Three Signs You’ve Been With Your ESP Too Long

If you missed Chris Marriott’s latest iMedia column, well then you might want to take a look.   As The Relevancy Group’s VP of Services, Chris is always passionate about client success and in this article it really comes through.  Drawn from real-world experiences, it is a collection of  interesting suggestions to become introspective and challenge your current vendor expectations.   Let us know what you think … Enjoy, David

Chris Marriott3 signs you’ve been with your current ESP too long

by Chris Marriott

One of the great things about having joined The Relevancy Group and working with David Daniels is the ability to speak with leading email service providers (ESPs) and large clients of ESPs on an ongoing basis. It gives one a very broad perspective on the current state of the industry and what’s on the minds of some of the most important people driving the industry. Based on these conversations, I’ve recently noticed that there are definite signs that it might be time for a marketer to assess his or her email partner options. These are the three signs I see most often:

You are not on the latest version of your ESP’s platform

If you’ve been with the same ESP for more than four years, it’s highly likely that it has introduced a newer version during that time. But that doesn’t mean you are aware that it has done so and you’ve been migrated to it. This is as much an issue for the hosted solutions as it is the on-premise ones.

The reasons you might be on an older version of the platform are many, starting with you. In other words, you might be aware of the situation and are fine with the status quo. Other reasons include:

  • The degree of customization in your particular set-up makes a migration to the newer version complex and risky.
  • Your ESP doesn’t have the resources to migrate existing customers from one platform to the new one (in a timely fashion).
  • The new platform does not address your particular requirements as completely as the one you are currently on.

At this point, you might be thinking that as long as you’re happy, it doesn’t really matter. And maybe it doesn’t. But if you were a new client of the ESP, it would be putting you onto the newest version of the platform. There’s a reason for that. In the least, you should determine your platform status if you don’t know it.

Your ESP’s competitors are more responsive than your own ESP team

There’s an old joke about a guy choosing between heaven and hell. The devil takes him to his country club for a round of golf and a nice steak dinner. The guy decides hell seems like a great place, so that’s what he chooses. The next thing he knows, he’s hanging upside down over a fire and getting poked by pitchforks. He sees the devil standing there and asks, “What the deuce?!” The devil smiles and replies, “Yesterday you were a prospect; today you are a client!”
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