In March I recorded an interview with TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner; here it is….

John Caldwell, the founder of Red Pill Email, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on marketing automation. The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Caldwell joined Buckner to discuss Marketing Automation trends, as well as how to select the right email marketing vendor for your needs and maximize your investment.

Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: What does Red Pill Email do? How does your company name relate to the services you provide?

John: Red Pill Email is a technical and analytic email marketing consultancy. Our tagline is “Embracing the sometimes painful truth.” So we try and cut to the chase and tell you like we see it. Matrix movie fans will recognize the whole “Red Pill” thing.

It started with a client that had an in-house email system with a lot of shortcomings. In order for them to keep that on-premise solution, they were going to need to update their background systems. So me, the project manager, and the technology team had a meeting. We sat down and I explained to them what needed to be done and why it needed to be done. The project manager and I walked out and he said to me, “I wish I’d taken the Blue Pill. I was happy not knowing what I didn’t know, and I would like to return to that ignorant bliss.”

And that’s where our name came from.

TA: What are some tips to help choose the best marketing automation vendor and email service provider (ESP) for a company?

John: We start the selection process by interviewing all the different stakeholders, the technology people, the marketing people, the business people. A lot of times the business people are overlooked, and through our interviews gathering information, we start building out our specifications. Those are the features that we expect the platform to have, or the way we expect the platform to perform.

We also place special focus on the culture of both the vendors and the buyers since we want the relationship to last. For example, if an organization expects a response to a question within 3 hours, we’re going to find a vendor that matches. So if we know that one of the vendors has a response time of 24 hours, it’s just not going to work out. Because the client company that expects an answer within 3 hours, they are just not going to be happy.

Some simple personal things that we all experience in life are overlooked when vetting vendors. And we just kind of put on a little more focus on that, because we want this relationship to last. It costs so much money to change platforms. Once you integrate your internal systems with the vendor platform, you’re married. And anyone who has ever been divorced, knows how expensive that can be. We want to make a long lasting marriage.

TA: It’s a match-making approach and I like how you use some relationship analogies when you go through that vendor selection process. If a company doesn’t feel like they’re going to get the support they need, it might not make sense to make an investment because it is very expensive. Not only on their wallet, but also on their time.

John: A lot of times clients don’t even consider that. It’s not just investment capital but the investment time. If we lose a little money we can always make it back. When we lose time— it’s gone. That can push everything else back, and slow time to market on a particular product or service.


Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes. You can also subscribe to just the Marketing Automation category.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.