You’ve decided to start a new love story with an Email Service Provider (ESP). Congrats! This decision was a lot of work for you and your team, and may be strategic for your whole company. And what I can confirm you is that the real work lies ahead, because now, you need to make the switch. Let’s try to make this switch as painless as possible.

Some questions need to be answered: what do you really expect from this change? What were the issues faced with your last ESP? What does the new ESP expects from you?

1st Step: Planning

You will need to have clear timelines and expectations with your ESP. When will the database be ready? When will the first emailing campaign be sent? Who is responsible to check that data integrated on your new ESP’s database are exactly the same as your old one? What are the critical steps that will delay the whole project if they are not done? Teradata has a huge experience with planning and email marketing. If you are moving to us, we define with you each milestone to make sure your platform will be ready when it will be needed, and help you individually during the whole project.

2nd Step: Prepare your teams

Changing things is difficult sometimes. You had some shortcuts with a tool, you know every single button on this, you are an expert and known as an expert in your company, and this tool will not be there anymore. What are the features categorized as “must have”? How do the teams work in the other departments? What kind of new feature could be nice to have, and can the new ESP provide this feature/service?

We can prepare with you trainings to help teams to work with the new tool. Important points for us will be to invite the right people to focused trainings and don’t let you miss the functionality that you love.

3rd Step: Take back all your data

While the new ESP is developing their interface for you, you have to collect all the data you need from your old ESP, while the contract is still running with him. These data can be:

– Campaign reports

– Database (sales database, recipient database (behavior, preferences, scoring), email list (with subscription date, last click date and last open date), webtracking)

– Web pages hosted by ESP (unsubscription, confirmation, surveys)

– Hardbounces, unsubscribed addresses, suppression list

If your data is already integrated with your CRM system, you might not need to do this. But please double check. Deliverability guides you through the Onboarding process very closely – we check your historical background and current challenges in order to provide you an individual environment that fits your needs and gives you the flexibility that you need in order to focus on your core business. Initial sendouts are monitored closely and you get feedback on the results before running into Deliverability issues. Our goal is to give you a good feeling and frequent feedback in our collaboration.

4th Step: Think about your campaigns, one shot and automated

Content that you send must be relevant for your clients. Does the client really want to receive your email? Is this interesting for him, or will it frustrated him? If the client bought a car yesterday with you, and you send him today a campaign having a discount on cars, your reputation will be harmed. If the client wants to receive only 1 email from you every month, and you send new offers every week, which offer will be the more relevant for this client? We are here to challenge you, confirm your ideas and to share with you our experience.

You have to create engagement with your customers, take care of them because at any time, they can mark your email as spam and, first of all you will lose this client (won’t reach inbox anymore for him) and secondly you will miss other customers from the same ISP. ISP is based on behavior, “if customer 1 says that this email is spam, and then I won’t let this sender to go on inbox for all my other clients”. What’s the point of sending a marketing emailing if your recipient receive it on the spambox? In Teradata we have an international deliverability team that meets regularly ISP and speakers from the whole world on various Conferences and working groups like M3AAWG, Signal Spam or CSA where we actively participate. We know the rules that are created by ISP and can help you on reaching the inbox.

5th Step: Create your reputation with ISP

Take time to ramp up the new IP address if you go on dedicated pool. The major ISPs are wary of new IP addresses for fear of spammers. They don’t take an “innocent until proven guilty” approach. Rather, they take the opposite approach: you must prove yourself trustworthy in their eyes by developing a good sending reputation and protecting it. We can help you on this onboarding phase, explaining you in details what the planning should be and how we can go forward.

75% of emailings received by ISP are spam and phishing emails. So every new IP will have to prove with growing volume, that your emailings are not considered as spam by the recipient. The measures the ISP rely on is how recipients interact and engage with the mailing (open, read, delete, spam,…). It takes over one month to warm up your new IP. This phase must be very slow and monitoring is the key. We have the tool and the experience to go with you through these steps and make sure you will be able to create your own campaigns.

6th Step: Make sure you have all the tools to help you on targeting

Smart targeting is based on behavior. “Your customer bought/said/saw/did something, that’s exactly why I want to send him this message”. Make sure pressure from sales is fine; nobody wants to receive 10 marketing emailings on the same hour, and you will not be the only one that is targeting this recipient this day. Think about creating a relationship between you and your recipient, don’t think about selling. If the client feels at ease with you, close to your communications, he will come to you for buying. In France, 78% of recipients still buy in shops and not on the web (ROPO study (Research Online, Purchase Offline)).

Web analytics can be one parameter to personalize communications. This might belong to another department than yours at your company, so integration might be out of your control. But if you organized meetings and informed them in advance, I’m pretty sure you will be able to work together. What’s the point of having all these data if you can’t access them when you need, when you target?

7th Step: Update your subscribe and list-cleaning processes

Update your surveys and forms to make sure new data, new subscribers, will go to the right place: your new ESP. Make sure you tested it. That could be a great moment to test automated welcome pack sending!

Update your surveys and forms to make sure data can be deleted, and un-subscribers can leave. If you keep a recipient that want to leave your emailing communication, it can have a huge impact. First of all, it is better to have a un-subscriber to your newsletter than having a disappointed customer on your brand. Even if a client does not receive emailings from you, he still can buy some products from you because he had a good experience. Email is perhaps not the channel he wants to receive some communications from you. Second point: if you were this customer, that tries to un-subscribe with no success, what will you do with these communications? He will do the same: report as spam. And this will have an impact on all the recipients coming from the same ISP. We can audit your processes and improve the engagement clients will have with you.

8th Step (optional): Make sure you have a double run

If you could keep your old ESP for another 30 days, that could be great! You will need to continue to collect data from old to new ESP for 30 days, but it worth the price. When having this double run, your activity can remain and can still be the same, sending from one ESP or the other one. Your ramp up will be quite finish on the new ESP, and everything will be ready for all your new campaigns.

In addition to these steps, take advantage of any and all training on the new platform and invite best people that will fit the training. Don’t hesitate to ask your ESP if this is a technical training or not, about analytics or about campaign management, etc. Just because you’re up and running with the new ESP doesn’t mean you’re up and running at full speed ahead yet. But following these tips and learning all you can about your new email service provider will pay dividends by shortening the time it takes for you to get the maximum benefit from your ESP switch! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we’re happy to check and answer to your case individually!