Dear Email Diva,
We're trying to evaluate various email service providers. I've found Top Ten Reviews. Can you suggest any others?
"Not such a bad guy once you get to know him"
I had to include your email signature quote, as it is so entertaining. I love that you have found a way to give a smile to everyone who receives your email. We should all be so clever.
I'm afraid that there are few resources for evaluating Email Service Providers (ESPs). JupiterResearch and Forrester have not published ratings since 2005, and both the reports and vendors reviewed are premium-priced and not geared toward the SMB.
Your resource is a good one for bargain-priced ESPs. Marketing Sherpa used to publish an excellent, comprehensive Buyer's Guide, but it is no longer on their Web site and did not include reviews.
If you're inclined to do it yourself, go to the Email Sender & Provider Coalition's membership list, which includes links to members' sites. You can do some pretty quick triage by a) reviewing their sites, b) sending a simple RFI and c) scheduling a demo. My last RFI was a spreadsheet that took less than 5 minutes for the vendor to complete and included a price quote request for a representative campaign. I have been through formal processes that took many weeks, reams of paper and thousands of dollars to complete, that yielded equally useful information.
Once you have your short list, look to professional discussion groups and ask whether anyone has experience with the ESPs selected. Look also to their client list and, applying the six degrees of separation phenomenon, find someone you know at the client company who can give you a candid assessment. While their needs may be vastly different than yours, you should get a sense of the overall level of the ESPs' technical competence and customer service. Above all, make sure that your technical people speak to their technical people and bless the union.
Dear Email Diva,
Do you know of a utility that would place a "button" on your email, that when people click on it, would send you a request to unsubscribe? Kind of like what [a well-known ESP] uses, but without using their service.
I don't think there is a stand-alone app for unsubscribing, but you can gather requests by providing an email address and asking people to put "remove" in the subject line, or hire a programmer for a few hours to pass the user's email information and collect it in a file on your web server. But the big question is: with all the high-quality, low-cost ESPs out there, why do you want to go it alone? If you don't have the resources to develop this simple functionality, you likely do not have an email program that is serving you well, from either a technical or a marketing standpoint.
The Email Diva
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