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Ken Magill

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Red Pill Releases New ESP Guide

3/26/13

By Ken Magill

Email marketing consultancy Red Pill Email today released one of two editions of its 2013 Email Vendor Features & Functions Guide, a guide that details the service-and-product offerings of dozens of email services providers worldwide.

To create the guide—Red Pill’s fourth—the company surveyed 62 vendors with 500 questions.

The guide comes in two additions: A small/mid-market guide and a mid-market/enterprise-level guide. The mid-market/enterprise guide was released today. The small/mid-market guide is slated for release on Thursday.

“There are a couple of vendors that are in both versions of the guide,” said Red Pill Email founder John Caldwell. “The reasons for separating it out that way is not everybody looking at the small-market guide cares about enterprise and vice versa. This also gave us a chance to adjust for the small-market vendors. So while they answer the same questionnaire as an enterprise-level vendor, they’re not scored the same as an enterprise-level vendor.”

Caldwell said he determines where a vendor should be placed based primarily on how they answer questions on what their target market is.

“If they’re targeting small market, who am I to say: ‘No, you’re enterprise.’?” he said.

However, he said, if a vendor claims to target all three markets, he’ll look at other factors such as throughput.

The guides offer a slew of information including what pricing models ESPs offer—CPM or flat rate, for example—what kind of professional services they offer, and what kind of deliverability and list hygiene services they offer.

According to Caldwell, vendors do not pay to be in the guides. They are selected based on their abilities and willingness to participate.

Also according to Caldwell, both highly technical and non-technical people can benefit from the guides.

“You don’t have to be technical at all or you can be insanely technical,” said Caldwell. “We try and do it in such a way that it offers more information than most people will ever need. Not everybody’s going to want the same information,” he added.

“If you’re looking for basic information such as: ‘Can it do these five things?’ you’ll find it,” Caldwell said. “If you want to know how technical you have to be to use these fives things, we have a skill level in there as well.”

A purchase of the guide includes one half-hour telephone consultation with a Rep Pill Email representative.

“We want them to get the most out of the guide,” Caldwell said. “It’s a lot of information.”

The mid-market/enterprise edition costs $500. The small/mid-market edition costs $150.

This year, Red Pill will also make printed editions of the guides available for an additional to-be-determined fee, Caldwell said.

Readers can access the guide here.

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