Life After Bronto: Finding Your Next ESP

Date

June 9, 2021

Author

Brandi Merrill

AVP, Technology Strategist

Brandi is a Digital Solution Specialist for the Ansira Digital business unit. She focuses her time on helping clients solve issues through selection of Marketing Technology to create the best experience for their customers.

This blog was written in partnership with Bloomreach, a leading CDP + omnichannel marketing automation and experience platform that was purpose-built for the marketer.

This year was supposed to be the moment when everything went “back to normal.” A time when everyone had a chance to catch their breath. However, if you’re a Bronto customer, you probably had the wind knocked out of you in March when your chosen email service provider (ESP) announced that it was riding off into the digital sunset and leaving you just months to determine your ESP future.

Perhaps you weren’t planning on a new ESP evaluation and RFP since such a drastic change stretches your current marketing budget, which was already cut due to last year’s challenges. Perhaps you inherited Bronto from a predecessor and you’ve never gone through a MarTech vendor selection process before. Whatever the case, you weren’t expecting this change and you need to get back to what matters most—your customer’s and company’s goals. So, let’s take all the guesswork out of the decision-making process. Here are the steps to consider when evaluating a new ESP.

  1. Do you have another home for your marketing data?
    If Bronto is also storing your marketing data, you’ll need to audit the info in the platform and determine what you need to transfer as part of your migration roadmap. Different ESPs prefer to access marketing data differently, such as the platform data model vs. external data access through data pipeline software.If your marketing data already resides outside of Bronto, it may be time to re-imagine your long-term data environment. Is your data easily accessible to the marketing team for activating customers across channels? Do you need to create custom segments, enrich your marketing data through data exchanges, and activate across channels beyond email? Do you need to quickly report on campaign performance with the help of real-time dashboards? Data is everything! While your first priority may be focusing on email deployment functionality, don’t forget that an ESP can also monetize your data by creating personalized customer experiences.
  2. How will you manage and coordinate across marketing campaigns?
    Next, you’ll need a full audit of your batch and transactional emails in Bronto. Instead of using separate ESPs, many of Bronto’s clients use the platform for both transactional and promotional batch email messaging. Are you sending any multi-touch customer journeys with complex logic? Do you have any rules in place to prevent overlap in messaging to a single customer on a given day? When selecting a new ESP, developing a catalog of existing emails in Bronto will guide you in both your functional requirements and your migration requirements.
  3. How do I get templates out of Bronto and where will they live in the future?
    One of the appeals of Bronto is their out-of-the-box, standard email templates for retail and commerce clients. When evaluating new ESP providers, evaluate what templates are offered out of the box and what impact transitioning to those templates will have on your resources and user experience. Will your existing creative work within the standard templates? Do you need to build new emails with the aid of a WYSIWYG, or do you have resources available to develop new custom HTML templates? You may find this is the time to build new email templates that can be used in any ESP.

P.O.V. from Technology Partner Bloomreach

Switching MarTech is never easy, especially when you’re forced to do it quickly to avoid another dinosaur trap. As Ansira helps customers evaluate next steps in their ESP migration after Bronto’s sunset, we took the opportunity to interview one of our Premier Partners, Bloomreach, to get their take on how they are equipped to meet the business needs identified for a successful transition. Here are some takeaways shared by Bloomreach:

A leading CDP + omnichannel marketing automation and experience platform, Bloomreach unifies data from all customer touchpoints and offers a complete toolset to build personalized, omnichannel journeys natively. So, you can create incredible customer experiences that drive real results.

Key features offered by Bloomreach:

  • Robust email automation with built-in capabilities to design, test, execute and report
  • Real-time email insights are recorded in a customer’s profile, informing every other channel for a seamless customer experience. (For example, the platform won’t target a customer on Facebook if they’ve already converted after an abandoned cart email)
  • Templates can be coded or created using the WYSIWYG editor and tested on 50-plus devices using the built-in free email preview
  • Campaigns can be one-time sends or real-time triggered (recurring, on date, before or after an event or behavior). Since email is built-in and informed by a single customer view, real-time execution and updates happen immediately
  • Help manage deliverability with built-in features (tracking, bounce management, consents, frequency policies, suppression lists, list hygiene filters and optimal send times)
  • In-house deliverability experts help with warming up domains and maintaining reputations. Bloomreach works with multiple ESP providers both globally and locally to ensure the ideal deliverability in different regions
  • Out of the Box dashboards report on performance, domain health and click maps, to name a few
  • Automatic optimizations include throttling, automatic a/b test winner distribution and optimal send time
  • Typically, ESPs and CDPs let you set a daily or weekly limit on the number of messages that can be sent to a customer—for the entire customer base. On Bloomreach, you can personalize this limit per audience segment (based on things like past engagement) and make it dynamic

How can Ansira help?

If you’ve done the hard part and selected a new ESP partner, you may be asking yourself, “what do I do next?” There are a lot of factors to consider in planning your approach to ESP migration. How do I plan properly for an IP warming campaign to ensure my email deliverability does not tank—ensuring inbox placement? What data do I need to access from the new ESP to continue to deliver reporting and metrics to key stakeholders? Without impacting customer experience, how do I transition customers to a new ESP when they are already in a complex, multi-touch email journey with Bronto? Do I have the resources on staff to manage the migration and maintain the existing marketing program?

Ansira guides customers through these decisions every day. A large platform migration is not something marketers often do in their careers, but Ansira is an industry expert in the MarTech consulting and implementation space. In fact, we recently magnified our email marketing capabilities with the integration of industry leader BrightWave. We send billions of emails annually on behalf of our clients, so we know a thing or two about perfecting the email experience. And we can do it for you or with you—the choice is yours!

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