SUCCESS GUIDE RFP STRATEGIES FOR CHOOSING YOUR NEXT CROSS-CHANNEL ESP

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1 SUCCESS GUIDE RFP STRATEGIES FOR CHOOSING YOUR NEXT CROSS-CHANNEL ESP Create the ideal RFP for a new marketing cloud provider with expert guidance for developing questions and evaluating vendors

2 PUBLISHED BY US Headquarters StrongView Systems, Inc Island Drive, Suite 200 Redwood City, CA United States P: +1 (650) F: +1 (650) UK Headquarters StrongView Systems UK Ltd. Adelaide House Perth Industrial Estate Slough Berkshire SL1 4XX United Kingdom P: +44 (0) APAC Headquarters XCOM Media Unit 1 15 Lamington Street New Farm Queensland 4005 Australia P: Copyright 2013 StrongView Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of StrongView Systems, Inc. The information furnished herein is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, no responsibility is assumed by StrongView for its use, or for any infringements of patents or other rights of third parties resulting from its use. STRONGVIEW and the STRONGVIEW logo are registered trademarks in the United States, other countries or both. All Rights Reserved. StrongView Systems UK, Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales at 5 New Street Square, London EC4A 3TW. Reg. No VAT # GB Trading Address: Adelaide House, Perth Industrial Estate, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4XX, United Kingdom.

3 Table of Contents BE PREPARED (IT'S NOT A LIGHT DECISION)... 4 ASSESS YOUR CURRENT CAPABILITIES... 4 NOT ALL ESPS ARE THE SAME... 5 Use Your Own Personal System... 5 Generate Results, Not CPM Fees... 5 Leverage All Your Data... 6 Take a Coordinated Cross-Channel Approach... 6 Choose the Right Partner... 7 Be Prepared for Change... 8 Choose a Leader... 8 ANATOMY OF AN EFFECTIVE ESP RFP... 8 Accurately Frame Your Needs... 8 Ask the Right Questions... 9 Establish a Process... 9 SAMPLE RFP QUESTIONS Company Information...10 Campaign Management Data Management...12 Content Management...13 Reporting and Insights...14 Technology Platform...15 Customer Support and Services...16 THE STRONGVIEW AROACH We Give You Your Own Personal System...17 We Let You Invest More in the Impact of Your (And Less on Its Delivery)...17 We Use Social & Mobile to Amplify We Don t Just Say We re Your Partner...17

4 Whether you're a new business embarking on your first ESP relationship or an established enterprise looking to drive more revenue out of your marketing programs, choosing the right service provider for your business can be a daunting task. This Success Guide provides the context, perspective and advice you need to create an RFP that will allow you to find the perfect partner based on your unique goals and objectives. The pages that follow will enable you to move past a cookie-cutter RFP and narrow the playing field based on a more thorough and revealing analysis. Of the top six enterprise ESPs identified by Forrester Research, StrongView is the only one offering dedicated solutions. "The Forrester Wave : Marketing Vendors," Q BE PREPARED (IT'S NOT A LIGHT DECISION) Any time you move from one technology solution to another there is a ramp-up period and learning curve. Given the impact, you want to make sure that you're making the right decision and are adequately prepared for a successful transition. You first need to outline the key objectives you want to accomplish with your new ESP partner. Are you looking to incorporate more personalization into your messages? Do you want to automate multi-step lifecycle programs to increase engagement? Do you want to add mobile, display or social media into the mix? Once you've identified your goals, you need to rope in all the key stakeholders across departments. Before you can effectively create an RFP, you need to understand the requirements from both a marketing and technology perspective. The final act of preparation should be a mindset shift that allows you to challenge the status quo. Incremental change is often easier, but easy isn't always better in the long run. Depending on your objectives, you may need to take a fresh approach to maximize the ROI from your programs. Don't be tempted to stick with what you've been doing just because it's more comfortable and familiar. ASSESS YOUR CURRENT CAPABILITIES Selecting a new ESP is an opportunity for you to significantly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing programs. The first step in this process is assessing your current capabilities and how they match up to current and future objectives. And don't just limit your evaluation to standard campaign management capabilities. As constantly connected consumers interact with your brand online, they are leaving valuable information about their current needs, interests and desires. Consequently, you need to determine whether your current marketing infrastructure enables you to capture and analyze this information in a way that provides you with the required context for understanding their current state and propensity to convert. Equally important, you need to determine whether you are able to effectively engage them based on this context. An honest evaluation of your capabilities will help you determine your marketing maturity as an organization, which is essential for creating a road map to better engage your customers and stay ahead of the competition. To that end, you should look for an ESP with an established assessment methodology that allows them to make specific recommendations based on your current marketing sophistication. 4 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

