A Step‑by‑Step Guide to the RFP Process
July 28, 2023
Putting together a request for proposal (RFP) for a new email marketing platform can be arduous. It’s a time-consuming process and usually involves many different stakeholders within an organization. Marigold Engage by Sailthru by Marigold knows a thing or two about what (most) decision-makers need to evaluate to get the right new addition to their tech stacks.
Our 2023 Guide to the RFP Process will help you identify the requirements your team should consider when choosing a new automated solutions partner.
Step 1: Get the Big Picture
Before building your requirements list, define your organization’s goals and objectives. Ask yourselves what the state of your email marketing strategy is now, and where you want it to be a year from now. What is the new vendor adding to your operations? Which departments in your organization need to be involved in the evaluation process? Who is the final decision-maker and how will success be measured?
Step 2: Define and Rank Your Requirements
Requirements are best broken down into three groups: functional, operational, and technical.
- FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Functional requirements describe what the system needs to do. This list typically comes from tech-savvy system administrators and strategic marketing team members tasked with driving more engagement and revenue.
- OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Operational requirements describe how the system should run, including user profiles, security, scalability, and customer support. This list is usually a collaborative effort between the marketing and operations teams.
- TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: Technical requirements describe how the vendor and the technology stay compliant with security, privacy, and IT policies.
Step 3: Schedule Demos and Issue Your RFP
Usually, our partners approach the evaluation process in one of two ways: 1) either via a formal RFP issued with a due date to your list of vendors, or 2) a more conversational route that starts with demo requests from the organizations on your consideration list.
Step 4: Score Your Top Vendors
When you start this exercise, you might notice that everyone thinks their requirement is critical, so we recommend ranking your requirements on a scale of 1-5 from least important to most important. Marigold has created scorecards to evaluate a variety of solutions like email, loyalty, data collection and interactive experiences, and technical/operational requirements that your team can download and use as soon as you start your process.
Step 5: Make it Official
It’s time to make your selection official. Let your vendor of choice know you’re ready to sign and get finalization on the timeline. Selecting a marketing platform is a colossal task. The right platform should give you the tools to quickly and efficiently deliver contextually relevant messages and experiences that drive engagement and lifetime customer value.
To learn more about creating an RFP that helps your business go through the process carefully and efficiently, download the 2023 Guide to the RFP Process. Already in the process? Download our RFP scorecards to help make the evaluation process a little easier.
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