Whether you use an e-mail-focused agency, an e-mail service provider, or leverage in-house technology and services, it’s now time to make big plans for 2011. With big plans, come tough questions, and very few successful e-mail programs don’t have at least one key partner. That partner may be a data specialist, offer technology solutions, design and code e-mails, or offer full service e-mail marketing.
Chances are, most are not delivering everything you need. Some may be mostly absent except during billing time and others may be your eyes and ears in the e-mail minefield. However, they are working for you. So now is as good a time as any to probe deep and find out if this will be a lasting relationship.
Here are 17 questions that look back and ahead to ask your e-mail partner to maximize your relationship and ensure they are the right partner or solution for your unique needs.
- What do you do exactly for us each month and why shouldn’t I try that in-house or look for another vendor?
- What are the best five strategic improvements you suggested or assisted us with this year?
- What are the best five tactical enhancements that you implemented for us?
- How can our e-mail program deliver more value to our customers?
- How can our e-mail program deliver more revenue to our company?
- How will you help achieve both of these for us in 2011? Be specific, please.
- What are you doing for me besides pressing the send button or providing a button for us to press?
- Should I send more or less e-mails? Why?
- What does your full service offering really look like and entail?
- Am I paying more for technology or services? Should I do more or less for both?
- Why haven’t I heard from you that much, given all of the deliverability and inbox type changes (e.g., Gmail’s Priority Inbox, etc.) in the e-mail world?
- Who should design my e-mails? How about coding? Should it be my ad agency, Web shop, or you? Why?
- What are you doing to differentiate our e-mail program from competitors and make us stand out in a crowded inbox?
- Who on my account team is proactively looking out for pitfalls and coming to the table with campaign concepts and strategic insight?
- How well does my account team know my business and the e-mail world?
- If the CEO calls, how quickly can we get an important e-mail out the door – from concept to deployment?
- Tell me some success stories where you have done something innovative or special for a client?
Next column, we will look at 15 more questions to ask your e-mail partner.