5 NOT ALL ESPS ARE THE SAME You visit enough ESP websites, and eventually they all begin to sound the same. You want to increase engagement? Check! You want to integrate with other channels? Check! You want to boost revenue? Check! The real question is how the prospective ESP claims to achieve these objectives and to what degree. The first step is to narrow the playing field by identifying the top ESPs suited for your business. When evaluating the right partner for your business, be sure to consider the factors outlined in the sections that follow. "Since we switched to StrongView in 2010, our sending volumes have increased nearly 300% to more than 5 billion s annually. We are continuing to expand, and StrongView is with us every step of the way with the latest technology and services." Alberto Perez Marketing Manager Privalia Use Your Own Personal System The vast majority of ESPs offer their clients access to a SaaS-based solution that is shared by all of their clients. This model makes it easier for ESPs to deploy their solutions, but it also provides limitations in terms of data security and performance. Having all of their clients' customer data aggregated in one system makes ESPs with shared systems an attractive target for hackers. This arrangement can also expose the limitations of these systems during holidays and other peak times when all clients are sending campaigns at the same time. This intense load on the system can cause delays in s getting delivered, affecting a client's ability to get its messages in front of its customers at optimal viewing times. One alternative to these one-size-fits-all systems are ESPs with dedicated solutions (either SaaS and/or on-premise) that provide each client with their own personal system that is not shared with any other clients. This model ensures that each client has access to maximum control, capacity and performance to get messages assembled and delivered when they are most effective on Black Friday or any other day of the week. Dedicated systems also mean that your customer data never has to leave your control or be aggregated in one giant ESP database, where it can be exposed with one successful hacker attack. Generate Results, Not CPM Fees Large volume senders can quickly find that they are spending more money on getting s delivered than on strategy for boosting performance and customer satisfaction. If a disproportionate amount of your marketing budget is spent on CPM fees instead of strategy, your marketing programs will not likely live up to their full potential. If you are sending more than a million messages a month, you may want to consider an ESP that allows you to purchase a perpetual license, which can dramatically reduce your delivery costs by eliminating CPM fees. Beware of ESPs that nickel and dime at every turn and instead find a vendor that allows you to allocate more of your marketing budget on strategy that can help you get more out of your programs. Ideally, your ESP will provide a wide array of marketing services to provide assistance with leveraging data, setting up automation, revamping creative, optimizing programs and implementing cross-channel programs. 5 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

