What to do when your ESP increases its price (despite the looming recession)

A price increase? In this economy?! 

Earlier this month, Klaviyo announced changes to its pricing. The news has been met with frustration and spurred a lot of conversation within the marketing community who think they pay enough for their technology.

And we get it. Times are weird, the economy is on the fritz and many marketers already feel like their budgets are being squeezed by rising customer acquisition costs, increased COGS and fulfillment prices. Now, we’re adding software costs to that as well?

Moreover, the process of evaluating, purchasing and implementing any new marketing technology requires a lot of time and effort. Klaviyo customers might feel caught in a catch-22: do you accept defeat and focus your efforts on pounding the table for more budget? Or do you start the process of evaluating new tech? 

If you’re considering the latter, we encourage you to reframe this as an opportunity. It’s a chance to channel your inner Marie Kondo and clean up your marketing stack and set your business up for long-term success. Keeping true to our promise of helping D2C marketers find the right partner and platform – whether that’s Simon or any other solution – we’re diving in.

Here are six things you should consider when shopping for a new ESP + CDP in 2022. 

  1. Ease of Migration
  2. Capabilities
  3. Ease of Use
  4. Support
  5. Integrations
  6. Innovation

1. Ease of migration

We’re marketers, too. We understand that you can’t can’t afford any downtime when switching to your new tool. When evaluating new ESP and CDP providers, it’s crucial to understand how they can quickly and efficiently help you move off your previous technology and on to the new platform.

Questions to ask:

  1. How long does it typically take new clients to launch initial campaigns? What’s the average time to value?
  2. What services are included during initial setup and implementation?
  3. Is there a dedicated integration resource or consultant?
  4. Is there any training?
  5. What resources or technical support are clients/brands expected to provide during onboarding and migration?
  6. Will there be any lapse in performance?
  7. What is the vendor’s ability to support and run IP warm-up?

The IP warm-up process is critical as it ensures deliverability doesn’t take a hit as you move between systems. At Simon, we offer dedicated sending infrastructure that is just for your brand rather than operating off of shared IPs. This ensures you’re not sharing your sending reputation with other senders.

Simon Mail customers work with our in-house deliverability experts who directly oversee and monitor the IP warm-up process. Furthermore, our experts guide their teams through the implementation process, including setting up email authentication. They also help utilize the data you already have to craft highly targeted segments for deliverability success.

2. Capabilities

If you’re looking for a basic ESP with an intuitive UI and good deliverability, well, there are about a million options out there. What’s more important, in our humble opinion, is that you take care to evaluate whether a vendor can support your strategy across channels, today and in the future.

Questions to ask: 

  1. Can the vendor provide an example of a multi-step, multi-channel journey targeting a particular audience segment?
  2. Describe how the rules for a segment are managed in the product. Ask for details about what data can be used to create these rules (transaction data, onsite data, CRM data, customer service information, and campaign/content attributes) and if there are any restrictions.
  3. Are the customer segments dynamic?
  4. Does it enable triggered campaigns? (welcome, cart abandonment, back in stock, etc.)
  5. Describe the platform’s content personalization capabilities and predictive modeling.
  6. Can users build HTML templates?
  7. What are the platform’s experimentation capabilities?
  8. Can users easily set up and run A/B and multivariate tests across all channels and journeys? 

3. Ease of use

Ease of use doesn’t start and end with a WYSIWYG email editor (though, that is important). We believe marketing technology should empower non-technical marketers to create segments, campaigns, and personalized messaging. Full stop. 

Questions to ask: 

  1. Ask the vendor to describe its typical business users.
  2. Do you need to have any technical background to use it effectively?
  3. Does the vendor have a WYSIWYG email editor?
  4. Can users directly query customer data to define segments through a non-technical UI?
  5. Does the platform provide a non-technical UI to conduct multi-channel journey-based orchestration?

4. Support

Consider the type of relationship you want with your new technology vendor.

Questions to ask: 

  1. What does the team surrounding the platform look like?
  2. Is the same level of support provided for all clients?
  3. Does the vendor provide any strategic advisory or best practice instruction?
  4. How frequently do clients meet with their customer success manager?
  5. Are there any additional costs associated with support and strategic advisory?
  6. Describe the additional support provided during migration, onboarding, and implementation.
  7. Ask the vendor to detail how they provide ongoing support once implementation is complete. Be sure to ask about details about key contacts, advice about best practice, issue reporting and escalation and notice of product enhancements.
  8. Ask the vendor to describe communication channels that you have access to for support. This can include Slack, email, calls, Zoom and more.

5. Integrations

The MarTech world will continue to change and grow. As that next new channel or new MarTech darling comes on the scene, does the new provider have the capabilities to integrate this into your marketing ecosystem easily?

Questions to ask: 

  1. Does the vendor have the ability to activate data, trigger campaigns, and personalize content in all major end channels (SMS, push, on-site, customer service and advertising channels)
  2. Can the vendor integrate with all your data sources – such as customer data warehouses, eCommerce platforms and data management platforms?
  3. Does the vendor integrate with your in-house solutions such as custom e-commerce platforms or data warehouses?
  4. Can the vendor ingest custom data science models and algorithms?
  5. Does the vendor have two-way integrations with BI tools like Tableau or Looker?

6. Innovations

Finally, when looking for a replacement tool, it’s important to understand all the ways the company is actively investing in its platform.

Questions to ask: 

  1. Ask the vendor to share their product roadmap.
  2. What features and innovations differentiate the vendor’s product from competitors?
  3. Ask them to describe the key areas of investment within their product, how this will enhance its capabilities, and how it will benefit you.
  4. Understand how they’ve responded to recent changes in the space around iOS 15, GDPR, CCPA and, of course, the deprecation of third-party cookies.
  5. Describe the significant developments the vendor expects to see in the coming years relating to the CDP or ESP space. How will its solution be positioned to support these?

Change is never easy – but it doesn’t have to be painful. As Leaders in the CDP and ESP spaces, we’re here to talk if you want to discuss. Sign up for a demo here if you want to learn more about the Simon Data platform.

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