Successfully Migrating to a New ESP: Pt 1 - FireDrum Email Marketing

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Successfully Migrating to a New ESP ImageAny ESP marketing pro would find changing ESPs to be a stressful undertaking. No matter which ESP you’re switching your email programs to, it requires a well-thought out plan and careful execution. In short, you’ll be sending your email from a new IP address, and will be running your email campaigns from an entirely new platform. This changes your email deliverability strategy completely. ISPs use IP addresses to track the reputation of the sender. Changing over to a new ESP means that you’ll have to start building a new sender reputation from scratch.
When switching to your new ESP, keep these important deliverability factors in mind.

Get Your IP Address Warmed Up

Successfully warm up with a new ESP by building a good sender reputation from the beginning. After all, you have only one shot at making a good first impression with an ISP.  Switching over to a new ISP will question your credibility. Like a teenager purchasing a new car, the bank has their suspicions and must remain cautious. ISP filters will let you run your campaigns uninterrupted after you’ve proven that you’re a reputable email sender.

How Can You Establish a Good Reputation?

For one thing, you can start by running email campaigns that have the most open and click through rates. When you start off by sending your high-performing emails, your ISP filters get used to the fact that subscribers love receiving your stuff.
Not only should choose your best-performing emails, but you should also send them to the segments of your audience that are most engaged. ISPs like for new users to send email messages to a prescribed number of highly-engaged recipients. We recommend only sending emails to those who have opened a message from you in the past eight weeks when you start sending emails. The criteria you use will vary based on your number of subscribers, the frequency of your opens and click throughs, etc.
Following the warm up time, high volume senders should increase the volume of their emails gradually over the next month or so.  A sudden increase in sending might trigger ISP volume filters. Within a few months you’ll be able to send your campaigns at the normal pace while maintaining a positive relationship with your ISP.

What Mistakes Would Create a Bad Reputation?

In a way, the journey through IP warm up is a harrowing adventure, since it’s filled with potential pitfalls that email marketers must be aware of to succeed. Some common hazards to steer clear of include:

  • High spam flags and low subscriber engagement
  • High number of hard bounces
  • Sudden increases in sending volume

Avoid these warm up hazards by:

  • Sending engaging content to a small, engaged audience at first.
  • Sending your most well-performing email programs
  • Sending emails only to those who have interacted with your email communications recently.
  • Avoid sending messages to new signups (although they may have high open rates, they are high at risk for being a hard bounce)
  • Transferring over all suppressed files from your last provider. (Any hard-bounced, unsubscribed addresses and complaints should kept track of. High hard bounce rates are a quick way to get your new IP blocked and filtered)

These steps are absolutely necessary for a successful migration. By staying aware of these pitfalls, you’ll be less at a risk for spam complaints and trap hits.
It’s also important to remember to increase your sending volume incrementally. When the official warm up ends, your reputation as a sender is still a fledgling. Sending your email campaigns to everyone on your list will trigger blocking and filtering, undermining the work you’ve put into your reputation.

This is the first article of our two part ESP migration post. The next post will provide additional information, tips and insights on successfully migrating to a new ESP. Continue Reading → “Successfully Migrating to a New ESP, Part 2.
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