6 Leverage All Your Data In today's digital age, brands are able to amass enormous amounts of data as customers interact with them via websites, storefronts, call centers and other channels. The question is whether you are currently leveraging this cross-channel data to make your marketing programs more effective or even if you have the ability to do so. "From automated, multistep lifecycle programs to superior testing, optimization and ease of use, StrongView is enabling us to take a giant leap forward with our marketing programs, including the scalability and services to keep growing and innovating." Brian Schmidt ecommerce Marketing Analyst Hammacher Schlemmer Traditionally, marketers have only used a subset of customer data to design their marketing campaigns - due in large part to storage restrictions imposed by their ESP. As part of your assessment, ensure that your new marketing platform is capable of storing all the customer data that is sufficient to construct a complete view of the customer, including visibility into changes in customer behavior over time. As a general rule, the more data that you can leverage as part of your analysis, the higher the probability of driving insights from it. Another dimension to using customer data effectively is the different types that can be brought in and leveraged to improve the effectiveness of your cross-channel campaigns. If you have only been using customer profile data that largely consists of demographic attributes to build your marketing campaigns, this is a great opportunity to find an ESP that is capable of storing and incorporating customer interaction and external data to improve customer segmentation and targeting. The key to putting your customer data to work is direct integration with the various systems that house all the demographic and behavioral data that you've collected from each of your customers. Direct integration is essential for ensuring data integrity and security, as well as avoiding latency issues that can make personalization run afoul. But don't be fooled by promises of easy access to this data. Make sure to verify that your prospective ESP has flexible integration options that don t require engineering or developer resources. Ideally, you should be able to leverage a diverse set of APIs to make your customer data actionable in real time. Take a Coordinated Cross-Channel Approach marketing is a proven and highly effectively direct marketing channel, but don't let its high ROI prevent you from looking for opportunities to make it even more powerful such as integration with other channels. New and existing channels like social, mobile and display can play an integral role in the amplifying the effects of your marketing efforts. In fact, marketing often serves as the core foundation of great interactive marketing. Taking a cross-channel approach to your marketing means more than adding Facebook buttons or other share links to your templates. Your marketing solution should allow you to easily coordinate messages across all channels. Offering your customers a consistent message across every touch point will help drive both awareness and action. Equally important is being able to integrate customer data from social, mobile, display and other channels into your programs. If a customer expresses interest in a product or service on Twitter, you should be able to use that data to refine the offers and messages presented in your campaigns. Likewise, you should be able to make your marketing data actionable for efforts in other channels. Survey after survey have shown that consumers rely on for interacting with brands, often serving as the principal foundation of the customer relationship. Strengthening that foundation with data from other channels will help ensure the continued efficacy of the channel as a valued and anticipated form of communication. 6 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

7 Choose the Right Partner Some ESPs cater to the low end of the market mom-and-pop shops and other small businesses that have relatively small lists and little need for segmentation and personalization. Given the limited requirements, these vendors typically provide their thousands (or tens of thousands) of clients with a simple, self-serve UI. Once you sign up, you're typically on your own to figure how to best leverage their system, as the sheer number of customers these ESPs serve prohibits one-on-one support and service. StrongView received the highest marks for testing and optimization in Forrester Research's most recent evaluation of top ESPs for enterprises. "The Forrester Wave : Marketing Vendors," Q Mid-tier ESPs are a step up from entry-level providers and can be a good fit for SMBs who need to do a little more personalization and customization, but they often are unable to scale to accommodate a company's rapidly growing subscriber list or desire to implement more sophisticated programs. Top-tier ESPs are typically designed for larger enterprises that need more advanced functionality and integration capabilities. However, as mentioned earlier, these ESPs can offer their services via a variety of different methods or business models that may or may not be best suited for your business. When evaluating your next ESP partner, be sure to beware of lip service, hype and jargon. It's easy to make claims in terms of typical performance or results, but the true test comes down to the customers they currently serve and how satisfied they are. Picking a partner with a high client retention rate can help you avoid becoming victim to misleading or inaccurate claims. A key driver of customer retention is the ability for the ESP to provide individualized attention and service. Some ESPs focus more on getting clients signed up than on making them successful. You want to make sure you're not a "little fish in a big pond" where the ESP has little incentive (or ability) to help ensure your success. You also want to choose an ESP partner that is aligned with your vision, goals and objectives and that of course means that they will take the time to fully understand them. They should be deeply familiar with the challenges of an enterprise and have the expertise, technology, services and passion to execute successful programs that exceed both your objectives and expectations. In short, they shouldn't be satisfied with the 80/20 rule. Some ESPs that are public may tout this status as a benefit in terms of stability; however, this also means that they are ultimately beholden to their shareholders not their clients. A private ESP with a proven track record and solid customer list is likely to be more motivated and involved in helping you get the most out of your partnership with them. 7 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

