It’s the end of the road for email marketing software giant, Bronto following an email sent to clients on Tuesday announcing the company’s “end of life” in May 2022. Essentially what this means is all clients (currently working with Bronto) will have a year or so to migrate onto other platforms.
In the following blog post, we discuss the recent announcement, what this means for brands and share our expert next steps for migrating to the right ESP.
Oracle Netsuite declares ‘end of life’ for Bronto Marketing Platform
Nearly six years after Netsuite acquired Bronto Software, the company sent an email to customers earlier this week with the news that the company has assigned the core product suite, Bronto Marketing Platform, to “end of life” status.
As seen below, WRAL TechWire obtained the text of that email, which reads:
“We have important news to share about the Bronto Marketing Platform. Over the coming year we will migrate our marketing automation technology and resources to the Oracle Customer Experience Cloud. We believe this will create an overall superior customer experience. Due to this strategic plan, we will no longer be selling the Bronto Marketing Platform and thus are announcing the end of life.
“This notice is to inform your company that the Bronto Marketing Platform has been assigned End of Life status and the last date of service will be May 31, 2022. The Bronto service and any related ACS or Professional Services you may have ordered will be supported until the end of the last date of service. You will be able to continue to use the Bronto service until the end of the last date of service and if you choose, you may renew your services until our last date of service, May 31, 2022.
Please ensure that all appropriate contacts in your company are made aware of this notice. Thank you for being a valued customer. Your account manager will contact you shortly to discuss next steps.”
Q&A with Email Marketing Experts: Next Steps for Brands
We spoke with our in-house email marketing experts Leah Lloyd and Peter Inthirakoth on how brands should approach and navigate Bronto’s end of service offering. We also outline specific steps for finding the right ESP for your business and what to expect in the migration process.
What does this mean for brands currently working with Bronto? Should they be concerned?
Lloyd: Brands should have a sense of urgency in vetting out a new ESP for migration. Because of the timing, Q4 2021 presents a huge hole and challenge in the middle of the timeline. Brands need to be aware that safely onboarding subscribers to a new ESP could take 4-6 weeks (dependent on list size) and that most development teams have a code-freeze heading into the holiday. Plan your migration timeline to take place between now and September 2021, or January to April 2022.
Can you provide specific examples of “next steps” for brands seeking ESP migration?
Inthirakoth: At Tinuiti, we often help our clients navigate the complex process of selecting a new email service provider (ESP). The landscape of ESPs has changed considerably in the past few years. Many young companies have come to challenge the existing players with new and innovative ideas and are changing the value proposition. With all the options available, it is important to make sure the ESPs you’re considering are evaluated fully to ensure that they meet the needs of your email program or your broader marketing program.
Here are 7 tips for selecting an Email Service Provider:
- User Experience – Most ESPs have a few features in common, but they often differ in the level of sophistication at which you can execute email. Some have so many options available that navigating the ESP can be a challenge in and of itself, where others simplify the experience to get you from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
- Email Building – For the traditionalist, building emails through HTML is available with any ESP and will provide you with the most flexibility in design and highest compatibility with various email clients. For visual email builders, email building has gone beyond the WYSIWYG editors of yesteryear (though they are still offered by many) and has become even easier with the introduction of drag-and-drop editors. Drag-and-drop editing can be dead simple: drop email elements like an image section or text section and edit it with the content that you want.
- Segmentation – Segmentation is a critical piece of any marketer’s toolbox. It helps to avoid over-sending emails, ensuring the right audience is receiving the appropriate messaging and can be helpful to understand your audience by filtering them by their characteristics and activities.
- Integrations – Integration capabilities can provide a big advantage to your marketing program. Turn-key integrations are becoming more popular as they help to reduce the cost and complexity of migrating platforms. Integrating your eCommerce platform with your ESP can take a lot of work if it has to be built from the ground up, so do some research on the ESPs that play best with your current platform.
- Cross-Channel Capabilities – In today’s marketing environment, the number of digital channels is always evolving. Many ESPs have responded by expanding their channel offerings, sharing data with other channels like social media in order to support remarketing efforts and audience targeting via look-alikes. Others have gone even further and allow for full execution within the platforms for channels such as SMS and mobile push.
- Support – We would all like to believe that things never go wrong, but we often find that belief to be a pipe dream. Support levels vary by ESP, with few offering after-hours support or help with more complex technical projects (without an additional fee), and many only providing an email address to get in touch.Email can be just as fast as a phone call in some cases but sometimes having a person on the phone for real-time support can be meaningful.
- Budget – Pricing and proposals can vary widely but are certainly a major factor in the ESP selection process. The proposal that you receive will usually be determined on factors that you provide to the ESP:
- Number of contacts
- Email volume
- Any value-add options
Those data points might seem straightforward, but they’re a bit of a moving target; contingency costs often arise due to exceeding projections.
To learn more, check out “How To Select an Email Service Provider”
How do you know which ESP is right for your brand/company?
Inthirakoth: Understanding your must-haves and nice-to-haves beforehand undertaking an ESP review will inform your decision-making process and ensure that the option you select will support minimum viability for your marketing needs. Picking the right ESP will give your email marketing program the tools to grow and succeed.
If you still find yourself looking to make some moves with your email marketing program, consider reaching out to Tinuiti. We have done many ESP migrations for clients ranging from startups to enterprise-level, in addition, to help build and manage email programs.
Why should brands consider Tinuiti as their Email Marketing Provider?
Lloyd: Brands should carefully consider providers that have a wealth of experience not just in managing the day-to-day, but also providers that have intimate knowledge of many ESPs to ensure they are utilizing technology to their fullest potential. Tinuiti has managed many migration projects from ESP selection to ensure that our client’s first send reaches their contact’s inboxes.
To learn more about how to navigate the migration process, drop us a line!
Email is just one part of your lifecycle journey. Your brand needs to build an integrated messaging approach that prioritizes the customer for a more comprehensive (and human) communication journey. Learn more about Tinuiti’s Lifecycle Marketing approach across email, mobile, and on-site.