Why We Partnered with SocketLabs

We spent some time with the Chief Technology Officer of SignUp.com, Patrick Dyson, to understand a little bit more about his company’s experience transitioning to SocketLabs.  You can watch the full conversation in, “The Science of Successful Email Migrations,” a webinar where Dyson explains his successful experience migrating to SocketLabs as his email delivery partner.

What can you tell us about SignUp.com and your process of transitioning your email delivery to SocketLabs?

SignUp.com is an online volunteer management platform. We send a high volume of transactional emails both to our event organizers and to their participants – about 4 million emails a month. A lot of that volume is to new participants that we’ve never sent to before, which typically makes it a challenge to hit inbox. Email is absolutely central and key to our business. Organizers depend on us to make the connection to the participants, tell them when their commitments are, and remind them to attend.

We had been using Dyn as an email service provider for about 10 years. In the middle of 2019 we decided to search for a new email partner after Dyn went through an acquisition and we lost confidence in their service.  We spent a couple of months picking a new provider. The search criteria was the quality of service, the knowledge level and availability of support, the feature set, and reputation. SocketLabs really stood head and shoulders above the other providers. In the pre-sales process I was really surprised. It’s kind of hard to ask deep technical questions when you’re not a customer, but that’s what you really need to do to understand how the migration is going to go. I was surprised because SocketLabs reached out to us very early on with strong support and they anticipated our needs going through the process. They shared their migration documents, which really helped us.

Why did you choose SocketLabs after your technical evaluation?

We tried SocketLabs and a couple other vendors, hitting their support and working with their API’s. Really there wasn’t much comparison because SocketLabs really stood out during that process, offering quick answers to our deep questions and giving us confidence. Also, something we didn’t really see at other places was a checklist. The checklist is a fairly dense technical document, but it was our guide through the whole process. We’d had trouble switching providers in the past. In particular, the first month of trying to send new emails at volume is really hard. But with SocketLabs, from day one, our deliveries were actually improved over the existing Dyn deliveries.

What about SocketLabs’ Simple Managed Migration (SMM) process impressed you?

When I did a lot of searching to learn about email migrations and potential partners, the overwhelming theme out there is to have very low expectations. Specifically, that you’ll need to be managing the process, controlling your volumes. In our case, from the pre-sales engagement to the implementation, the real surprise for us was that most of that burden was carried by SocketLabs. They handled the ramp up, they handle the IP sharing, and they handle all the things that are so important in moving things over.

The other thing that was really nice was the recording and tracking of email volume, which is a pretty difficult task. But we were able to use the existing SocketLabs set up without any customization to map to our tracking needs to see how our email is working. All of that worked right out of the box. I thought there would be a lot more customization and back-and-forth.

How would you summarize your experience working with SocketLabs?

Socketlabs, from the very first interaction all the way through, reached out to us and really asked us what they could do to make us successful. That’s so rare. I was expecting to bear most of the burden, but they really did. At the end of the day, I feel like we ended up with a partner.  Going forward there will be hiccups that can happen…mistakes can be made on our side…we can end up in in a honeypot somewhere and get blocked…or something like that. But I know that that SocketLabs will be there to help us out just like they have through the migration process.