8 "StrongView s ability to get our sales event s to members in near-real time is a huge benefit and competitive advantage for our business. With StrongView, we re actually providing a better experience for our members while lowering our costs." Kevin Diamond CTO HauteLook Be Prepared for Change Switching ESPs is the perfect time to change up your marketing routine to embrace new strategies and best practices. You don't need to change everything or make dramatic alterations immediately, but you should be prepared to make modifications that leverage key advantages of your new ESP partner. To ease with the transition, your new ESP should enable you to nail the basics but also prepare you for the future. Know where you want to take your marketing programs and make sure your new ESP has a plan (and the tools and guidance) to take you there. Not all marketing tactics work for all brands, so be prepared to move beyond standard techniques when they cease to work. If you're currently not doing as much testing and optimization as you know you should, this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate new processes into your marketing routine. Ideally, your new ESP should have an accomplished marketing services organization that is readily available to help you embrace new tools, channels and trends. Having marketing experts who are intimately familiar with your business and your marketing solution can be a big advantage over third-party agencies. Choose a Leader Migrating your marketing programs to a new ESP isn't as easy as flipping a switch, so you want to make sure you pick the right partner for the long haul. One way to help minimize the chances of choosing an ill-fitting partner is to limit your RFP to the leading ESPs that serve your type of organization. Selecting a vendor that has been thoroughly vetted by leading industry analysts can help weed out ESPs that don't live up to the marketing copy on their websites. After narrowing the list to the leaders, make sure to review their client lists to verify that they have experience helping similar organizations and then ask about customer retention rates and availability of references. ANATOMY OF AN EFFECTIVE ESP RFP The insights and recommendations presented so far in this whitepaper should help properly orientate and prepare you to proceed with the process of switching ESPs, but the final piece is putting together the right RFP. The sections that follow will show you what your RFP should accomplish, as well as offer up several strategic questions that are designed to uncover valuable points of differentiation for selecting the right vendor for meeting your cross-channel marketing objectives both today and in the future. Accurately Frame Your Needs Your ESP RFP should begin by providing an introduction to your business and properly framing your marketing needs. You should carefully describe what you're doing today including what has worked and what hasn't. Next, you should outline what you want to do and what's held you back. Providing this context will help the prospective ESP understand how their marketing solution and services can best be leveraged by your business. Without the proper context, your RFP could solicit cookie-cutter and/ or irrelevant responses. 8 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

9 "With StrongView, we have a committed partner that offers both the technology and strategic services necessary to take our marketing efforts to the next level." Michael Relich CIO Guess?, Inc. Ask the Right Questions Not only is it important to ask the right questions, but you should also present them in an organized and focused way. Having a logical progression of questions will help your prospective ESP respond properly with the right information and will help you as you evaluate and compare them with responses from other ESPs. In order to generate a valuable comparison, you should make sure to include questions that expose differences. Asking yes or no questions about table-stakes features will not provide you the level of detail you require for choosing the best partner. Instead, structure questions that will specifically reveal whether the ESP can help you with certain challenges or embrace new strategies. Asking "do you integrate with third-party databases" is not as helpful as "do you provide prebuilt, direct connections to Oracle, Siebel and Teradata." Establish a Process Once you've come up with your list of RFP questions, you need to establish a process for identifying the participating ESPs, evaluating the answers and selecting the winner. Make sure to eliminate any surprises or unforeseen internal opposition by gaining consensus with key stakeholders within your organization. They should understand why you're entering the RFP process and what you hope to achieve with your new partner. Next you should limit your scope to the top ESPs that serve your market. Opening up the RFP process to too many ESPs will only slow down and muddle the selection process. Having the right questions is only part of the equation for a successful RFP process you also need to allow enough time for vendors to provide useful and insightful answers. Providing at least two weeks for responses will help you avoid cut-and-paste, cookiecutter responses that are the go-to-method of response for vendors who don't have the time to put together original responses based on your business. Remember, this is not a closed-book test. You should welcome clarifying questions and encourage open dialogs that will help you get the answers you need to make the best decision. Finally, disclosing your selection criteria will help the ESPs focus their answers on issues that matter. 9 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

