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Esp Vs. In-house
Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:07 PM
We've been running a quite successful email campaign for years using a mid-tier ESP. The powers that be think we can save a few $ by doing it in house. I've been trying to talk them out of it by giving some reasons why we should stick with an ESP (reason #1 is they didn't even realize you should get whitelisted by ISPs). I truly believe that we do not have the resources or ability to do this without having negative consequences on one of our most profitable channels.
Anyway, I'm writing up a report showing the benefits of an ESP and what would be required to bring the whole mess in house. If anybody knows of any good white papers or has some figures I can use it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you are a believer of bringing email campaigns in house please let me know your reasoning.
Basics of our email campaign:
Weekly emails: 60,000-70,000
Open rate: 38%
Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:16 PM
I'd start out by handing TPTB a complete copy of the Can Spam Act. This contains the requirements from the US Gov't. Then let them know that they also need compile information about and comply with any State Regulations, which in most cases be even more stringent and provide for higher fines. And that's just if you're only sending email to US email addresses.
That'll be 51 sets of rules someone is going to have to make sure you're complying with, just for US email. And of course they change from time to time, so it's not a set it and forget it type of situation.
You'll also have to comply with the rules and regulations of any foreign governments, if any of your recipients are not US-based.
Next print out and hand them the AUP of your ISP that gets Internet Connectivity to the office. And your hosting company too. Both are probably going to expressly forbid UCE. Meaning you'll need negotiate different agreements with each of these two entities, and live by whatever restrictions they put on you. Expect both to charge you several times what they're charging you now for the same level of service.
Then you'll need to factor in keeping it all legal and secure, so plan on hiring at least two well qualified IT people to watch over your email server. That'll work out to about $200k per year in most places, plus whatever their benefits cost you. And you'll probably need at least one attorney who is familiar with spam issues. Another couple hundred thou at a minimum. And a couple of customer service people to handle dealing with removal requests and coordinating with other ISPs to keep you from being blacklisted.
Then make sure you let them know that if they miss any step along the way they should expect to have the entire server, you know ... the one that runs your web site, blacklisted by multiple ISPs. Not to mention all of the spam RBL lists out there. If you ever do manage to get blacklisted by any of these do not expect to get anything resolved in less than 2 months. More common is 6 months, and that's if you're doing everything 100% by the rules and get lucky.
Miss one and you can simply expect your site to get turned off. Killing all of its income potential.
Posted 13 February 2009 - 07:04 AM
They should be able to give you a raft of information which you can then use to show what you would need to be able to do in house (and how many people you would need for server maintainance, compliance issues, legal disputes etc. Of course this is a route you would only want to take if it is not going to solve one problem and cause another (like alienating your current esp)
Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:39 PM
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