Reading Time: 3 minutes

Migrating to a new Email Service Provider (ESP) can be daunting for any organization. The risks are significant, particularly when it comes to email deliverability. 

By following these steps and considerations, e-commerce companies can know when it’s time for an ESP migration, mitigate risks and achieve a successful migration, ultimately enhancing their email marketing capabilities.

When to Consider an ESP Migration

Here are some indicators that it might be time to switch to a new ESP:

  • Limited Automation Capabilities: Your current platform doesn’t offer the advanced automation you need.
  • Lack of Integration: Your ESP doesn’t integrate well with other tools you use, such as SMS platforms, payment processors, or CMS.
  • Data Management Issues: You need better tools for managing and utilizing your data effectively.
  • Cost Inefficiency: You’re overpaying, or the pricing structure doesn’t align with your long-term segmentation goals.

Essential Steps for a Successful Migration

Once you’ve decided to migrate and selected a new platform, you want to focus on data integrity and deliverability throughout the migration process. Here’s the four-prong approach we recommend:

  1. Clean Your List

Start with a clean list. This is the perfect time for a list cleaning. Inactive contacts hurt your deliverability and increase costs. Remove inactive contacts to get rid of dead weight.

  1. Review Your Segmentation Strategy

Evaluate and update your segmentation strategy. Clean up outdated groups or tags. Create specific active contact groups, such as clickers in the last six emails or contacts who recently made a purchase. While you can define activity by timeframe (e.g. last 30 days or current quarter), defining activity by the number of emails accounts for fluctuations in email volume.

  1. Develop a Content Strategy

Review past messages to identify what drove the highest engagement. Test different messages with a hyper-targeted active audience to determine what resonates best before migration.

  1. Build Your IP Warming Timeline

Mapping out your IP warming timeline is crucial. Consider the following:

  • Contacts by Domain: Each major email provider has unique criteria for tracking senders. Start with a small audience (>500 active contacts) and never send to more than double the number of contacts from your previous email on any given domain.
  • Cadence: Maintain a consistent sending frequency that your audience is accustomed to.

Additional Considerations

  • Update Website Forms: Rebuild forms on the new system and ensure they are updated. Coordinate with your web team.
  • Rebuild Templates: Make sure your templates are accessible and mobile-optimized
  • Rebuild Automations: Start small if you’re new to automations. Begin with a welcome series, a re-engagement flow, and cart abandonment targeting.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Once you start sending emails, closely monitor the results, particularly delivery rate, bounce rate, and spam rate. A successful outcome might resemble the following scenario we delivered for one of our clients recently:

If Results Are Unsatisfactory:

  1. Prepare a contingency plan in advance.
  2. Slow down the IP warming process by sending fewer emails to smaller, highly targeted groups over a longer period.
  3. Reevaluate your content. If it’s not engaging as expected, adjust your warming series content.
  4. Consult an expert. Fixing deliverability issues is challenging, so seek expert advice if needed. Ensure you have contacts for your internal IT department and the new ESP. (We also have more deliverability tips for you in this article!) 

Compliance and Legal Considerations

Ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR and CAN-SPAM during and after the migration. This involves updating your privacy policies and ensuring proper consent for email communications.

Post-Migration Best Practices

  • Continuously monitor email performance metrics.
  • Regularly clean your email list.
  • Keep refining your segmentation and automation strategies based on performance data.

That’s your quick and easy guide to a successful ESP migration. 

If you’re interested in working with our email marketing team, you can request a free audit or contact us here.

Current Cro Metrics customers: Need additional support? Reach out to your growth strategist to discuss your options!