10 SAMPLE RFP QUESTIONS Recommendations and best practices are certainly valuable, but it always helps to have examples to reference when developing your own approach. The questions that follow are not designed to be a comprehensive list but instead focus on the questions that will help you differentiate between vendors and provide you with the information you need to make the right choice for your business. "At JibJab, we wanted to take lifecycle marketing and real-time campaign optimization to the next level. We evaluated many solutions and decided StrongView provided the most flexible and powerful solution for interacting with our customers." Gregg Spiridellis Co-founder and CEO JibJab Media The sample questions are arranged in logical categories and are preceded by key factors to consider based on the recommendations put forth so far in this whitepaper. By gaining the right perspective and leveraging the right questions, you will be in a much better position to solicit and understand the answers you need to complete a successful RFP process. Company Information Key Factors to Consider Be wary of public companies that are beholden to shareholder interests at the expense of client needs. Select a partner that is exclusively focused on and optimized for the unique needs of enterprises. Avoid being a little fish in a big pond where the partner has thousands of customers and little incentive (or ability) to help ensure your success. Ascertain whether your partner will enable you to invest more in the impact of your s and less on delivery. Sample Company Information Questions 1. Describe your company s approach to cross-channel marketing and how it differs from other providers. 2. Provide case studies that highlight how your unique approaches helped your customers achieve success with your solution. 3. Provide details of your product releases over the past 12 months, including GA dates and an overview of enhancements and new features. 4. Provide an overview of your product roadmap strategy that describes your investment plans for R&D and Marketing Services. 5. Describe all pricing structures offered and their benefits. a. Do you offer a one-time purchase of a perpetual license of your solution? b. Do you offer an unlimited volume license? 6. What is your company s customer retention rate? 7. Is your company focused exclusively on providing solutions to the enterprise or do you offer solutions for different market segments? 8. Is your company private or public? a. If public, are you profitable? 10 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

11 Campaign Management "StrongView enabled us to tightly integrate all of our systems, increase deliverability and gain access to key tracking data that we needed to optimize our programs." Andrew Hossom Vice President of Marketing FOX Sports Interactive Key Factors to Consider Having one integrated user interface for all and cross-channel messaging (including marketing, transactional and lifecycle) will help coordinate and streamline operations. Not only should the UI be easy-to-use, it should be built upon on a modern framework that enables seamless drag-and-drop operations and support for the latest browsers. should serve as the foundation of your new platform, with mobile, display and social campaigns easily and intelligently coordinated to improve campaign performance. Look for advanced campaign automation and optimization capabilities that will enable you to achieve better results with fewer resources. Sample Campaign Management Questions 9. Describe your ability to create multi-step lifecycle marketing programs within your system. a. Can business users create them without vendor assistance? b. What channels are supported (e.g. , mobile, display, etc.) c. Do you have the ability to test and automatically optimize different paths based on performance? d. Are you able to transfer participants from one lifecycle marketing program to another? 10. Describe your automation capabilities, including triggered and drip campaigns. 11. Can you control the exact moment when your message starts being delivered to the inbox? a. If yes, explain how this is accomplished. 12. Does your system monitor contact frequency? 13. Does your system enable the creation of global frequency caps vs. list frequency caps? 14. Can your system identify and target your top brand influencers? 15. How many concurrent users can use your system? a. Are there additional costs per user? 16. Can template content be imported from HTTP locations? 17. Is your transactional messaging interface fully integrated within the Campaign Management UI or is it a separate interface? 18. Is your transactional functionality real-time, or does it leverage the sending of small micro-batches of messages for delivery? a. For either option, please explain how this is achieved. 19. Can you deploy campaigns that use real-time segmentation and personalization data? 20. What testing capabilities does your system support? a. Can business users create random A/B splits? b. What variates are you able to test (e.g. subject line, From line, etc.)? c. Describe how you enable layout and offer testing. 21. Can business users test multivariate elements with automated optimization? If yes, then what optimization methods are available? 11 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

