We see it all the time in marketing. A business wants to switch email service providers (ESPs), and so they begin at the seemingly logical—yet dreaded—place: the RFP.

I suspect the dreaded request for proposals is as common as it is because marketers see it as a way to jumpstart the selection process: It's a way to get started when you're not sure how to get started.

I also suspect, though, that RFPs are common simply because they seem to have always been with us. Yet, sometimes, there is a better way than the way people before you did it.

Most organizations using an RFP whittle down a long list of vendors to a short list, and then the real work of comparing and contrasting (and ultimately contracting) begins. But a lot of time and energy is spent just getting to that point.

It is possible, though, to get to the short list stage faster, saving you time and money—by optimizing your RFP process.

I have seen more RFPs than I care to remember, so I have some definite ideas about how to go about doing an RFP right. Based on those experiences, I offer you six tips for optimizing the process and making it go faster, smoother, and easier.

Tip 1: Talk about why you're making the switch

First and foremost, have a conversation about why you're switching ESPs.

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image of Marco Marini

Marco Marini is the CEO of ClickMail Marketing and an expert in email marketing with over a decade of experience in the field.

LinkedIn: Marco Marini