10 Ways the Wrong Email Infrastructure Impacts Your Business

Though this may come as a surprise to some end users, people in the complex email community like email service providers (ESPs) or multi-domain senders know omnichannel marketing platforms leverage several different vendors to fulfill the technical email sending process.   

What is perhaps a surprise to some is not all vendors are the same, even though it may seem that way sometimes. With this assumption, you can bet on outdated practices, missed business opportunities, and ultimately, poor customer experience.  

Email infrastructure is both a risk and reward 

With the right partner, using a third-party infrastructure provider is a rewarding experience of having reliable sending pipes, simple tools for management, and a supportive services team. When email infrastructure isn’t done correctly and competently, it can quietly but significantly have a negative impact on your business outcomes. 

By choosing the wrong infrastructure partner for your email platform, you’re exposing yourself to the following serious issues requiring quick intervention (and unfortunately, migration can be lengthy solution.) 

#1:  Cumbersome onboarding for your customers 

With most infrastructure partners, your customer onboarding is a manual process full of virtual landmines. It’s resource-intensive for your internal teams. Whether they’re struggling to onboard several customers at once, or they’ve got one difficult or complex use case to configure, the possibility of delays, errors, and frustration multiplies by the day.  

Bottom line: You’re making a bad first impression with the customer you worked so hard to win. The more effectively and efficiently you’re able to onboard customers onto your sending infrastructure, the more effectively and efficiently you’re able to welcome customers. 

#2:  Strained professional services engagements 

Your service team spends their time reporting, not advising. Why?  

Simple: It’s not easy to find the data you need to actually provide solutions, let alone the data you need to optimize sender performance. When you’re spending hours running reports every day before you’re able to analyze trends and investigate issues, of course you won’t have time to provide proactive and satisfying customer service. Every minute spent searching is a minute your customer could be experiencing and noticing an issue, and no one wants their customers to have to surface issues themselves. 

At some point, your customers will either opt-out of the added expense of professional services or will move to another provider entirely. 

#3:  Lack of insightful, real-time reporting 

Email is a data-rich channel, but the data often goes to waste. Your customers are likely leveraging third parties for their current reporting needs because your infrastructure provider has a serious data lag. And we’re not talking hours…we’re talking days of delay. Frankly, if they’re not using third parties, they’re probably looking for an ESP to replace you because, according to Chris Marriott, the number one priority for senders in 2023 is “real-time data. 

If your customers are cobbling together a hodge-podge solution, it’s spiking the cost of their email stack. The inability to provide timely data for sender consumption and action is a huge missed opportunity cost for you, and at no fault of your own. Unless your ESP can get you and your senders’ data fast, you’re losing to third-party providers collecting the fees you’d unlock if you could provide that information yourself. 

#4:  Unsatisfactory email performance 

Legacy email platforms are inflexible and don’t have the ability to dynamically adjust to changing conditions. This opens the door to subpar deliverability affecting your chances of even reaching the inbox, thanks to blocklistings or simple unsavory reputations. If your infrastructure partner allows for email troubles to pile up until you discover an issue, you’re not only risking your senders’ performance, but your reputation as a reliable, proactive ESP.  

#5:  Weak competitive differentiation 

If your competition is using one of the larger, omnichannel infrastructure partners like Twilio SendGrid, they’re stuck in the old ways of email and customer experience is suffering as a result. 

With that comes a caveat: If you’re using the same infrastructure provider, you probably are, too. 

Email is a powerful channel with an ROI of $40 dollars for every $1 spent. But most omnichannel platforms are still leveraging antiquated ESPs, making it more challenging for their customers to see this ROI. Without the ability to provide a focus on email, you’re missing out on a huge differentiator for email in a world of omnichannel platforms progressively moving toward SMS.  

#6:  Increased cost 

ESPs are over-paying for backend email solutions right now. In fact, most omnichannel platform providers aren’t only asking for a premium in their cost per message (CPM), but they’re also padding the bills with overages, service fees, internal resource allocation, and overstaffed email teams. 

Are the costs honest? Sure. But can their products and services be provided at a lower cost and higher impact elsewhere? We have it on good authority that yes, yes it can be. 

#7:  Product roadmap delays 

“Right-sizing” your own product to connect to your current email vendor, plus the ongoing work to support that configuration creates a domino effect. With your internal resources spending their time maintaining an email system, they’re not spending their time on what you care about the most: developing products on a roadmap designed to differentiate your core product from your competition.  

#8: Mismanaged internal resources 

If you aren’t using a complete plug-and-play infrastructure solution giving you simple, codeless management tools for use by non-product people, you’re wasting not only money, but valuable time. Your email or customer success teams have their hands tied when it comes to the more complex aspects of an email management platform, because typically, the tools necessary for their use case need to be built (and maintained) by internal resources familiar with code. 

It’s not a sustainable business model. Without a platform you can code into existence quickly which then can be used codelessly, you’re playing a dangerous game with development cycle scarcity. 

#9: Slow, reactive responses 

Your senders are focused on one thing: their own email performance. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to explain why it takes you longer than they’d like to solve an issue. In fact, the wrong infrastructure platform could compound the frustration of needing to wait for the right people to fix a problem with the inability to surface the issue to you before your customers. 

You do not want to get a call from your customer asking why they noticed a big problem before you did. That’s not an answer they want to hear. Legacy platforms will keep you waiting, both to find the problem and solve it, thanks to the perfect storm of data lag and complex tools requiring advanced skillsets. 

#10: Competitive vulnerability 

Of course, every company is vulnerable to competition.  

But is every company at risk of their partners deciding to cut them out as the middleman and poach their customers? If you’re using an email infrastructure provider with omnichannel capabilities, you can trust they’re more interested in the individual revenue streams of your largest clients than they are your own revenue stream to use their sending pipes.  

You might find yourself relying on an outdated ESP with no email roadmap who can offer the same old platform with more services outside of email, killing two or more birds with one stone. Don’t let today’s partner become tomorrow’s competition. Pick a partner who is dedicated to email innovation, and to keeping you in the equation. 

It’s not all doom and gloom. The situation for ESPs looking for a sending platform with intuitive tools and features isn’t dire. While the biggest players want you to believe they’re the only options out there, it’s untrue. In fact, we understand these problems so acutely that we decided to just…build a better platform ourselves. One that’s meant for complex senders like you. 

That’s the kind of innovation you get when you have a team built by people who know and love email. We’ve experienced these same challenges. So, we solved them. Check it out. 

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