When email marketers undergo their ESP selection process, they frequently use what are known as”psychological shortcuts”. These may slide in with no marketer even knowing it is happening. It is almost natural to use subjective criteria to separate the email advertising software. Sometimes these shortcuts come disguised as facts.
But once you let your decision is influenced by shortcuts that are emotional, your RFP process is in serious trouble! Keep reading to learn how to spot shortcuts ways to avoid them on your RFPs and people are likely to take.
How do psychological RFP shortcuts end up in your choice?
An shortcut is not just about feelings / emotions on your marketing RFP. As you will see, the definition is more about the absence of facts:
What’s an”emotional shortcut”?
An”emotional shortcut” is drawing a conclusion based on subjective, or psychological criteria as opposed to decision-making based on truth. It often omits one or more steps that are important.
Emotional shortcuts are used. Rather in good faith with the belief that everything pertinent has been weighed and considered.
In the Email Service Provider (ESP) RFP process marketers often call on emotional shortcuts. It is challenging to process an avalanche of information in your RFP, particularly if it has not been structured to make apples to apples comparisons between the respective vendors. It’s no wonder we want to decrease the (cognitive) effort and time required.
With this definition in mind, it’s obvious why a marketer who finds himself in the position of believing all ESPs are the same will look for different ways to make decisions about which vendor to award the company and which ones to eliminate.
The problem with taking these shortcuts in your selection
Your process has broken down, when you rely to separate the ESPs pitching your business. The problem is
- You can’t validate or perhaps share your decision criteria with the staff or your management.
- You open your choice to second-guessing which can set the process back a few steps.
- Above all, the probability of making the right selection of vendor partner plummet.
This has been known by vendor salespeople. They use shortcuts that are psychological to be taken by this tendency for prospects !
Shortcuts to avoid in shortlisting and assessing ESPs
Marketers will often take Emotional Shortcuts (ESCs) through the RFP process without even thinking about it. It can begin with the decision as to which vendors to invite to your ESP RFP. Here are a few of the most common shortcuts we’ve steered our clients away from we’ve managed.
Here are a few Emotional Shortcuts to avoid.
1. The Analyst shortcut
What does the Forrester Wave say about vendors? Or any analyst with whom I’m familiar? I am just going to invite their top 6! This might feel like you’re doing your homework. – and analyst reviews can contain valid datapoints – but you’re relying on someone else’s opinion with no specific idea about your unique requirements.
Most of these analyst positions are prepared by folks who’ve never been in your shoes – they have never worked for an ESP or become an email marketer that used an ESP as part of the job (don’t take my word for it, look them up on LinkedIn).
As your main source of information is like purchasing a car based on the advice of a person without a driver 25, relying on analyst rankings s permit! Imagine if authors for Car & Driver rated cars without driving them!
2. The Proximity shortcut
Which vendors do I know from off the top of my mind? Who has made an attempt to stay in contact with me? This is certainly a measure of just how well known a vendor is, or how badly they need your business. We trust what we understand, but this has no bearing on who are the best match for your company.
The best salespeople are those that understand this psychological shortcut as I mentioned earlier. They count on the friendship they have built to get when you RFP, their company included. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having friends, as long as you have your evaluation without considering facts, coloured and are not taking a shortcut.
3. The Peer opinion shortcut
What platforms do other entrepreneurs use? You can’t speak to a bunch of other email marketers without their MarTech stack eventually coming up. Peer opinions are one. Why do I say that?
At any given time up to 20 percent of an ESPs clients are extremely unhappy with that vendor (for some vendors that number is significantly higher). There might be lots of reasons that are legitimate for that 20% of detractors to be unhappy, but it’s simply the result of a relationship gone stale.
If is among the 20%, you’re going to find a opinion of their vendor – so that vendor is excluded by you from your RFP. But if you asked one of the 80% you heard great reviews, and of promoters what they believe you would have included that ESP!
Isn’t that review data? Not really. Is that their seller may be a good match for your organization if both of your companies were alike in every way.
Despite what analysts would have you think, there isn’t a”best” ESP. But there’s a finest ESP for your company. You’re not going to find it relying on shortcuts.
Emotional shortcuts on your ESP evaluation
Let us assume that you made a good shortlist without taking shortcuts. Maybe you even hired an outside consultant to assist with your choice.
How can his or her evaluation be trusted, like I mentioned before, if a person hasn’t driven a car? I think experience with platforms is valuable. Does expert advice is guaranteed by this experience? No. So it can be good to bring in a consultant experienced in platforms as well as the RFP process!
Once you’ve cut the original list down to a shortlist of 3 or 4 vendors, it’s time to meet in person and get a closer look. This is just another point where shortcuts can ruin clear decision-making. You’re likely to have meetings, if you leave it up to the vendors to present whatever they would like to concentrate on. Vendors prefer to show their strengths and also for each vendor that’s very likely to be different.
At this point, rather than finding substantive differences during the demonstrations, marketers may revert to psychological shortcuts that are simpler to apply.
Beware “pretty pictures”
When I worked on the vendor side I always had my creative team make some email templates and landing pages (aka”pretty pictures”) for the prospect, whether they were asked for. And I would bring my manager. Why?
Because”pretty pictures” break up the monotony of a long meeting and prove very memorable when determining whose presentations were preferred. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to showcase my group for a way and they did work. So while it was a stunt, it still provided the capacity to the prospect team to take an emotional shortcut when deciding which vendors to stay in play.
The appeal of the presenting team
The group in an in-person meeting also has (not surprisingly) a huge effects. It is one. Likable – or a strong – presenting team more frequently than the reverse, although I’ve seen customers gravitate towards a vendor with a weak or unfit tooling. But note that you’re not just choosing the presenters or sales people, oftentimes they are not your contacts later on!
Using a scorecard system to stay objective
Emotional shortcuts might lead to you picking the best vendor for your needs – then maybe you will win the Nobel Peace Prize. Your process has broken down when you rely to separate your organization being pitched by the ESPs.
With a good scorecard system, the effect of emotional shortcuts can be lessened at the presentation stage of your selection process – diminished, but not always removed.
In RFPs we guidewe use scorecards. So each decision is made as objectively as possible.
We score the RFP responses with the in-person meetings with another, one type of scorecard, as well as the final sandbox phase with its distinctive scorecard. Vendors proceed in the procedure based solely on how they rank in the scorecards.
Taking shortcuts that are psychological in the RFP process will result in a breakdown sooner or later. Obviously you want to avoid that. We would be happy to help get back your RFP on course if it happens to you. You won’t be the first person to make that call to us!
The post Faux-facts and emotional shortcuts; how to ruin an email marketing RFP without even knowing it appeared initially on Email vendor choice .