If your company uses multiple email service providers (ESPs), you know how much of a hurdle that can be for effective marketing campaigns. This is a problem shared by 43% of small businesses, and that number only grows as the business gets larger. When these systems don’t connect, your valuable marketing data is held in silos, leading to wasted time and money. However, there are ways to consolidate email platforms to make your life easier and your customer experiences much better.
An ESP is a tool for sending email campaigns and managing subscribers. This technology is often inherited through acquisition or grandfathered in from previous teams. They’re not always uniform throughout one company, as you could have different departments using different systems.
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This is a perfect time to refresh your email marketing strategy. These best practices will help you build trust, set clear goals, and connect with your customers.
But here’s the problem: if you’re paying for more than one ESP when one system can do it all, you’re wasting money and resources. You wouldn’t pay two people to do one job, so why pay double for technology?
Hertz was no different. The 104-year-old car rental company had used various transactional and promotional email systems throughout their growth and global expansion over the years.
When Julie Cooner — Hertz’s senior director of CRM platforms — started, her team used five ESPs. Those five ESPs came with five different agencies to manage them, across four global regions, which pulled from seven different transactional systems. Three years later, they use just one ESP to do it all. This has helped them save money and be more efficient.
With the economy in flux, this is a good time to evaluate your systems and determine whether each one impacts the process of creating amazing moments for your customers. Here are three key benefits that come when you consolidate email platforms down to one.
Your ultimate goal is to connect with customers. Your customer experiences won’t be great if promotional email lives in one system and transactional email lives in a different one. There’s no cohesive view of the customer’s experience, let alone ensuring the messages look and feel like they’re coming from the same brand.
“We wanted to be able to give customers an experience that was seamless and amazing, but it was fragmented,” Cooner said. “If you booked a car with us, you could’ve received up to seven different emails that looked like they were from different brands.”
To solve for this, Hertz first brought every transactional system into one ESP and then brought promotional programs into it as well. Now, customers have a smooth experience from their booking confirmation to car pickup and dropoff.
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2. Improve compliance and unify your messaging
Using more than one system is a big risk in the ever-changing GDPR-compliance realm. If a customer opts out of communication in one system, it’s nearly impossible to translate that over to another. System communication errors like this are dangerous because compliance breaches can lead to expensive fines and loss of customer trust.
Poor email list maintenance across multiple systems will also negatively impact your sender reputation. This will lower your email sender score, which is like a credit score for email programs. The lower your sender score, the greater the chance that your emails end up in customers’ spam folders.
When you consolidate email systems, it’s easier to get different systems to communicate and react to data or updates. Making those changes to the customer journey in two or more systems will inevitably slow you down in a best-case scenario. And in a worst-case scenario, you’re oversaturating some customers while missing others completely.
To prevent this from happening, Hertz consolidated their ESPs, getting to one unified solution. Doing this helped Cooner’s team visualize what the customer sees, so there was no messaging overlap or missed opportunities. For example, in the event of inclement weather, Hertz is now able to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers whose car rental process may be impacted.
If you want a more complete view of the customer journey, and don’t want to risk your messages getting caught in spam filters (or flagged for compliance), find a way to consolidate email service providers.
3. Combine systems for cleaner data, optimization, and personalization
Marketing to customers is easier when you know more about them. Pulling them into one system helps with the delivery of more personalized marketing. But it also helps when you can see the full picture, because you may find areas of opportunity that you couldn’t see through disparate data and systems.
Cooner recalled how customers would be able to see all the different emails Hertz was sending, but the corporate team couldn’t.
By consolidating email systems, Hertz identified a lucrative opportunity. Once they had all contact and engagement data living in one place, they were able to learn about which emails customers found useful and returned to again and again. By seizing this opportunity to test personalized promotions, Cooner and her team were able to increase email program revenue and get the most from their ESP investment.
Even if it requires more work now, it’s worth investing the time to get your email system in order. Consolidating email platforms is a short-term challenge with a great long-term strategic gain.
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Learn more about how Hertz turned a costly, overlapping system of email platforms into one efficient solution – and how you can make the most of your marketing spend.