C.R.I.T.I.C.A.L. considerations when comparing email apps for Salesforce

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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?

 

 

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