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Considering a new ESP? Top 7 questions you need to ask first

How do you know when it’s time to migrate to a totally different email service supplier (ESP) or advertising and marketing automation platform (MAP)? For simplicity, I’ll use ESP to refer to each of most of these instruments.

A number of weeks in the past, we talked about migrating to an ESP when your advertising and marketing chief decides it’s time to transfer on over. (We’ve all been there.) But there are a couple of different occasions this query would possibly enter your thoughts:

  • It’s renewal time!
  • Your present platform now not meets your wants.

So if you’re in both of those conditions, ask your self the next questions about your present ESP first earlier than deciding to make the transfer to one other. You would possibly discover the grass is greener the place you already are. Or not.

Is my present ESP dependable?

Delays in email supply. Notifications that some half—or all—of the service is down. Features not working the best way you anticipate. We know issues occur, but when it’s impacting what you are promoting targets, stopping your workforce from undertaking the duties they need to, or changing into a common a part of your day-to-day, it is perhaps time to make a change.

In our current State of Email report, entrepreneurs shared that they’re relying extra on ESP instruments like code editors. As in 50% greater than the 12 months earlier than. That’s fairly a leap. So in case your ESP isn’t up-and-running each time you are, that might have a unfavourable impact in your productiveness.

My real-life situation: Here’s an instance from my very own expertise as an Email Marketing Specialist when a characteristic didn’t work the best way I anticipated and the ESP offered no resolution for me. We used a fairly well-known ESP on the time. To do segmentation, you’d choose your parameters after which “run” the viewers on the click on of a button. Well, that “click of a button” took hours to run a quite simple geographic question. And, I had about 12 of them. So, it typically took all evening to run solely to error out. Meaning—I by no means felt assured that the characteristic would work.

My resolution? I manually cut up all my audiences utilizing CSV recordsdata. This carried on into our extra sturdy segmentation after we would goal geo, business, firm measurement, and extra. I discovered my method across the VLOOKUP perform, however boy, that was each painful and gave room for error. And it went on for too lengthy. This was a enormous driver for us shifting from that ESP.

Can I collaborate simply with my workforce?

The key phrase right here is: simply. Not everyone seems to be on a full email workforce (I see you and have been there, email workforce of 1!), however at nearly each place I’ve labored, there was one factor in frequent: Everyone has an opinion or desires to have enter when it comes to email advertising and marketing.

And this previous 12 months, there was a spike within the variety of collaborators within the email course of. Today, 60% of firms have 4 or extra folks concerned in email evaluations and approvals. That’s a rise from 52% in 2019. Do you have a simple method to accumulate that suggestions and have all of it authorised in a single spot?

My real-life situation: I used to print out emails to get suggestions from my boss, email the email to another person, and meet in particular person with yet one more stakeholder. Then, I’d come again to my desk and take a look at to make sense of what everybody needed and make my finest guess at producing the following proof.

Over time, I acquired fairly good at understanding what every particular person needed. But having the suggestions multi function spot for everybody to see and prioritize it could have been a dream—and given me again a great deal of time. I’d like to suppose I’ve some Jedi thoughts tips in my arsenal now, so I’ll take ‘em.

Am I able to get to the data I need?

There are some standard ESP metrics that should come with your account. But oftentimes, once you get in there and start using it, you realize you can’t get to the whole lot you thought you might or it requires you to arrange the reviews your self. At this level, you’ve probably arrange the reviews you need, so make a psychological word to take into consideration these if you determine to change ESPs.

But what about these different information factors you can’t get however would love to? Do you need to see multi-channel attribution on this a part of your toolset? Or perhaps you need a sure report for your self however a totally different one for companions.

My real-life situation: I used to work on an email program that was half our content material and half sponsored content material. So, for any e-newsletter we’d ship, we’d have a number of sponsors, however just one exhibiting up per subscriber. As we constructed a extra sturdy program, internally, we needed to use dynamic content material for our stuff and nonetheless have the ability to report on how our sponsored content material was doing. You might have guessed it: We couldn’t get to each robotically with our ESP. Only one or the opposite.

My resolution? Since we had to report efficiency to sponsors, and I couldn’t stand holding my email program again both, there have been occasions once I manually created and despatched 50 variations of a e-newsletter when all was stated and finished. Not having the ability to get to this information was a deal-breaker for me and a driver to transfer us to a new ESP.

How quick can I launch an email marketing campaign?

60% of selling leaders instructed us they plan to ship extra emails sooner or later. But with 40% of email entrepreneurs saying their groups are under-resourced and 52% of them additionally saying it takes greater than 2 weeks to create an email, how can you make this occur? The simpler it’s to construct and take a look at in a single place, the faster your workforce can hit the ship button.

One method to make this occur is thru integrations, so take into consideration how your present ESP might or might not combine with different instruments you use.


50% of entrepreneurs say optimizing email workflow is a precedence, so integration with instruments you already use may very well be a game-changer when it comes to decreasing context switching—switching between instruments or duties—and growing your effectivity. According to one weblog I learn, each extra task or ‘context’ you switch between eats up 20–80% of your general productiveness. So, ensuring your ESP integrates with issues like Litmus or different instruments you’re utilizing might considerably enhance your workday.

