Migrating ESPs is like moving. Nobody wants to meticulously pack, box, and label the entire contents of their home only to unpack it all somewhere new. However, the more prepared and organized you are, the smoother the transition will be as you start anew.
An ESP migration typically feels overwhelming, as each new platform comes with its own learning curve. If your company has decided to move to a new ESP, keep in mind the complexity. The task has more than its fair share of obstacles to overcome. To help, platform migration experts here at Shift Paradigm have compiled a basic ESP Migration Checklist to consider.
1. Export Lists
Maintaining the quality, reliability, and size of a company’s contact list during an ESP migration is a common concern. Avoid rookie mistakes by not rushing the process. Take the necessary time for a proper setup to avoid deployment errors. First, remember to export lists from the old ESP before you no longer have access. Ensure contacts from suppressed lists also migrate. Keep track of opt-outs and spam complaints, as well as email addresses that have hard bounced or soft bounced, so you can make a game plan after completing the migration.
2. In With The New, and With The Old
All data, no matter how old, could be useful in the future. Align your team on the priority of the migration and the potential benefits it may bring. The customer information often accompanying email addresses––subscription dates, personal preferences, historical purchasing behavior, etc.––is marketing analytics gold. Make sure this data migrates to the new ESP along with everything else. Overlook this seemingly minor detail before switching, and you may have to kiss all that valuable digital capital goodbye.
3. Warm Up Your Most Engaged
If you’re switching to a dedicated IP while migrating to a new ESP, be sure to establish a great reputation from the get-go. Identifying and migrating the most engaged recipients first will help establish a good IP reputation. Overall engagement should be higher, which in turn informs ISPs that your emails are of value to its recipients. Consequently, this reduces the risk of being blocked or labeled as spam. We recommend testing different aspects of the emails to see if you can achieve even greater engagement.
4. Reputation Is Everything
Changing sending domains may not be good for everyone. It may lead to a loss of whatever ‘good’ sender reputation you may have built up over previous years with the original ‘From’ domain. Conversely, if mistakes have been made in the past, this is an opportunity to start over with a clean slate. Without a migration plan, you open yourself up to avoidable mistakes that may affect reputation. Be sure to incorporate cross-team planning and know what your requirements are before starting an ESP migration.
5. Don’t Sit On The ESP Fence
As tempting as it may seem at the beginning, do not use both old and new ESPs simultaneously. Each ESP has its own unique nuances. Every ESP migration has temporary disruption. Any attempt to minimize it by being all things to all customers will only make matters worse. Fully migrating to the new ESP from day one and committing to it will minimize any potential issues from appearing and lingering.
6. Ask The Experts
Much like DIY home-improvement projects, how-to guides for DIY ESP migrations are just a quick online search away. However, if your company wants the peace of mind of a smooth ESP migration, and to quickly benefit from switching Email Service Providers, contact the ESP Migration experts at Shift Paradigm. We know which questions to ask to get you prepared and in tip-top shape for the change.