Episode 45: Meet the Masters of Migration with Brandon Lowe

Episode 45: Meet the Masters of Migration with Brandon Lowe

Did you know we have a team dedicated exclusively to migrating new accounts over to our platform? One of our own experts explains what goes in to a successful migration process.


Brandon Lowe, migration team lead at ActiveCampaign, joins the podcast to talk about everything you need to know about the migration process. Go behind the scenes with Brandon to learn how his team approaches large migration projects, what to expect when you migrate to our platform, and what you can do during the process to get the most out of your new ActiveCampaign account.
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Chris Davis: Welcome to another episode of the ActiveCampaign Podcast. Today’s podcast [00:00:30] is about migration services, moving on up. What do you do when your platform that you’ve grown to know and love just doesn’t fit or suit your business and marketing needs?
This is a very overwhelming and can be a very scary process. For that reason, ActiveCampaign, we have a migration services team. This is not a canned service where you fill out some form and then there’s magic computers [00:01:00] that just automatically port stuff over. We have a team of humans. We have a team of humans that actually assess your business needs, assess your application, and handle that entire migration process for you because we know how delicate and important and sensitive your information is.
Today, I have Brandon Lowe. He is the implementation specialist lead of our migration services team, and he’s going to walk us through what to expect before and after that migration process. [00:01:30] Enjoy today’s episode.
Brandon, how you doing?
Brandon Lowe: Good, man. Thanks for having me.
Chris Davis: I’m excited Brandon because … Well, let me not get ahead of myself. Brandon, what is your title here?
Brandon Lowe: Yes, I’m the implementation specialist lead. I manage a team of … just five of us that handle all of the migrations for people coming into ActiveCampaign from other platforms and the various work that follows.
Chris Davis: Now, I will admit I’ve been in the space for a while, and [00:02:00] I’ve not … I don’t know if I’ve seen a migrations team. Tell us a little bit about your background and what qualifies Brandon to be an implementation specialist?
Brandon Lowe: I’m still trying to figure that out, but no. I moved here … I started at ActiveCampaign in May, moved here from Arizona with my wife and son. In Arizona, I was working for Infusionsoft. I worked there for three years [00:02:30] in the support management role, their support team. We dabbled in obviously normal support stuff, but as a manager we definitely handled a lot of consultative escalation things like that, saw their products and services team grow and had to hand in a little bit of that. With my list of experience, and email marketing and automation is in my blood at this point, so I was really [00:03:00] excited to accept the challenge of growing a team.
When I got here, there was one person or two people doing migrations and then now we have five of us. We have tripled, quadrupled the volume of migrations were completing and doing. Yeah, that’s what my background is.
Chris Davis: Great, so you’ve definitely been in the space. It’s nothing new to you. If I could probe one more question …
Brandon Lowe: Yeah.
Chris Davis: [00:03:30] Before Infusionsoft, was that your first job out of college?
Brandon Lowe: No, it wasn’t. Right after college age, I got right into real estate. I did my own thing there, worked for a couple of brokers. I just realized that’s not necessarily something I wanted to do, so I switched careers. I actually went back to school in my mid to late 20’s. I actually was a stay-at-home dad with my son for three and a half years –
Chris Davis: Nice.
Brandon Lowe: – while I went to school and stuff. [00:04:00] But all that time, my wife and I had a wedding photography business that we ran for nine years. Having the small business experience and building it from scratch you’re ingrained in all the solutions that it takes to grow a business, plugging in a thousand different things and dealing with that kind of process.
Definitely in running a small business you learn a lot about email marketing automation that you didn’t really know you needed. You know?
Chris Davis: Yeah. I like to point those things out because [00:04:30] a lot of times, if there’s somebody listening and they’re wondering “How do I get in with a startup? What skills do I need?” It’s such a tough question because it’s really about using whatever background you have and leveraging it. For you, you had a background that was solutions oriented.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: From your business to at-home. It’s across the board.
Brandon Lowe: It’s crazy, yeah. When you’re a solo entrepreneur, you have a really small business where it’s just you and [00:05:00] somebody or yourself figuring things out, you have to be the CEO, you have to be the financier, the tax expert. Most people don’t know how to do that stuff. Most people go to school for four years and learn how to do one of those things, but when you’re doing it all yourself, you … Luckily we live in the information age where you can really find out how to do anything. You teach yourself whatever you need to. You get scrappy that way but you learn a lot along the way. You make a lot of mistakes, but … yeah.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Another thing I’m glad you mentioned too was the stay-at-home dad. That’s just something [00:05:30] you don’t often hear –
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: – I can just imagine. I’m putting myself in your shoes in the past. The thought that went into it saying, “Okay, I’m going to be a stay-at-home dad” when predominantly we see that as stay-at-home moms, the societal challenges that come with it, and our own just personal demons around it. What I like about it is it shows your willingness [00:06:00] to do something that you know is beneficial regardless.
Brandon Lowe: It definitely was one of those things where it wasn’t really planned. It just happened my wife had a good job, we were having a baby, and I was in the middle of switching careers, and we had this business going. It just happened to work out that I was able to. Yeah, it was the best three and a half years of my life as far as learning. It’s [00:06:30] something you don’t really realize after going from that back to the workforce. I learned so much with patience and nurturing and caring and it really helps reiterate customer service. A lot of that stuff that you developed, patience and care … A baby wakes up, literally your eye on it until it goes to bed, making sure that it doesn’t die and that it eats and stuff. You really do have to step it up and you learn so much [00:07:00] stuff. It’s crazy and it’s something I’d never take back in life.
