You’re an email marketer who knows it’s time for a change. You’ve set your sights on a modern ESP that can improve email performance and offer a better working experience. And you’ve even done your research to make sure that the new ESP offers everything your team needs.
That’s it, right — you’re ready to make the switch and start reaping the benefits? Well, not quite.
You still need buy-in at all levels of the organization, particularly from senior leadership, to ensure program success.
Why Buy-In is Essential to Email Marketing Success
At a high level, securing buy-in for a new ESP proves essential to attaining the budget and resources you need to successfully implement your new program. But the importance of buy-in extends beyond that.
From the top down, getting senior leadership to buy-in to the change can help remove any organizational roadblocks that might crop up and provide ongoing support for a shift in focus of resources that might occur.
From the bottom up, getting your peers in the marketing organization to buy-in to the change can help ensure adoption of the new ESP and any new processes that result from the change.
How to Secure Buy-In at All Levels for Your New ESP
Given the importance of securing buy-in for a new ESP, how do you make it happen?
It’s about helping your organization understand the need for the change and the benefits of the new solution, including how that new solution will resolve any challenges you face today. And the more you can frame those benefits in a way that ties directly to what each audience cares about most and is measured on, the better off you’ll be.
With that in mind, here are six steps to secure buy-in for a new ESP:
1) Conduct Research
To start, you need to conduct research on your proposed solution so that you have a complete understanding of what the technology offers and how it can meet your team’s needs.
Taking on a proof of concept (POC) to pilot the solution puts you in the best position to conduct this research, since you’ll have a firsthand view into platform workflows and campaign performance.
2) Clearly Define Program Goals (and Align Them to Company Objectives)
Next, you need to outline what the new technology — and any changes to your email marketing program that will come along with it — will help your team achieve. For maximum impact, you should align these goals to overarching company objectives.
This goal-setting and alignment will make clear for everyone from senior leadership down exactly what you plan to accomplish by making the change and how those goals fit into the bigger picture of what your organization is trying to achieve.
3) Map Out Your Business Case
Clearly defining what you plan to achieve is one thing. Outlining why those goals are important is quite another. This is where a well-defined business case comes into play.
Your business case should not only explain how the proposed solution will help you achieve your goals, but it should also make clear how it will remove any obstacles your team faces under the current setup.
4) Supplement Your Business Case with Data
To deliver an ironclad business case, you need to back it up with data. Specifically, you need to find data that illustrates the value of implementing your chosen solution, as this will make your position irrefutable.
While you can use performance data from similar retailers (which the technology provider should be able to share), collecting your own data from a POC will make your business case even stronger.
5) Surface Success Stories
Data can make your business case ironclad, but bringing in success stories adds a level of relatability and validation to everything you present.
As a result, it pays to work with your chosen technology provider to select real-world success stories from similar retailers that demonstrate the positive impact implementing the technology has had on their business. While data can certainly play a role here, make sure that these success stories cover more than just the numbers.
6) Establish an Open Line of Communication
Once you secure buy-in, you must continue to work to maintain it. While securing buy-in to start can help with budget and resources to launch the program, maintaining buy-in long term is important for program growth.
To maintain buy-in long term, you need to establish an open line of communication with program stakeholders at all levels. This communication should ensure that everyone remains aware of new program developments and the impact of that work going forward.
What Else Do You Need Know to Prepare for a Change?
What else do you need to consider as you map out the future of your email marketing program and search for a modern ESP to help grow your business? Find out everything you need to know in our Ultimate Guide to ESP Selection for the Modern Retail Marketer.