looks to me like the same approach as you seem to have taken in selecting an ESP.... I'm just sayin'....My post links to yours a half-dozen times and you've been kind enough to post back to me in the comments here, so I guess it's up to the reader to form their own opinions....
John, Thanks for your comments both here and on your post. While I may not be an expert on the inner workings of ESPs for an insider's perspective (since I've never worked for an ESP), my background comes from years on the client side. Each of the examples I've given in the article are based on real experiences from the lens of an advertiser. I'm not alone either. Many advertisers commonly share the same types of frustrations with each other. My experience with all vendors is that it begins with delivering what is promised and expected. Expectations need to be clear from both parties. It's defintely not a one way street. For the client side, expectations continue to evolve as business needs dictate. If a true partnership has developed, then solutions can usually be had. If not, the relationship can turn into a business hinderance quickly. In my experience with ESPs (and generally with several technology vendors), this is the case.
It's interesting that your vocabulary tends to fall to the negative with things like "fire" and "ripping".... It's also interesting to note that while you comment that you love being taken to task, I don't seem to see any defense of your original position either here or at http://RedPillEmail.comAnd while you're obviously not an authority on the subject (that's a rip, fyi), and most certainly have some unrealistic views of the role of an ESP, I'd hate to see someone with even less experience take this post as authoritive - because it's posted at iMedia Connection - and perhaps cause a rift between they and their vendor that wouldn't have been there otherwise. That would not be fair to the reader or the vendor.But hey, thanks for the link to my post! :)
Just came across this blog post ripping each of the points I gave in the article. I love it when someone takes me to task, whether I agree with them or not. Read this post and comment back here on this article to let me know your thoughts on his points as well as mine. http://redpillemail.com/blog/2009/6-reasons-to-fire-your-esp-seriously.html
Thanks Toni. Reporting is so crucial, that it has to be a top focus when going through the RFP process.
I totally agree with looking into the training and reporting before going with a system. Our ESP counts preview / testing in over-all results, and unsubscribes as click-throughs. Correcting the report is a manual process.
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