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Red Pill Unveils 2015 ESP Features and Functions Guide

By Ken Magill
Email technology consultancy Red Pill Email today unveiled the 2015 versions of its Email Vendor Features and Functions Guide.
The guide comes in two editions: small/mid-market and mid-market/enterprise.
Red Pill surveyed 39 international providers with 600 yes/no questions.
The small/mid-market guide is free. It covers 14 vendors.
The mid-market/enterprise guide costs $500 and covers 25 vendors.
“In the small-market guide this year we’ve focused on some of the smaller ESPs who may not have a lot of brand recognition or the marketing budget to get out there,” said John Caldwell, founder of Red Pill Email. 
Caldwell said whether a vendor is categorized as a small- mid-market or enterprise platform is based on self-declared information.
“If your primary focus is mid-market and your secondary focus is small-market, we’re going to put you in the small mid guide,” he said. “If your secondary focus is enterprise, we’re going to put you in the more advanced guide.
“Everyone answers the same questions but we adjust our scoring for the small/mid-market platforms. We’ve had vendors graduate—for lack of a better word—from the small/mid-market guide to the mid-market/enterprise guide this year, where it’s a little rougher,” he said. “While they may have ranked high in the small/mid-market edition, they may be more middle of the pack in the mid-market/enterprise guide, but it shows a progressive increase in their capabilities.
Topics covered include pricing options, geographic areas served, professional services offered, targeted verticals, security features, supported browsers, and deliverability and list-hygiene services offered, among many others.
The guide is aimed at helping technical and non-technical executives assess whether or not participating vendors offer the features and functions they want at an expertise level appropriate for them.
“This guide’s purpose is not to pick a vendor for you,” said Caldwell. “It’s to get you factual information about vendors technical capabilities. It doesn’t look at the financial strength of the company. It doesn’t look at the company’s vision or any of that. It looks only at the platform’s functional capabilities.”
During the survey process, participating vendors are taken at their word, Caldwell said.
“All the data is self declared and while we set parameters and expect people to color inside the lines, some might color outside the lines,” he added. “If someone is misleading in their answers, we won’t find out before the guide is produced. But the people who will find out are those who use the guide to shortlist vendors. If vendors lie, it’s they who get hurt.”

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