Migrating ESP in 5 easy steps

Moving from one email service provider (ESP) to another can be a daunting experience.

At GraphicMail we offer a managed service with dedicated Implementation Manager to make sure the migration moves without any hitches. Here are some of the things to think about when moving ESP.

1. Moving your data – ALL of it

It isn’t just customer records you might need to move. Don’t forget the following:

  • Unsubscribes
  • Bounces
  • Spam Complaints
  • Open and click data

You need all of your data in order to make sure you don’t have delivery disasters when moving ESP. Sending to email addresses that have unsubscribed from your database or have complained about your emails will lead to a further spike in complaints. Keeping your bounce data is also essential as this list may contain spam traps, which you obviously don’t want to be sending to.  Essentially if you get this wrong it could be months before you can rectify your sending reputation and get good inbox placement.

Also if you want to improve delivery rates consider suppressing those people that never open or click on your marketing email. This will help reduce your complaint rate, and with ISP’s looking at engagement rates to determine the quality of your sender it will give you an improvement in delivery without loss of any actual opens and clicks.

2. Past Campaign History

Include all historical campaign data ensuring you don’t lose any of the value in the reporting you have built up. This includes your past campaigns and all associated open and click data.

3. Signup Forms

Existing forms will need to be customised so your new ESP can pick up where the old ESP left off and continue to send the welcome emails connected to the form. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to do, so isn’t a huge job. Some platforms can actually do a ‘double post’, so the submission goes to 2 places.

4. Sub-domains

You will likely need to create new sub-domains for pointing to your new ESP. These are usually used so you can have friendly from addresses and tracking links. You can switch your existing sub-domains to your new ESP but that means any click-throughs on old emails will cease to function. If you have a DKIM record for a sub-domain, ensure your new ESP signs emails with it, this allows you to maintain your sending reputation that you build up with your old ESP. It is a complicated subject area to discuss in this blog article.

5. Transactional Emails

One of the key reasons why marketers switch ESP’s is to integrate marketing and transactional emails more closely. Transactional emails are of course mission critical so switching on your new ESP needs to be handled carefully. Look for an ESP with a simple integration option of SMTP gateway, where your system administrators can simply change the connection details they send through rather than having to require complex programming resources.

Need help? Get a dedicated Implementation Manager through our contact form.