Migrating to a new email service provider can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
At Enchant, we've advised and migrated hundreds of brands to their shiny new ESP. We've seen what commonly goes wrong, and we've written this blog to help you avoid the pitfalls. Ensure that everything goes smoothly with our handy tips and audit template.
The Road to Your Dream ESP
Congratulations! After many weeks of meetings, discussions and shortlisting, you have identified your dream ESP. You're both elated and exhausted. Now the real work begins. Your next step is to migrate.
The secret to an effective and stress-free ESP migration is all in the planning and detail. A systematic approach to migration demands a detailed audit of everything you are currently doing with email.
Your audit document is going to be the focus of this article. It's such a useful document that we hope to convince you that you need it, even if you aren't considering a migration. Of course, having an audit document makes the migration process much more manageable. It might also help you when it comes to selecting the ideal ESP, so the sooner you have it, the better.
A detailed audit will highlight out of date or unloved parts of your email programme that need attention. Hand on heart, many email marketers have these issues. You might argue that you don't. Let us both agree that we don't know what we don't know. Follow this process and uncover your gremlins.
The Mother of all Email Spreadsheets
To help make migrating as easy as possible, we have put together an email service provider migration template for you to fill out. Feel free to adjust this as you see fit. Most email setups and programmes are unique so tailor this template to fit your needs. Armed with this company schematic of all things email, you can start to take a more strategic approach to what you want to keep and what you want to ditch.
Delegate and Win
One of the things that often delay such an audit is the 'do it all yourself' approach. While it's nice to have complete control, sometimes it's great to involve others. Delegate the documentation process to the teams who manage each part of your programme. They know the detail and will do a much better job.
Delegating this process helps to increase everyone's understanding of the task at hand. Get them involved. It will increase your chances of keeping this document alive and updated. Once you have created this document, you will want it to become a living part of your email architecture.
Our ESP Migration audit template is divided into seven separate tabs to help you gather everything in one place:
1. Lists and Usage
This section will help you organise the data repositories and lists you currently have in your ESP and other email systems.
The Segments section helps you to understand how you are segmenting data for different parts of your programme. It will help you to migrate those segments to your new ESP.
3. Website / App Sign Up Forms
Website forms are easily overlooked. Any of your website email capture forms could need linking to your new ESP. Much depends on how your website integrates with your CRM and or ESP. Complete the audit and check.
4. Image Library and Media Assets
This allows you to record where current images and brand assets are stored. If these are in your existing ESP's system, they will need to be migrated.
5. Campaign Emails
This is a place to capture information on your regular email campaign automation.
6. Operational & Transactional Emails
These are very often emails sent out by separate email systems. Sometimes internal systems or even finance systems. They are often templated and never looked at / unloved email repositories, so they are well worth including in your audit.
7. Final Checklist
The final tab is reserved for pulling together a definitive list of all the email assets you need to pull across as part of the migration. It can be made up of the relevant elements in tabs 4 and 5. Think of it as one list to rule them all.
Work your way through each of the tabs completing the details each sheet /tab requests. Once the sheet is complete, you will be able to start building out a timeline and project plan for the completion of your migration.
So that's the process, but before we wrap this up, we wanted to include a few top tips to further improve your migration outcome.
As you go through this process, it's worth noting any areas where your current practice makes things hard to see. Start noting down all the things in your existing systems that niggle you. Starting with a new ESP gives you the chance to work on a clean slate. Take what you have and imagine how it could be done better.
Review Your Automation
When reviewing your email automations, it's crucial to review them with a critical eye. Check the operational results for each automation. Does it work well? Is it engaging users? Do they follow its primary call to action and follow through?
All too often, the stats behind automation can be hidden deep within your existing ESP. We all know it's bad practice to set and forget, but an email marketer's job is never done. No sooner have you finished one campaign and you are on to the next. It is easy for automation to crank out their output regardless of how your audiences react to them. Use this audit as an opportunity to review each automation's performance and make some improvements.
The Account Structure of Your Dreams
Yes, even simple things like how you structure account elements in your new ESP are well worth considering when you migrate. Don't assume the way you do it now is the very best it could be.
Think about naming conventions and folder structures within your new ESP. Standardising these into a more straightforward and more logical structure can help. It can speed up all manner of tasks your team perform, including reporting on and comparing results.
Unsure how to structure things? Why reinvent the wheel. Ask your new ESP or Enchant for advice on best / smart practice for an organisation like yours.
Help on Call
Enchant have helped many organisations make a smooth transition from one ESP to another. If you have any questions about this process or about anything email marketing related, drop us a line and get in touch. We live to help. Remember, the migration tool is available here.
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