Read Time: 3 min

The best way to calculate the ROI of an ESP migration

For the last month or so, we’ve been diving into ESP migrations. We’ve covered everything from the top questions to ask to determine if you need to move and how to do an email audit, to how to assess ESPs and to how to actually migrate. So, once you’ve gone through all of that, how do you know if it was worth it?

How do you actually calculate ROI?

While email marketing is important, measurement in our world can be weak. About 45% of marketers told us that measurement was poor, very poor, or weak. So, if you’re thinking about making the investment—in both time and money—we want to set you up for success on how to measure the move. We think about the payoff in two ways:

  • Benefits you can measure
  • Benefits you can’t measure

Benefits you can measure

As a reminder, here’s how to calculate very basic email marketing ROI:

Sales Growth From Email Marketing — Email Marketing Cost / Email Marketing Cost = ROI

When you migrate ESPs, you could experience a cost savings, which could also mean an automatic increase in ROI (assuming performance and email output stays the same). But sometimes you are investing in a more expensive solution and it won’t be that simple to calculate. So, how else can you show ROI?


If you know you usually send out 25 email campaigns a month and you’re now able to send out 30, that’s a 20% improvement—and quite the gain. Proving to your business that your team can do more, which in turn should generate more pipeline, sales, etc., is a powerful metric to make
everyone in the business continue to see the value.


Are you able to automate some of the things in your new tool that you used to do manually? Maybe your new ESP syncs with one of your favorite tools (like Litmus perhaps?) and is saving you a ton of time in every email you send. Whatever it is, there is a way to show time savings.


We all have those projects we can’t get to, but we know we need to. And if your boss asks one more time about that one, you might just call in sick. How many of those have you been able to tackle because you got back time from these new capabilities?

Benefits you can’t measure

And then there are the ones you can’t measure, but are invaluable—and likely the most important to you.


We’re not talking about the things you can quantify here, but the things you can’t. Just the, “I can create automations vs. doing it all manually” can be priceless when it comes to your well-being.


You can’t put your finger on it, but your workflow is just easier. You’re getting more done. You’re able to get to the reporting you need. And you can make decisions more quickly. You may not be able to quantify that, but that feeling that everything is humming along is one that you know and may not have felt for a while. So, how can you show these things? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out our starter spreadsheet in our ebook, The Marketer’s Guide to ESP Migration. Sometimes a simple chart with the right information is all you need.

At the beginning of your journey? Or looking for tried-and-tested templates to help you through the move? Get the info you need—including templates!—in The Marketer’s Guide to ESP Migration.