Guides and Templates

Email marketing platform RFP template checklist

A checklist of the key questions you need to ask to choose the right Email marketing service or Marketing Automation platform

This checklist is aimed at helping you choose the best email provider to fit your needs based on their features and service. Larger businesses can use it to create a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Tender (RFT) when comparing bids in a pitch from different email marketing service or marketing automation providers. Smaller and medium sized business should also review their different features against the detailed recommendation in the document.

How will this ESP buyers guide checklist help me and my business?

Email marketing remains one of today’s core customer communications channels with analytics  showing that, alongside search marketing, it is one of the main drivers of online sales and leads.

To manage email marketing, businesses have traditionally used software and services that focus on email marketing. These email marketing management services have traditionally been known by email marketers as Email Service Providers or ESPs. The label ‘ESP’ is now a bit misleading since most now offer far more than management of email campaigns. To show the wider offering of lead generation and scoring as part of customer relationship management (CRM) services  many ESPs are now evolving into Marketing Automation platforms.

This template has been created to help define your requirements for different features you need to consider when choosing the best email marketing technology solution for your business. It aims to cover all the core features you may need from an Email marketing or Marketing Automation platform.

This checklist is aimed at helping you choose the best email provider to fit your needs based on their features and service. Larger businesses can use it to create a Request for Proposals (RFP) or  Request for Tender (RFT) when comparing bids in a pitch from different email marketing service or marketing automation providers.  Smaller and medium sized business should also review their different features against the detailed recommendation in the document.

Resource Details

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

What does the Email RFP checklist cover?

There are so many email platforms, with all the online services having the same basic features, that it may almost seem like it’s simply a case of choosing the cheapest. Not so! The ease of use when you set up campaigns differs widely and it can be frustrating, as a user, if you haven’t made the best selection. The tools to manage your campaigns and marketing automation differ widely in their capabilities too. Then there is the differences in insights available, important for reviewing and improving your email marketing. We will cover all the key capabilities of ESPs in over 40 questions across these key 8 requirements areas.

  • 1 Customer profile and targeting using segments
  • 2 Creating and editing email
  • 3 Automation and personalisation
  • 4 Integration with other channels, campaigns and platforms
  • 5 Delivery
  • 6 Evaluation and tracking

We also cover fees and additional services offered by the service provider:

  • 7 Support and customer services
  • 8 Pricing and fees

Each requirement is categorised as Essential, Intermediate or Advanced, so you can concentrate on the core features if you work for an SME.

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The Email marketing platform RFP template checklist is included in the

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