12 Data Management Key Factors to Consider The platform should allow you to easily leverage all of you disparate data assets, offering real-time integration for better targeting and personalization. Look for a solution that allows you to go beyond typical CRM data to also easily leverage an unlimited amount of cross-channel interaction data and external feeds that can help determine customer context. Be wary of vendors that restrict the amount of data that can be stored and analyzed. The ability to add storage on-deman, as the volume of data increases is a critical functionality that will help you maintain system performance and reduce operational cost. Data automation capabilities should make it easy for IT to service the changing needs of your marketing organization without the need for costly programming. Selecting a partner that offers direct connectivity to existing data assets eliminates latency and offers superior integrity and security. Being able to maintain full control of your data will help you avoid putting your most valuable asset (your customers) at risk. "In addition to providing us with real-time access to response data, StrongView s platform offers us more integration capabilities to segment our lists based on individual customer preferences, behaviors and events." Lincoln Barrett Vice President of Guest Marketing IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Sample Data Management Questions 22. Describe your data integration options in detail. 23. Can you directly connect to our database of record? a. If so, is it part of your base offering? b. Do you have the option to not have our data persist on your system? 24. What is the standard number of attributes that can be included in our data source for mailings? 25. If we need more data attributes, what is the incremental cost? Can we add these attributes ourselves or does that require your involvement? 26. Do you have access to specialized IT resources that can help maintain the performance of your data warehouse and analytics infrastructure? 27. What is the duration of customer data that can be stored and leveraged as part of your marketing campaigns? 28. Can you currently integrate customer profile data with interaction data to build a comprehensive view of your customers? 29. Does your solution require the mapping of our data attributes into your data attributes? 30. Describe any data breaches that have occurred in the last 3 years, their causes, and how they were communicated to clients. 31. Do you allow clients to update the database on demand using a web interface? 32. Is all data exportable on request or does it require vendor assistance? 33. Do you offer de-dupe (merge/purge) list management capabilities via the interface, or does it require vendor assistance? 34. What type of suppression do you offer? a. Can users set up their own suppression lists via the interface? b. Can specific domains (e.g. gmail.com, yahoo.com) be suppressed? c. Can specific suppression lists automatically be assigned to all mailings? 35. Describe a successful integration with a legacy CRM or marketing automation systems (e.g. Unica/IBM, Aprimo/Teradata, SAP CRM, etc.). 12 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

13 Content Management "The flexibility of the StrongView solution and the quality of its reporting has opened up a new revenue channel for us, as we can now monetize valuable real estate in our newsletters and career alerts." Justin Plumridge B2B Product Manager Workopolis Key Factors to Consider The vendor's dynamic content capabilities should enable your marketing team to easily personalize messages without having to learn or rely on proprietary scripting languages. Your marketing team should be able to easily proof message templates that contain complex, rules-based dynamic content using real subscriber records to drive the personalization. Look for extensive APIs that will allow you to easily integrate with existing content management systems. Sample Content Management Questions 36. Does the system support view-in-mobile and view-as-a-webpage version of the message that can be personalized exactly like the original ? 37. Can you import content automatically from a website or other HTTP location? 38. Describe the capabilities available in the interface for socializing our so that they are easily sharable. a. List the social networks that are supported. b. Is there a capability to add Facebook Like, Comment and Recommend functionality to your templates? c. Does your Forward-to-a-Friend capability offer address book integration with Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail? 39. Describe how mailings that contain dynamic content and personalization are proofed/ tested before being launched. a. Does the system have an online preview function to see dynamic content and personalization without sending physical test messages? b. Can the dynamic content and personalization be tested using recipient data attributes to drive the personalization? 40. Detail your dynamic content capability, including any considerations for maximum content elements and unique versions. a. Do you have a proprietary scripting language required for dynamic content inclusion in content? If not, what scripting language do you support for dynamic content? b. In terms of personalization, can clients merge data from any field into the subject, From name/address or body location in the ? c. Can client personalize the From/Reply address dynamically from any field? If, yes, can it be accomplished through the UI, or does it require your interaction? (e.g. Sales rep contact) 13 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

