Recently in a LinkedIn group, a member challenged ESPs to give good reasons to switch, because of the high financial and time costs of doing so. He stated that he had yet to see a succinct reason to switch, and wondered if there were any.
Well, of course I had something to say to that! Two things actually…
Point #1: Have the right reasons to switch
I recently presented at both MarketingSherpa’s 2015 Email Summit in Vegas and the 2015 Fashion Digital event in Los Angeles. The topic was problems that won’t be solved by switching ESPs.
During my presentations, I made the point that one needs to have the right reasons in place to switch email service providers. Oftentimes a client will come to us for help with choosing a new email service provider, and it will turn out that the ESP they’re currently with is a good fit, and their reasons for switching are either internal or fixable.
This is not always the case, however, and sometimes a switch is the only option. In that case, one must also have a clear understanding of what the upside will be even before starting to shop around, which leads to my second point…
Point #2: Find the ESP that will integrate with your marketing technology stack
Although there are many similarities between email service providers, in reality some ESPs are much better suited than others to integrate into the existing (and future) components of an organization’s marketing technology stack. That’s because they enable your organization to produce relevant content by unsilo-ing data from your ecommerce platform, CRM, web analytics, social marketing, and/or CMS.
Such an ESP will enable you to know so much about your customers and prospects that you can produce the most valuable, targeted and personalized content possible. This will not only lead to a more engaged audience (thereby increasing inbox placement across ISPs’ webmail clients as well as sales), but it will also drive ROI by enabling a longer, deeper lifetime value proposition. You’ll be winning wallet share along with winning hearts and minds.
To go further, it’s not just selecting the best-suited ESP. It’s also how you then customize (read: integrate) it into your stack. To help marketers with this, we have produced a platform-neutral whitepaper that provides an overview of the benefits of customizing an enterprise-level ESP. Anyone considering an ESP switch that involves top-tier email service providers might find it useful.
In closing, there is a cost of migration yes, in terms of both money and time, and switching should only be done when the rationale warrants it. But it is not losing money when the result is a significant lift in revenue and profit.