Back to the Basics: ESP Migration Checklist


2 minute read

Back to the Basics: ESP Migration Checklist

ESP Migration is a little like moving a house. Nobody wants to meticulously pack, box and label the entire contents of their home only to have to unpack it all somewhere new. However, the more prepared and organized you are, the smoother the transition will be as you start life in your new abode.

ESP Migration can feel the same. Nevertheless, if your company has decided to move to a new ESP, it is a complex task with more than its fair share of obstacles to overcome. To help, platform migration experts, Trendline Interactive, have compiled a basic ESP Migration Checklist for you to consider.

1. Export Lists

Maintaining the quality, reliability, and size of a company’s contact list during ESP Migration is a common concern. Still, rookie mistakes are easy to make. Firstly, remember to export list(s) from your old ESP before they lock you out of your account.

It’s crucial that contacts from suppressed lists also migrate – opt outs, spam complaints, as well as email addresses that ‘hard bounce’ (permanently undeliverable addresses caused by invalid contact or domain info) – and soft bounce (temporarily undeliverable addresses – sometimes caused by a full mailbox, exceeding message size limits, or an unavailable server but are most commonly as a result of ISP blocks).

 2. In With The Old, In With The New

All data, no matter how old, could be useful in the future. The customer info often accompanying email addresses – subscription dates, personal preferences, historical purchasing behavior etc – is marketing analytics gold. Make sure this data migrates to your new ESP along with everything else. It can also be used to compare performances between competing ESPs. 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 switching to a dedicated IP while migrating to your new ESP,  you need to establish a great reputation from the get-go. Identify and migrate your most engaged recipients at first and this will help establish good IP reputation. Overall engagement should be higher which in turn informs ISPs that your emails are of value to its recipients, therefore reducing the risk of being blocked or labeled spam.

4. Reputation Is Everything

Changing sending domains may not be good for everyone. Not only is it a common practice of spammers, but it may also lead to a loss of whatever ‘good’ sender reputation that may have been built up over previous years with one’s original “From” domain. If mistakes have been made in the past though, this is an opportunity to start over with a clean slate.   

5. Don’t Sit On The ESP Fence

As tempting as it may seem at the beginning, it’s not advisable to use both old and new ESPs simultaneously. There’s going to be some temporary disruption during any ESP Migration and any attempt to minimize it by being all things to all customers will only make matters worse. Fully migrating to your new ESP from day one will, in fact, speed up the process and overall time it takes to fully transition.

6. Ask The Experts

Just like there are many different home moving companies to choose from, a quick search online brings up various how to guides to successful ESP Migration. But if your company wants the peace of mind of a smooth ESP Migration, and to quickly benefit from switching Email Service Providers, it makes sense to talk to the ESP Migration experts at Trendline Interactive.



Trendline Interactive

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