After all these years, Email Marketing still shines as the communication channel generating the maximum ROI. The reason behind this is its ability to procure and convert prospects at various sales funnel stages. Advancements in email play a major role when it comes to carrying out successful email campaigns and finding the right email service provider (ESP) is like marrying a perfect match. The better the compatibility, the better the relationship!
Today, when email service providers are capable of offering more than just old-school marketing techniques, it takes thorough research before you land your choice on an ESP. A full-blown ESP is the one that is i) feature-rich and ii) future-proof for your business.
Regardless of why you decide to migrate to a new ESP, there are certain compatibility areas you need to check through to find out whether the new email marketing tool is the one that fits the bill. You need to keep many things in mind to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. Read on to find out top things in mind while migrating to a new ESP.
Indications that you need a new ESP
Quality email marketing services are the need of the hour. With more and more brands directing their efforts to up their email game, consumers seek a highly personalized approach when it comes to emails. Knowing that your email service provider will play a significant role in your email marketing efforts, it is vital to choose a partner that can complement your level of organizational requirements. Here are a few signs that will indicate when it will be time to migrate to a new ESP.
- Your current ESP lacks the latest functionalities to back your email marketing needs.
- Your current ESP doesn’t support multichannel and omnichannel marketing features and you need to toggle between solutions to get it.
- Your email deliverability metrics show a constant decline and you need a more credible partner to send out your emails.
- Lack of a full-fledged email automation framework for various types of campaigns.
- When you are unable to measure your email marketing efforts due to your ESPs limited analytics features.
- Your current ESP charges you for basic functionalities like free email templates. You can check out Salesforce email templates and free Mailchimp customizable template library for reference.
- You have outgrown your current ESPs offerings and need a more scalable partner that can support you in the long run.
- You need a more reasonable service provider that can ensure futuristic upgrades.
The above-mentioned reasons are more of alarming points to indicate that it is time to make a switch. Once you decide you need a new ESP, the journey of comparison begins. There are abundant choices available when you look out for an email solution provider and it depends on your email marketing needs as to which to go for. But when you are planning an ESP migration, there are a few definite factors you should not miss out on. Here they are:
5 Things to Keep in Mind While ESP Migration
Choosing the right ESP for email marketing is a crucial decision especially when customers today are smart and expect an unconventional marketing approach from brands. Evaluate potential email solution providers based on the following must-have features.
1. The Interface and Integration
Before you rush to migrate your email marketing facilities on to a new ESP, make sure you are well-versed with how the new ESP operates. It is important to know about the user-friendliness of the platform, how swiftly the navigation works, email campaign workflow, account activation & data syncing, pre-built free email template library, and whether you need an ESP specialist to guide you through the migration process.
On the integration part, you need to make sure that your ESP comes with HTML validation tools, third-party integration ease, testing, and other customizable setup possibilities.
2. ESP Credibility
Deliverability lies at the core of email marketing, so when you are considering an ESP migration, your current IP and DomainKeys might face a hit. You need to analyze what sender score the new ESP possesses for most of its clients and how flexible they are with third-party audits.
The credibility for email deliverability depends on authentication criteria and possible troubleshooting features. Whitelisting, feedback loops, SPF, SenderID, DKIM & DMARC, are few of the reputation support elements that you need to ensure optimal deliverability.
3. Future-proofing and Upgrades
For many of you, a major trigger to migrate to a new ESP would be limited features. When you choose to switch, make sure to understand the built-in or integrated features that your new ESP comes with.
- Email automation
- Advanced personalization
- CRM integration
- Website tracking
- Database support, and
- Multi-channel (full-service) marketing capabilities
These are just a gist of what a full-scale ESP can look like. You need to understand how tech-savvy and advanced the platform features are. For instance, when you use pre-built Salesforce email templates in SMFC, they are responsive and tested across clients and ready with all the latest email client updates. Moreover, you don’t migrate every now and then, thus when you do, keep your brand’s growth aspects in mind. Is the ESP ready for future expansion? – should be your question before finalizing one.
4. Analytics Abilities
Analyzing email engagement metrics and putting its data into action to yield success is THE ultimate goal to conduct measurable campaigns. When you are migrating to a new ESP, dig deep into how their analytics and reporting features have to offer. Exporting data, generating customized reports, engagement rate reporting, Internet Service Provider (ISP) interaction support, and engagement tracking are some of the essential analytics abilities available with an advanced ESP. You need these data and reports for understanding where you stand with your email campaigns.
5. Customer Support
It all comes down to unmatched security and on-demand customer support! When shifting ESPs, you can not afford to go for a platform with unsatisfactory customer service. Whether you undertake the migration process on your own or hire an ESP migration specialist, having customer support for onboarding, data migration, integration, until setting up your first campaign and beyond is vital. Things to expect from great customer support are:
- 24/7 ticketing system
- Complaint troubleshooting and escalation process
- Available audit trials
- Security tools
- Monitoring, alerts, and compliance for updates and new feature launches
- Training, deployment, and down-time
- Remedial approach for policy violation, and accessibility
ESPs like Mailchimp, Marketo, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), HubSpot, and more come with unique user-interface and variant features. ESP migration is a process that demands a considerate approach and platform-specific expertise. Data migration, sync, integration, onboarding, interface understanding – are just a few components of this pool. Make very sure that you are taking important aspects into account. On a brighter side, you can always seek an expert’s guidance to make the shifting hassle-free.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing Email Marketing Agency that specializes in crafting professional email templates, custom email templates design and coding in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.