14 Reporting and Insights Key Factors to Consider An interactive reporting interface should enable you to simply and quickly assess campaign performance with rich data visualizations. Dynamic content reporting should allow you to understand how dynamic aspects of an perform across multiple mailings and campaigns. "Since switching to StrongView, we've seen a significant improvement in the consistency and deliverability of our daily sales alerts, which are a primary driver of purchases." Dave Atchison Vice President of Marketing zulily All reports (not a select few) should draw upon real-time response data. Only detailed failure analysis and bounce categorization at the IP level will enable you to gain the actionable insights needed for resolving deliverability issues. Your marketing team should be able to export any data from the system without involving the vendor or internal IT resources. Sample Reporting and Insights Questions 41. Describe the standard reporting interface, including what key metrics can be viewed and how users can drill-down to recipient level data. a. Are Click Map reports available? Provide a screenshot example. b. Can recipient-level response data be exported from the system via the user interface, without vendor assistance? Provide a screenshot example. c. Do you provide ROI/conversion reporting? Provide a screenshot example. d. Can individual mailings be rolled up in a campaign-level report? e. Can reporting be rolled up between different organizations? f. Can you report on dynamic aspects of an across multiple mailings and campaigns (e.g. click rate on a specific offer or product category across multiple campaigns) 42. Describe the comparison reports that are available. a. Can the comparisons be based on campaigns or dates? 43. Is your reporting real-time (please provide details)? a. What is the average latency (hours, days) for reports? b. Does latency differ by report? 44. Is a technical background or training required to effectively use analytic capabilities in your platform? 45. Describe the dashboard that is available in your system and the summary metrics that can be viewed. Provide a screenshot example. 46. Describe the deliverability and failure reporting that is available in your system. a. Does reporting provide visibility of deliverability at an IP or IP group level? Provide a screenshot. b. Describe how you categorize different types of bounces (e.g. hard and soft). Provide a screenshot. c. Do your failure reports provide the ability to drill down to recipient-level data? 47. Do you have the ability to drill down to the individual customer record from an aggregated report? 14 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

15 Technology Platform "The transition to StrongView was seamless and quickly put an end to our skyrocketing [marketing] costs not to mention the improved support we re receiving from their topnotch deliverability and strategic services teams." Brad Cundall Customer Marketing Manager Hayneedle.com Key Factors to Consider Ideally, the platform you select should have the flexibility to deploy in the cloud or on-premise to support changing business needs. Ensure that any SaaS-based platform offers dedicated system performance that isn't shared with other clients. Owning your own personal system (whether a dedicated SaaS or on-premise deployment) will ensure that you have the scalability to get messages delivered when they need to be, which is essential for flash commerce and other models that require precise delivery windows. Verify the security measures that are in-place to protect your data, and whether or not it is hosted on a shared system with customer data from other clients. Look for an extensive set of APIs that will enable you to integrate with existing marketing, CRM and other business-critical systems. Sample Technology Platform Questions 48. Does your solution provide a dedicated database? 49. Do you support on-premise deployments that can be deployed within our data center? 50. Describe the deployment architecture of your system. a. Do you offer dedicated instances of your platform that are not shared with other customers? 51. Does your platform support "burst" delivery (i.e. a set number of s in a set period of time)? a. If "yes," what level are you able to support burst delivery to deliver large volumes of in a short delivery window (e.g. 5 million messages in 10 minutes)? 52. Do you use a 3rd-party MTA? a. If so, which one? 53. Describe what APIs you support. a. Describe any limits to the number of API calls that can be made in a specific period of time. b. Describe any limits to the number of simultaneous API calls. c. What is the limit to the size of the API payload? d. How many API user accounts are provided? 54. Explain your ability to support simultaneous access by multiple users. a. Can we control what users have access to what parts of the system? b. Can multiple business units be set up with access to data and assets restricted to members of that business unit? 55. Do you provide dedicated IPs? If yes, then how many IP s are available for each customer? 56. Explain the ease of scaling our deployment of your solution to meet increased demand. 57. Describe how customer data is stored and how the security of the data is ensured. 58. Describe your bounce handling logic. a. Are you able to throttle messaging based upon ISP destination? b. Describe the mechanism for updating throttling and bounce categorization rules. c. How often are these rules updated? 15 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

