NOW THAT THE HOLIDAY CRUSH IS IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR many marketers turn their attention to their relationship with their ESP. How did they perform during peak season? Did unintended downtime impact email delivery and revenue? Did large volume sends slow down other processes in the platform like list import or segmentation? Did the services team at the ESP rise to the occasion and pitch in as needed to ensure your success?
If your answer to all of these questions is “yes,” you probably had a great holiday season! If you answered “no” to any of these questions, at best you likely had a stressful December; and at worst, an unsuccessful one.
The relationship between an ESP and a marketer is constantly evolving, subject to the stresses inherent in all relationships. The holidays can stretch these stresses to the breaking point, exposing a fault line that can’t easily be repaired after the start of the New Year. At this point, you have two options; either find a way to fix the relationship, or decide the time has come to change and initiate an RFP.
Because RFPs require the expenditure of a lot of time and money, attempting to fix the relationship is always wise before even deciding upon an RFP. Here are the Relevancy Group’s top six hacks for repairing a battered ESP relationship in the new year:
1. TELL YOUR ESP YOU ARE ENGAGING
THE RELEVANCY GROUP TO REVIEW
YOUR OPTIONS. Whether you actually follow-
up on this action or not, the ESPs know who
we are and what we do. Nothing concentrates
the mind like a hanging in the morning, so even
the thought of you engaging us to manage an
RFP on your behalf is sometimes enough to get
problems in the relationship quickly resolved. If
they don’t fix them, we’re already working on
2. ASK TO SPEAK WITH THE BRASS. If you like the account team at your ESP personally, this can feel like an unfriendly move on your part. However, sometimes you just need to speak to the folks running the show. Rest assured, there are things your team can’t fix without the support of the ESP’s top management and you can help them get the attention they need to fix these things. Besides, losing your business entirely would be a much worse scenario for your account team.
3. DRINK HEAVILY. Well, it’s true. Sometimes nothing clears the air better than cocktails. It’s always five o’clock somewhere; you don’t necessarily need to wait until after work to get together with your ESP to air mutual grievances over your choice of margaritas, beer, wine, or scotch. Throw in a little karaoke and you could find a lot of relationship issues melting away to a duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Be careful not to be overserved, however, as you don’t want to say anything you might regret the next day. Remember, you can’t un-ring a bell.
ESP RELATIONSHIP HACKS
BY CHRIS MARRIOTT