My real-life situation: When I labored with a buyer to make all of their email templates mobile-friendly, they have been already utilizing Litmus as a product. However, this wasn’t simply any buyer. They have been primarily an email company and have been testing a whole lot of emails for their very own clients. Once we discovered the Litmus integration with their ESP, we have been ready to optimize their workflow and save them a ton of time. If we didn’t discover that, they might have moved to one other ESP as a result of Litmus was so important to their workflow.

Does it empower me to be smarter?

With the suitable ESP, you may be extra environment friendly and spend your saved time on smarter, extra revolutionary methods as a substitute. Expanding email automation, personalization, and A/B testing are the highest three methods entrepreneurs shared with us for optimizing their email applications. Let’s dive into every of these to see in case your present resolution already meets your wants or not.


Depending on the place you are in your email program, automating some present flows or creating some automated nurture streams stands out as the subsequent finest step for you to innovate. Expanding email automation is the highest precedence for email entrepreneurs.


Personalization is high of thoughts for entrepreneurs. In reality, 60% of them say that personalization is a precedence. And that is sensible. With personalised topic traces being 50% extra probably to be opened, personalization is energy. But 66% of marketers don’t have the resources. Meaning—your ESP ought to empower you.

A/B testing

A/B testing is one other space on the rise with 90% of entrepreneurs saying they A/B take a look at their emails. More than a quarter even A/B take a look at “almost always” or “often.” This is nice information! But how simple is it to do along with your ESP now? Is it simple to take a look at past the topic line?

My real-life situation: Since automation is most entrepreneurs’ high precedence, I’ll share one expertise that matches into that class. I used to be working with a shopper who had an ESP with nurture functionality, but it surely was all conditional statements like “IF THEN” or “IF ELSE.” For a workforce of non-coders, that was painful, inefficient, and simply not scalable for the automation they wanted to put in place. This was considered one of their high wants in relation to their general targets, in order that they knew they wanted to change platforms.

What is my ESP account workforce assist like?

When you consider your ESP account workforce, is it like a scene from Cheers—the place everybody is aware of your identify? Or do you solely hear from them shut to renewal time? Is assist included in your contract, or are you paying an arm and a leg for it? Not all account groups may be a true extension of your workforce, but it surely’s one thing to think about. (*7*), excessive ranges of customer support enhance the probability of buyer retention. Are you getting that service?

If not, it may very well be one thing to negotiate into your contract at renewal or if you change. But even when you’re paying for a larger tier of assist, that doesn’t all the time assure a nice expertise. What has the assist you’re already getting been like?

My real-life situation: I labored with a shopper who had some email marketing campaign reporting that was so removed from their typical efficiency that it raised main purple flags. We reached out to our premium assist workforce who assured a response inside 8 hours. In the meantime, we halted all different campaigns so we wouldn’t impression our sender popularity. We figured we’d know one thing by that evening, so we agreed to be on standby.

But by the point the eighth hour rolled by with out a phrase, we known as. The queue was closed. We despatched an email to our account supervisor. Still nothing. The clock ticked over from 11:59pm to midnight. Through many escalations, emails, cellphone calls, and even the CEO figuring out somebody excessive up on the ESP, we lastly acquired it resolved. Needless to say, we didn’t really feel like this ESP was an extension of the workforce. This actually stopped the enterprise. And as a result of they violated the phrases of the settlement, my shopper determined to break their contract and transfer to one other accomplice.

And final, however actually not least… the final word wrap-up query:

Is it assembly my enterprise targets?

When you have all your responses to the above questions, you ought to have a fairly good reply to this one. After all, they every tie to what you are promoting targets.

Several of the eventualities I shared have been occasions when the ESP I used to be utilizing didn’t meet my enterprise wants. There will also be seemingly primary wants to deal with. For instance: If you’re a high-growth firm, can your ESP deal with the frequency of sends, the quantity, and the segmentation to drive the conversions you need it to? If your viewers measurement grows, will you be penalized? Ensuring that your ESP has the flexibility to develop with you is vital.

ESP innovation

Your ESP ought to enhance your email effectivity and be your accomplice in innovation—if not main the best way—so you can deal with rising your email advertising and marketing program. Are they giving you methods to hit your targets? And growing the workflows and options you need forward of when you need them?

Product street maps present that your ESP has a plan for innovation and that every one components of their group are aligned on the place they’re headed. In addition to visibility for you, additionally they create accountability after they share their plans and timelines. When was the final time you noticed a product street map in your ESP?

Are there some other questions you’d ask? Stay tuned for the following article in our ESP migration weblog submit sequence!

The Marketer’s Guide to ESP Migration by Litmus

Ready for a new ESP?

Migrating to a new ESP isn’t any small process. But we’ve acquired your again with our step-by-step information to ESP migration. The bonus? You’ll additionally get ready-to-use planning templates so you can get going now.

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