16 Customer Support and Services Key Factors to Consider Choosing a partner that offers a wide array of proven marketing services will enable you to avail yourself of marketing experts who understand both your solution and your business. A partner with proactive deliverability services will immediately identify and mitigate problems, thereby ensuring that they are informing you of an issue rather than the other way around. Having a detailed, documented and proven onboarding methodology is not a luxury; it's essential for getting you up and running quickly and seamlessly. During the sales process, you want to make sure you meet and are satisfied with your account team. "StrongView has provided unflagging and timely support, as well as sage advice on engagement and optimization to maximize the performance of our campaigns." Mark Belanger Sr. Marketing Manager RealNetworks Sample Customer Support and Services Questions 59. Describe your Customer Support services. a. Describe your ability to provide 24/7/365 phone-based support. b. Describe how you manage help requests from customers, including any self-help tools you provide. c. Describe your escalation process. d. Provide an overview of your standard Service Level Agreement. 60. Provide an overview of your account management services. a. How are they compensated? b. Are we able to meet the team during the sales process? 61. Provide a description for how you provide the following marketing services: a. Strategy b. Creative c. Program management 62. Describe your range of customer engagement offerings - from self-service to full-service. a. What are the benefits of each approach? 63. Provide an overview of your implementation methodology. 64. Describe in detail your on-boarding process for new customers. 65. Do you provide integration consultation and support? 66. Provide an overview of your Deliverability Services. a. Describe the mechanisms you have in place to proactively detect deliverability issues and how you notify your delivery team to resolve them. b. Describe the steps that are taken when delivery issues are detected. c. When are we notified of delivery issues? d. Describe how you manage your relationships with the ISPs. e. How do you help organizations monitor and improve their sender reputation and ultimately their deliverability rate? 16 RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

17 THE STRONGVIEW AROACH At StrongView, we provide marketers with the technology, services and know-how to develop and manage effective cross-channel marketing programs. We start with an enterprise-class marketing platform and extend it with a cross-channel campaign designer that lets marketers easily weave social, mobile, web and display into automated lifecycle programs. Next, we bring our technology to life with flexible strategy, creative and campaign execution services. StrongView accomplishes all of this with a fundamentally different model from other marketing platform providers, which offers the following advantages: Cross-Channel Orchestration All top-tier ESPs claim they have solutions for , mobile, social and other consumer marketing channels, but most of the time that means operating a series of individual messaging silos. StrongView enables true-cross-channel orchestration to easily coordinate campaigns across all customer touch points. Drag-and-Drop Lifecycle Marketing Lifecycle marketing functionality is only as good as a marketer's ability to use it (without help from IT). StrongView s innovative lifecycle marketing solution lets enterprise marketers easily create, test and deploy multi-step cross-channel lifecycle campaigns that are optimized in real-time based on engagement. Direct Access to Enterprise Data When it comes to data access, don't settle for anything less than real time. StrongView offers direct connections to legacy CRM solutions and other data sources to enable real-time access and reintegration of customer data. With our flexible data model, you can finally get access to all of your upstream systems. Your Own System Each StrongView client gets its own dedicated campaign management and execution system that is not shared with any other client. This unique arrangement provides unlimited control and unparalleled performance to deliver the world s largest sending volumes in the smallest target delivery windows. On-Demand or On-Premise Solutions StrongView gives you the flexibility to leverage our solutions in the way that makes the most sense for your business. Whether you choose to deploy our solutions behind your firewall for maximum security, or access them on-demand in a world-class cloud environment, you get the same dedicated technology plus the flexibility to easily switch between environments as business needs change. Budget Optimization Instead of charging CPM fees that penalize companies for growing their database, StrongView offers the widest array of purchase options for maximizing investment. From a perpetual license with unlimited sending capacity to a competitively priced subscription model, we allow you to spend more on things that matter like data integration, analytics, strategy and creative. StrongView Toll free U.S. +1 (800) Toll U.S. +1 (650) Toll U.K. +44 (0) RFP Strategies for Choosing Your Next Cross-Channel ESP

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