If you’re in the market for a website testing and optimization tool, hopefully you’re not among the unfortunate few whose corporate rules and regulations (or BPUs – business prevention units) require the creation of a Request for Proposal (RFP). But even if you are, your frustration should be directed more toward the lack of insights that RFPs often lead to and less at the process itself.

As I’ve written in my Website Testing & Optimization Buyer’s Guide, most vendor RFPs get it all wrong. The worst RFPs ask questions that make little to no sense whatsoever. The best still fail to understand the questions about, and attributes of, a tool that are most important, and how they enhance or stifle your ability to execute the five best practices in testing and targeting:

  1. Deliver consistent messages across channels;
  2. Provide easy and ongoing usage for campaign creation;
  3. Offer business-relevant targeting and segmentation;
  4. Promote decentralized ownership; and
  5. Support a culture of continuous testing and optimization.

That’s why I’ve now added the Suggested Testing and Website Optimization RFP (.XLS file) as a supplement to my Buyer’s Guide. This RFP covers everything from initial setup, ease of ongoing use, performance, scalability, infrastructure, capabilities and benefits, and more.

If you’re required to do an RFP, or you’re simply undecided in the buying process, the questions contained in this spreadsheet are a great place to start. They speak directly to the best practices mentioned above and reveal a lot about a vendor’s strengths, weaknesses, and competencies.

My goal is to start you down a path of ultimate success in website testing. Remember, selecting the wrong tool may turn you off to testing altogether.

I encourage you to use these questions either in their entirety or to inform a unique set of questions you compile yourself. And, as always, if you feel I’ve missed something, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.