Category Archives: e-Dialog

ESP Review Results

Sorry for the lack of posts, but the search and implementation of our new ESP can be time consuming.

We ended up contracting with ExactTarget late in November.  Our contract with eDialog (now eBay Enterprise Marketing Services) expired at the end of December.  With the holidays in there that left us with about 3 weeks to transition.

We reviewed eDialog, ExactTarget, Bronto, and SilverPop.  I also had a brief conversation with StrongView. These are all great vendors, are competitively priced, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them.  Different vendors may be more appropriate for you depending on how you go to market, what kind of support you want, and your desire to implement data, but they are all solid vendors.  I’ll try to post later about why we made the decision we did, a decision we are happy with.

I do want to briefly talk about eDialog.  (I just can’t get myself to type eBay Enterprise Marketing Services or to say EEMS.)  They provide great service.  They are used to providing clients with a full service business model.  They are willing and very capable of taking care of everything for you.  You can contract with them and not need to think about emails again if that is the way you do business.  If you are looking for a vendor that will implement your email marketing, I highly recommend eDialog.

But that isn’t the way we do business. We tend to want to do it all ourselves and look for a tool set that enables, simplifies, and streamlines that.

So before I get into why we chose ExactTarget, in some subsequent post, I wanted to list what I will miss about eDialog.

  • Great, personal customer service.  We had weekly phone calls with our eDialog team, but even between those meetings I could call or email and count on a quick response.
  • Symbols.  eDialog makes it very easy to embed variables, what they call Symbols, into emails.  Lots of other vendors provide that capability, but it is very simple and straight forward in eDialog.
  • Proofing and Seed Lists.  eDialog has a great process for proofing emails, both right within their platform, and by sending out sample emails to an internal proofing list.  Emails sent out to a proofing list are populated with real customer data, so you can see what your emails will look like when your customer receives them.  Seeds are easily appended to each email drop, if that is what you want to do.
  • Proactive deliverability team.  I never had to worry about whether our emails we getting delivered to our customers.  Early on, when we were warming up our IP address, I would get emails from eDialog telling me when an ISP was blocking our emails and stating that they were acting to resolve the block.  Sure enough the next send would go through.  I’m sure that part of our success was due to that proactive approach and consistent delivery right to people’s inbox.

Great Customer Service at e-Dialog

It’s is time for me to praise e-Dialog again, this time about their customer service.  We set up an email improperly last week and scheduled it to go out yesterday at 9:00 AM.  When it didn’t go out, I tried to figure out what was wrong, but being a newbie, I couldn’t.  After sending them an email they took a look at it, fixed the problem, and the email went on its merry way.  All this on a long weekend.

More positive updates to come, I am sure.

BTW, if you are an e-Dialog user, I’d be interested in setting up an online forum or users group.  I’d like to be able to discuss how to use their tool-set with other, more experienced users.

Busy Week for Emails Last Week

Last week was a busy week for emails, with volumes not seen since before Christmas. Of course, most of those emails were of the ##% off variety. If email marketing professionals are going to contribute to the marketing mix, they will need to figure out how emails can be used to drive sales without discounting everything. Unfortunately 95% of the emails I read feature discounts, including the emails that I’m responsible for. That is what we’ve trained our subscribers to expect.

Things are going well with e-Dialog. We got five emails out last week in our first full week with them. By the end of the week click rates were as strong as they have been. Data integration is our next major undertaking, as is a triggered welcome series.