April 26, 2023
Email Marketing for Dog Trainers: Moving to a New Email Provider

dog surrounded by moving boxes; blog post on moving to a new email provider

Change is in the air here at Click & Repeat: we’re moving to a new email provider! With luck and good preparation, you’ll hardly notice the shift. (But just in case things go a little bit wonky, we apologize in advance for any hiccups!)

We’re migrating from GetResponse to ConvertKit*. After being with GetResponse for a long time, we’ve gotten to the point where we need the more advanced automation tools ConvertKit provides. Their pricing structure makes more sense for us now, too.

GetResponse charges for the number of people on each of your lists, rather than by contact. That means if you have the same contact on multiple lists, you pay for them multiple times. Of course, if you only have one list, that’s not a problem. But as your business grows and diversifies, as Click & Repeat has, then a different pricing model may be advantageous.

ConvertKit also allows us to make a range of new freebies and resources available to you (more on those later in the year).

Because the migration process is very much top of mind with us right now, we thought it would be a great opportunity to lay out the process for you. That way, if you’re ever moving to a new email provider, you can do it smoothly and simply.

Here are the 4 steps you need for a stress-free email migration:

Step 1: Export your contact list

First, clean up your contact list by running a re-engagement campaign. You don’t have to do this step – but if you have the time it makes sense.

Ideally the list you migrate should be up to date with your active subscribers. Since many email marketing providers base their pricing around subscriber numbers, you don’t want to be paying for inactive ones!

Next, check if you have tags, categories, fields, or other custom information associated with your contact list. If you do, you will want to make sure that information gets transferred with your basic subscriber details.

The critical step comes next: export your contacts, and all the associated data, to a CSV (comma separated values) file. This will give you a file containing all your contact list information. You’ll then import that into your new system using what’s known as a field mapping tool.

Your new system should give you the option to rename things and ignore fields you no longer need. It’s a good idea to clean up your data as you go! Now’s a great time to get rid of outdated information.

Step 2: Recreate your templates

No doubt, over time, you’ve created a few email templates in your current system. Prevent that sinking feeling of being pressed for time to get a specific campaign out by creating them now! You don’t want to suddenly remember that your new system doesn’t have the templates you rely on.

Go to your current templates and decide which ones you need and which you can leave behind. Then set aside a decent chunk of time to recreate the keepers. With a little bit of planning, you can pull in your custom colors and fonts to make sure the branding matches your business’s branding BEFORE you need to use them. You’ll be glad you did!

Step 3: Rebuild automations

Just as it makes sense to recreate templates before you need them, it also pays to build out your automations in advance. Go to your current automations. Note the ones you use regularly — and the ones you don’t need — then build out the ones you’ll be using in your new system.

Be aware that there might be a slight learning curve to this task, as not all systems use exactly the same process for creating automations.

Step 4: Update your email signup forms

Think of all the automated ways people get added to your email list. Do you have sign up forms on your website or social media? Make a list and then update all those gateways so they connect to your new system. That way your list will remain up to date and avoid new contacts falling through the gap between your old system and the new one.

Bonus tip!

Before you finish moving to a new email provider, it’s a good idea to let your list know that it’s happening. Why? So that you can give them a quick heads up in case anything funky happens.

Send one final email message to everyone letting them know you’re migrating on X date, and you apologize in advance if they get any odd emails.

Thank them for their patience and tell them to keep an eye out for your messages in the next few weeks as they might not turn up in the same folders as expected.

Explain that when you change service provider the sending IP and server details change. This can cause your messages to be classified in recipients’ promotions folders, even if your sending name has been previously whitelisted.

Once you’ve successfully completed the move, send them another message telling them it’s all done. You can also apologize again for any rogue emails they received.

And there you have it! A plan to iron out the wrinkles of your email migration so you can sit back and enjoy your new system.

*This link is an affiliate link. An affiliate link is a link that is traceable, so the company you are purchasing the product from knows that I referred you to them. They then compensate us for having made the referral – but you pay the same price, or a discounted price, depending on the company.

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