In 2002 I was the Email Marketing Manager for a little Experian company known as  Before CheetahMail became a sister company my role included keeping tabs on ESPs and alternative deployment options that could technically support advanced email marketing requirements.   

As an end-user I needed a level of detail that just wasn’t available in the guides and reports published by research firms, regardless of  the valuable information that they contained.  That lead me to develop a side-by-side matrix comparing vendor’s technical features and functions at a line-item level. 

That matrix has been updated, expanded, and populated with a variety of email vendors and will be released as the “Red Pill Email Vendor Features & Functions Guide” by the end of January 2010.

“A guide from John Caldwell will likely be the best guide written in the last few years…”  — John Engler

ESPs of all shapes and sizes are represented in the Guide as are appliances and MTAs.  Each line item feature is defined, and in a common language, so that the user knows exactly what they are comparing.  In the Guide you’ll find the usual suspects, and some not so familiar.  All Web Email’s Peter Roebuck said of his company’s participation, “This was a nice exercise for us as it made us look inward about our strengths and weaknesses.”

Be sure to watch this space for updates on the Guide, its participants, and its release date.