Email marketing remains one of the most powerful lead generators for any organization. In fact, 73% of marketers agree email marketing is core to their business. Given the importance of this channel, the mere thought of switching to a new ESP (email service provider) is enough to make a marketer’s stomach flip.
It’s not something organizations do lightly. You have to address your budget, define which features you’re seeking and determine how you can obtain greater value than what’s provided by your current vendor.
Changing ESPs can get complicated-fast. There are many moving parts involving the setup and configuration, and any mishaps could upset current and potential customers, damage reputation and, ultimately, impact revenue. Today we’re going to talk about how to make the process a little easier.
Here are eight things to know when switching to a new ESP that will help make the move less daunting:
1. Use Email Verification
When transferring to a new ESP, several factors could impact your reputation. This makes it an ideal time to do some housekeeping and clean up those email lists. Email verification identifies any email address discrepancies before they get flagged by ISPs and ESPs (which can cause permanent damage to your reputation) and will improve your deliverability.
2. Remember Your Inbox Placement Could Change
When you switch ESP providers, your send email will change, and this may impact your inbox placement. Advise your subscribers of the change before it takes place and ask them to add your new email to their address book.
3. Prepare to Rebuild Your Sender Reputation
Changing ESP providers also means moving to a new IP address and domain. If ESPs don’t know you (or, more accurately, don’t know your IP address and domain), you risk being filtered as junk mail.
4. Know If You Have a Shared or Dedicated IP Address
The answer to this question will influence how the rest of the transition unfolds. If you have a dedicated IP address, the impact of switching will be greater, and you’ll want to “warm up” or ease into the transition (i.e. break down your contact lists and send slowly). If you have a shared IP address, the transition will be less severe.
5. Don’t Forget to Migrate Certain Data
Obviously, you’ll remember to transfer the most important data, like email addresses and user profiles to your new ESP. But don’t forget easily overlooked data, like unsubscribed users, hard bounced addresses and spam addresses. Failure to transfer this information could upset customers and damage your reputation with ESPs.
6. Update Tracking HTMLs
If you’re like most savvy marketers, your organization uses an HTML tracking code on its website to monitor clicks and conversions. When switching ESPs, it’s imperative you consider the entire breadcrumb trail involved in your email. Don’t forget to update this HTML tracking code.
7. Update Subscriber Forms
Speaking of breadcrumb trails, how many subscriber forms exist between your website, social media profiles and various marketing campaigns? It’s a good idea to conduct an audit and take stock in every subscriber form that’s currently live so they can be easily updated in an organized fashion once the transition is complete.
8. Integrate With Your CRM
Make certain your new ESP is compatible with your current CRM system, and address the integration of these two tools early on. The ability of these two systems to work together is vital to your marketing process.
With proper list hygiene and plenty of preparation, switching to a new ESP doesn’t have to be a nightmare. And the better you’re prepared, the less likely it is for something to go wrong. The best advice we can offer is to sharpen your attention to detail, especially immediately following the transition. Watch your email metrics closely and address any issues before they develop into larger problems.
Need to clean up your database? Get a free email address validation report now!