migrate your email list

Just how easy is it to migrate your email list?

If I asked you why you use your email marketing provider, what would you say?

Because you need to start email marketing and you chose the first one you found on Google? Did you inherit it from your predecessor? You didn’t know there were others to choose from? Is it free? A guy on Twitter recommended them?

Unless you said ‘It’s amazing’ or ‘It’s so easy to use’, then it might be time to migrate your email marketing to a new provider. Life’s too short to use a software solution that’s awkward, confusing, or just plain wrong for your business.

I’m making it sound easy, aren’t I?

If it was that easy, why don’t more people migrate their email lists?

We all like to think we’re rational people. We weigh up facts and figures to make the right choice.

Or do we?

When presented with a range of options, we usually go for the quickest option. And that’s not necessarily the best one.

Why? Humans like instant gratification. If one decision provides a quick payoff, then we’ll make it. There’s a reason so many banks offer a cash incentive to switch accounts.

But if the reward will take longer to arrive (say you won’t see a change in your ISA interest rate until the end of the financial year), then we often stay where we are.

People also like the path of least resistance. That explains why so many people stay with the same providers for their mobile phone, car insurance, or bank accounts.

I’ve been with the same mobile network since 2003. I try to justify it by comparing tariffs whenever my contract comes up for renewal.

But deep down, I want to avoid the hassle of switching.

You might feel the same way if someone suggested you migrate your email list. You know the one you’re using works (even if you can’t stand it), so why rock the boat?

Studies have shown that shop assistants often encourage customers to hold items they might purchase due to the ‘endowment effect’. Even holding the item grants an air of ownership over it, so you mentally give it a higher value (making it more likely you’ll buy).

That’s why you’re less likely to put something back if you’ve been walking around the shop with it, looking for something else.

Following this thinking, you’ve been walking around holding an email client that might now hold you back. You’re loathed to put it down. Which begs the question…

Why would you want to migrate your email list?

Just because a solution was right for you, in the beginning, doesn’t mean it’ll always be the right solution. As businesses grow or evolve, so their marketing needs change. And that means your email list provider may no longer offer the right tools for you.

Many people start their email list using Mailchimp. It’s free and everyone recommends it. Over 15 million people use it worldwide. It’s also confusing and it’s difficult to get the most out of the data.

Or maybe you inherited your email list from your predecessor. The system works so you’re reluctant to change it. You might have only just figured out how to use the provider’s dashboard. Having to learn a brand new one fills you with dread.

But you’re reading this blog so you’re more savvy about email marketing. You know an email list isn’t just about collecting subscribers and sending blanket emails. It’s about communication that counts.

Your email list isn’t just a string of numbers. They’re people. More importantly, they’re people who have shown an interest in you. They deserve an email marketing solution that provides them with content they want when they need it.

Many of the providers let you email customers when you need to send something out. But imagine a world where you’re not scrambling to throw together an email every Friday afternoon because it fell to the bottom of your to-do list.

Seriously. Imagine it. You’re checking out restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor while your provider does the heavy lifting in the background.

One set of emails goes to customers who haven’t bought anything for 3 months. Different emails go to customers who abandoned their shopping cart. Yet more emails fly out to subscribers who open every email from you.

Your subscribers get the email that’s right for them at the time they receive it. Not the email that’s right for you to send.

Email marketing isn’t about you. It’s about your subscribers. And if your provider won’t let you set up systems like that, then it’s time to migrate your email list.

How easy is it to migrate?

Maybe you’ve decided you want to migrate your email list. You want that easy segmentation and automation that runs in the background like clockwork.

Only one question remains. How hard is it to migrate?

If you can download a file, and upload a file, then you can migrate.

All email providers allow you to download your data as a .csv file. You can usually open them in Google Sheets or Excel, but they’re not pretty to look at. (Unless you’re another piece of software, then they’re like Harry Potter novels).

It’s a good idea to make regular backups of your list by downloading this .csv file anyway. But to migrate your email list, download this file.

Open the dashboard of your new email marketing provider. Somewhere, there will be the option to import data. If you use Websand, and I recommend that you do, then you’ll find it has its own dedicated icon in the toolbar.

Websand even allows you to choose whether your .csv is an audience list (so email addresses and so on) or a transaction list. That way, you can retain the data about how much your subscribers have spent while they’ve been on your list.

Any provider will ask you to ‘map’ the data you want to import. That just means matching the incoming email addresses with the email addresses slot of your new provider, and so on. It sounds hard, but it’s just choosing the right data type from a drop-down list.

Double-check everything and hit ‘Import’.

It really is that simple to migrate your email list, and move your email marketing from list driven to people driven email marketing.

So what do you do now?

Earlier I explained how people gravitate towards instant gratification. That’s why you’ve stuck with the same email list provider even though it drives you crazy. You know you’re not getting the most out of it. But your to-do list is already long enough.

So let us help you. We’ve shown you how easy it is to change–and if you want to change to Websand, we’ll help you to make the switch.

Click here to sign up, we’ve got platform you need to supercharge your email marketing and revolutionise your business. If you’ve got any questions about migration, pop a comment below or get in touch and we’ll help you migrate your email list to Websand and get started.


Also published on Medium.