How to move to a new email marketing service

robot moving to a new email marketing service

So you really need to move from one email marketing service to another. Maybe your business has changed since you signed up and you need more features than your current service has to offer? The email marketing platforms have changed a lot, too. Competition is intense and new features are being added all the time, which may mean you need to pay more for features you aren’t even using – in which case it could be time to jump ship.

You may feel a sense of dread at moving over all your lists, forms, landing pages and possibly automations and autoreponders to another platform, but it may not be as bad as you think. However tricky the job seems, you’ll find it a lot less stressful if you have a plan to move to a new email marketing service.

Here’s what you need to think about:

1. What do you have now?

Note down everything you have at your current email marketing service – lists, tags, automations, email sequences, autoresponders, the lot. This can be in whatever format you like – paper, post it notes, Word file, Excel file. I swear by a spiral-bound A4 Pukka pad despite being a software fan!

Now, note any other software or web pages that are connected to all this. For example landing pages, web forms, scheduling or calendar software, WordPress plugins that add subscribers to lists, CRM software. Anything at all that could be impacted by the change.

At this stage you may have more work to do that you realised. Don’t panic, it’s better to know the full scale of the job now than to keep finding things you missed later!

2. Time for a clean-up

Are there any lists, subscribers, landing pages, tags or anything else that you no longer need? Now might be a good time to delete them. Keep in mind that a list you haven’t emailed in over a year may be almost worthless – the subscribers may have changed their email addresses, lost interest in what you do – and from a GDPR point of view -you shouldn’t keep¬† personal data for longer than the purpose you collected it for.

Also consider deleting any subscribers who haven’t clicked links in your emails in a while. It’s likely your emails are going straight to their spam folders, anyway. These subscribers are of no value to you and it may be costing you money to keep them on your list. You can delete the people who haven’t opened in a while too, although be more cautious as some email apps don’t always ‘flag’ the email as opened, even though it has been read.

Now may also be a good time to switch over from having many lists to having fewer lists but with better tagging and segmentation. (I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, so I’ll come back to this in a future post.) If this is too advanced for you at this stage, don’t worry. Just do the best tidy-up job you can on the subscribers and lists you have.

Finally, back up before you begin tidying up. That way if you accidentally delete something you can get it back. Search the knowledge base or help pages of the service you’re leaving for instructions on hoe to backup. (If you can’t find instructions for backing up, try ‘how to export your list’ instead).

3. Write down your steps

Now you know what you have to move over, and you’ve done the housekeeping, it’s time to plan out your next steps. This is going to be different for everyone depending on what you have and where you’re moving to, but here is some general advice.

I recommend searching online for advice on migrating to your new email marketing platform. Most have tutorials on how to do this. Search for e.g. ‘move from Mailchimp to Aweber’. Some email marketing platforms will even do the migration for you, for example Active Campaign. Most email marketing services are very happy to support you in moving over to their platform, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you need it.

Write (or type) a list of everything that needs to be done and then put them into the order the work needs to be done in. For example…

  • Exporting subscribers from your old platform needs to be done before you can import them into the new one
  • If you have any subscribers that are still working through old email sequences you might want to leave them to complete the sequence in the old platform, then tag them appropriately so you don’t add them to the same sequence in your new platform.
  • You’ll probably want to set up new automations/email sequences and test them before you update the landing page on your website (ie where subscribers enter the automation/email sequence).
  • And you’ll want to plan any major changes to avoid launches or major email campaigns.

Allocate some time to doing this, rather than trying to squeeze it in up against a deadline. Exporting and importing subscribers is usually fairly quick, but copying and pasting the contents of lots of emails from one platform to another tends not to be. You have to check every single link works and looks tidy, plus you may need to adjust images.¬† Automations take time if you aren’t too familiar with your new email marketing service. And you will probably need to allocate time to learn how to use the new platform, too.

4. Work through the steps

Now start working through the plan, ideally ticking off what you’ve done and making notes as you go. You may need to hop back and forth between software and even steps in the plan, and it’s easy to forget what exactly you’ve done, or which files you’ve exported are which.

5. Good luck!

Having a methodical approach, keeping everything tidy and allocating enough time to do the job well will help you move to a new email marking service with the minimum of stress.

And if you’d like me to do it for you, please do get in touch.


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