There is a wide variety of email applications that plug in to Salesforce and it is often difficult to compare them as they all look, cost and behave very differently! For many non-profit organisations, cost is a key consideration but there are other elements that can influence the final decision – here are a few things to think about:
C = COST
- Is there a one off integration / training fee?
- What is the pricing model (licence per user, costs per email send, pay as you go)
- Do you pay up front based on annual estimates and what if these are higher/lower than anticipated?
- What ‘cool features’ are available as standard and which cost extra?
R = RELIABILITY
- What is their reputation when it comes to deliverability – does the tool assist CAN-SPAM compliance, whitelisting, content optimisation?
- How quickly on average will emails take to deliver once you click send now?
- What do existing customers say about them in reviews?
I = INTEGRATION
- How exactly does the application integrate with Salesforce?
- How does the app affect standard objects and what custom objects and fields will be required?
- How are Salesforce users set up for access to the application and how flexible are permissions around data and template asset visibility?
- How do you segment groups to receive emails; campaign members, reports, individually?
- How do you map fields for personalisation and are there any limitations?
- What level of reporting and analytics are pushed back into Salesforce? (bounces, click throughs etc)
T = TEMPLATES
- How easy to use and intuitive is the template-builder?
- Do you have access to a library of pre-built editable templates?
- Can you create email content quickly without html skills?
- Can you preview content to optimise for different devices?
I = INTERFACE
- How clunky, smooth is the transition between Salesforce and email app screens?
- Is the screen design user-friendly?
- Is the email send process intuitive and simple to follow?
C = CUSTOMER SERVICE
- Where is the customer support team based?
- What are their hours of availability and standard response times?
- What do existing customers say about levels of service?
- What professional services are available for design, consulting?
- Do you have access to best practice resources or a user community?
A = AUTOMATION
- What level of automation is available as standard – single campaign or multi-level drip campaigns?
- Can you trigger email sends based on behavioural or event-driven criteria?
- Can you easily create custom triggers using an API?
L = LONGEVITY
- Is the application scaleable to grow in line with your marketing objectives?
- Does the provider have a roadmap for development?
- Are there regular planned upgrades to functionality and how are these communicated?
- Is there access to code via an open API and how easy it is to develop?
- What are the data implications if you switch providers in the future?