9 Things Your Company Should Do Before Switching Email Service Providers

What’s your best tip for switching email service providers for your company?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Make Sure Your Data Migrates

When it comes to switching email service providers, the most frustrating thing can be when your data doesn’t migrate, or when your email client doesn’t immediately recognize the new email service provider. Finding one that can handle this with ease is KEY before going forward.
- Rob Fulton, Automation Heroes

2. Set Up Mobile Devices

Make sure that all the mobile connections are made and all company members can continue to receive emails on their mobile device. The less complicated and user friendly, the better.
- Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101

3. Test Your Process

Test your process with one email account first to see what the transition experience is like and how the migration happens. After one account is fully migrated and operational you’ll have a much better idea of the exact issues that will need to be addressed and how to best handle them. You’re guaranteed to find a few things that you didn’t think about and your tests will be well worth the time.
- Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

4. Lower Your DNS Email TTL

When switching email service providers you have to change your domains DNS MX records, which often has a long Time To Live (TTL). Before the migration you should make sure the TTL is lower (about an hour) in preparation, so that when you make the provider change your DNS won’t be caught pointing to the old provider for too long.
- Phil Chen, Systems Watch

5. Check Your IPs

Make sure that the company you use has clean IPs. IPs are very valuable. They can be your biggest friend or worst enemy. If you don’t have clean IPs your emails will never inbox. If they don’t get into your customers’ or potential customers’ inboxes, you’ll never survive. Find a reputable company. Make sure they’ll let you upload all your contacts without having to resubscribe.
- John Rampton, Adogy

6. Look for Simplicity

Three years ago we switched from a typical Microsoft Outlook system to Google Apps. It was life changing for our company. It was simple, the data migrated and we could access email anywhere, anytime, from any computer. Most importantly, we saved time and money. Look for a provider that’s in it for the long haul — and a switch that doesn’t throw a wrench in your current workflow.
- Tim McHugh, Saddleback Educational

7. Export Your Data First

Before switching email service providers, make sure you have exported all your data to .xls or .csv files so you have them for the future. It’s helpful to maintain a record of past email performance in order to benchmark the results against your new email service provider and future email campaigns.
- Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

8. Keep Users’ Preferences Consistent

Make sure your ducks are in a row. It’s great to switch providers for a variety of reasons (functionality, price, customer service) but it’s really important to make sure that when you export data from your old email service provider and you import everything into the new email service provider that you have kept your users’ rights preferences consistent (i.e. opt-out data, user preferences, etc.)
- Luke Skurman, Niche.com

9. Maintain Old Contacts

Find a service provider that allows you to import your emails and contacts. You may think they are old and unnecessary, but you will inevitably find yourself looking for an old contact or email. There are also email continuity services (such as McAfee), which redirect mail by updating your MX records for your DNS, and this can ensure a smooth transition in case your new provider has issues.
- Gideon Kimbrell, InList Inc

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About Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.