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2) Campaign and data management: Ask about customer profiling
services, ease of import and export of data and reports, e-mail hygiene services, list creation and management, segmentation, and personalization.
3) Message creation and management: Does the company have the ability to handle rich media and flash, template-driven content, and dynamic personalization?
4) Message transmission: What will the “from” line look like? Also ask about auto-sensing, processes for handling of inbound replies such as auto-responder messages, whether you will have a unique IP address or share with other clients, any frequency controls, and the quality assurance process.
5) Campaign tracking, measurement and analysis: Beyond standard tracking, can you compare multiple campaigns, track beyond click-throughs to sales or registrations on your site, or easily drill down on behavior important to your business?
6) Training and support: How quickly will they answer problem calls? Is there telephone support? If you require custom programming, what is the process and maximum delivery time?
And last, include a section on pricing. You’ll need to understand any license or startup fees, ongoing pricing based on the volume and information you have provided, additional charges if you opt to use certain feature sets, the cost of client services support and how the company charges for any professional services. A well-designed RFP goes a long way toward reducing future problems. It allows you and the vendor to establish a dialog so that you are both “on the same page” in terms of requirements, technology and information.