Preparing Your Data For Platform Migration: We Break It Down

So you’ve decided to migrate to another ESP.

Whether it’s through improved email workflow. More complex metrics tracking, better segmentation, or anything in between. For instance, taking on an ESP migration can help you connect. With more customers and take your marketing to the next level.

But before you can reap the benefits of a new ESP. You’ll need to go through the migration process. For instance, which has the potential for a lot of headaches. If done with a “fly by the seat of your pants” approach.

Platform migration

No matter your industry or marketing team’s size. There’s a need to manage a myriad of migration tasks like galvanizing a team of stakeholders. For instance, managing the project, learning about your new technology. Mapping, and, perhaps most importantly, cleaning up your data.

Not the most glamorous task, but one of the most critical

To be honest, taking responsibility for cleaning up a marketing database isn’t the most glamorous of jobs to take on. However, it’s necessary if you want to make the migration process as seamless as possible and reap maximum rewards from it.

Migrating ESPs is a prime opportunity to make sure your data gets the attention it doesn’t always receive. Separate from standard list hygiene, preparing for platform migration is a perfect time to conduct a deep clean of your database. And the reasons for doing so are far from arbitrary.

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Cleaner data now is more ROI later.

The truth is that, from small to large, all companies have dirty data (up to 25% of their entire marketing database).

This is especially true of those with older subscriber Latvia WhatsApp Number List databases or using multiple channels to collect data.

For example, an ecommerce marketer with multiple campaigns for each product or an agency with multiple clients’ lead data to manage. On average, organizations use 3.8 channels to collect data, each potentially incorporating multiple points of capture.

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Compounded over time, the database decay can cause deliverability and email ROI to take a hit when sending through your new ESP.

And, with increasing data privacy laws and evolving anti-spam technology used by ISPs, it’s more important than ever to keep your relationship in good standing with both senders and subscribers alike.

The cleaner you get your data now, the more benefits you can reap later. One of our high-volume sender customers, albeit through a separate process from a platform migration, recently shared their results for bounce rates for their transactional email after incorporating some data hygiene practices.

See your industry’s average bounce rate here.

In other words, be considerate of your future self.

To help you with your approach to data preparation, here’s a three-step process to follow when preparing your data for your new ESP as efficiently and painlessly as possible.

1. Commit to being the marketing data champion of your team.

Depending on the size of the marketing team you’re working with, there’ll often be a team of internal stakeholders to make the migration happen.

For example, an engineer will often own the technical parts of the migration. A business operations leader might make decisions on which data is most critical to maintain and how to organize it.

The marketing leader will often own the email database, as well as the messaging and segmentation within the new ESP. A project manager might ensure all roles and tasks are owned and track the deadlines.

As a marketing data champion, you’ll often be dealing with two main categories of data: event data and subscriber data.

Where event data is associated with actions taken within individual campaigns like those associated with specific products, subscriber data is personal data, and is foundational to your marketing. After all, the only profitable contact in your database is one that you can reach.

Before kicking off your subscriber database cleanup, be sure your role as data champion is defined among your team.

You should coordinate with other stakeholders to ensure you can surface future questions about field mapping, integrations, and business goals as you organize the marketing database in preparation for ESP migration.

2. Identify the good, the bad, and the ugly.

But defining what’s risky can be challenging if you don’t have a clear. Definition of what a low-quality address is, aside from engagement rates.

Start with deliverability instead of time since last engagement.

Conventional marketing knowledge tells us to treat unengaged subscribers as risky data. And, while there’s definitely a correlation between unengaged legacy subscribers and risks like spam taps or future spam complaints, simply flagging emails as risky by using only a time-based standard can lead to missed opportunities.


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In some contexts, sending an email to a deliverable contact will have a beneficial long-term impact even without a recent open or a click.

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Examples of risky addresses are:

  1. Accept-all: the domain accepts all email you to send to it, even if the email address isn’t valid
  2. Disposable: one-time email addresses often used to receive initial communications from a service (such as an activation email) and are discarded.
  3. Role: an email address that’s associated with a team or job function instead of an individual.
  4. Free: potentially risky. Free email such as Yahoo and Gmail can receive lower open and deliverable rates in certain contexts, although B2C businesses generally benefit from accepting free email services.
  5. Undeliverable: low quality—the email address doesn’t exist or is syntactically incorrect.

Once you’ve verified a list, you should be able to see the health of your marketing database, both by individual lists and at a glance.


By unveiling the deliverability of email addresses in your database, you can have an idea of which contacts are worth re-engaging and potentially preserve the value of the list you’ve worked so hard to build.

Single out the other obvious culprits.

In addition to identifying risky deliverability statuses of your database’s emails. Duplicates, redundant data fields, and hard bounces should also be removed.

This is where exporting your lists and rolling up your sleeves will be necessary. For instance, but make the actual data cleanup that much easier.

Now that you have your quality and risky email addresses organized in separate bins. For instance, you’re in a much better position to take the next step to shaping up your database for migration.

3. Clean up the dirty data.

Once you’ve identified the good, the bad, and everything in between, it’s time to do the actual cleanup. The cleaning of your database for your migration involves two parts: making decisions on what to prune and preparing your suppression lists.

Decide what to prune.

Undeliverable, unsubscribes, and hard bounces should be a starting point for flagging what should go onto your suppression list.

This is where Step 1 comes into play and coordinating with other stakeholders (if there are any) to decide what subscriber data to carry over based on your audience, product, industry, and business goals.

Update your suppression lists.

Now that you’ve done the heavy lifting of identifying and deciding what data to prune, it’s time to clean up your database. This should done through your suppression lists.

When pruning your contact list, simply deleting the contacts isn’t enough. Instead, contacts should be added to a suppression list as a failsafe to stop. For instance, the email address from being re-engaged and to comply with anti-spam laws.

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