Chris Davis: Yeah, we definitely don’t want the baby to die.
Brandon Lowe: No.
Chris Davis: What’s really good is that same care and patience is absolutely required in migrations, right?
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah. For sure.
Chris Davis: You could say, just in any form of service you need patience, understanding, a meticulous approach to things; but specifically with migrations, [00:07:30] data is the fear of everybody, “I don’t want to lose any data. I need to use this platform, but I can’t lose any data.” Before we jump in to some of those challenges that you face, what is the migration team at ActiveCampaign? Give people a little insight.
Brandon Lowe: There’s myself and then there’s four others. Right now we all do the same thing [00:08:00] as far as … we get a migration and we do, from soup to nuts, the importing to rebuilding of everything else.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Brandon Lowe: A lot of people think there’s a magic switch or button that we push and it converts everything but it’s really a lot of us … we’ve definitely created some efficiencies and some scripts that we do to help us be of some things but it’s very handcrafted. It’s like recreation and sometimes it’s optimization [00:08:30] because certain things work differently in other platforms and we have to make it fit. Sometimes you have to come up with a solution. We’re starting to delve in to helping people connect their integrations, their third party platforms in the ActiveCampaign so –
Chris Davis: Oh, nice.
Brandon Lowe: – we’re starting to beta test it, doing a service for migrating the platform but also if they’re using lead pages and other things, we’ll connect that, the whole suite or the stock of solutions they’re using.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Brandon Lowe: More on [00:09:00] that to come eventually.
Chris Davis: How does one sign up for migration services?
Brandon Lowe: Yeah. It’s pretty simple, activecampaign.com/migrate. There’s a form on there, you fill that out. That’s the first step. Then you’ll get an email with a breakdown of our packages. We found that people have different needs with migration. We have a quick migration that’s just a data import, so we’ll import your contacts. [00:09:30] Sometimes it will take a day up to three days. Then we have light migration which is if you have a couple of automation in your contacts and forms, we’ll do that. Then we have a pro and then a custom.
It just depends on the amount of stuff you have in your platform. They all have different … and it’s basically governed by how much of your time frame. If you have some more time and you have a lot of stuff, then that’s how it goes.
Then there’s a form on that email that you fill out that gives us more details of [00:10:00] specific campaign IDs that you need, list IDs. More of the technical stuff so we can get into your other platform and scope it all out and start working.
Chris Davis: Wow! It doesn’t matter what platform they’re using.
Brandon Lowe: No. We get a new one every day. Every week we have at least two platforms … never heard of this one.
Chris Davis: Oh men.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah.
Chris Davis: I have to say … I’m going to say this.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: [00:10:30] There are times where I walk by you guys’ desks and I look at what’s on your screen –
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: – and sometimes I just cringe.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, right.
Chris Davis: It’s two reasons. One reason is because you see the spider web type automation that’s everything on one canvass. How can anyone keep track of that? The second one which almost is enough to just lose your appetite for the whole day and just go home.
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: Some of these platforms, man, look [00:11:00] terrible.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: They lie often.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, right.
Chris Davis: I often wonder how does an individual … how do you go past? Because if you just type in email marketing and marketing automation the larger companies will show on the first page of Google. How do you bypass that all the way to the 20th page –
Brandon Lowe: I know.
Chris Davis: – to say, “Hmm, this platform looks reputable.”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah. It’s literally must be inherited or some kind of legacy or cast down because we’ve gotten some that literally the [00:11:30] company that built it doesn’t even support it anymore. They’ve just been rolling with it and just dealing with it. It looks like it was design for Windows 95.
Chris Davis: Oh men.
Brandon Lowe: Some of them are just awful. Even some of the new ones are terrible, to be honest. Not too much shade, but yeah. There’s also a lot of them that are really … I have put in feature request for what we do because I’m like, man this would be nice for our customers. There’s a balance of being rounded but not too clunky.
Chris Davis: Right. Yes, so [00:12:00] for you I can see the big challenge and you’ve mentioned them earlier, or one of the adjustments that you have to make is … What are the steps we take with every migration and shed some light on it because I think it would help because not everybody signs up for a migration, right?
Brandon Lowe: Right, yeah.
Chris Davis: Some people are going to go at migrating themselves.
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: What would you say are … because it’s going to be specific [00:12:30] to the account –
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah. It’s different.
Chris Davis: – but what would you say are some global steps by shedding some light on how you all approach? When you give an account maybe the first thing you do is look at the contacts. What would you say or shed some light on that one?
Brandon Lowe: Yeah. When we’re going in … because part of the part where you feel it give us more information, we do. We go in and we scope everything. We create a project plan and then we deliver that to the customer where it’s like, “Hey, we’re going to get all this done by this date.” [00:13:00] The first thing we usually do is data import. Because a lot of things hinge on custom fields inside of automations and tags and things like that. If that’s not on there, it’s hard to create … when you’re building emails and your personalization tags or merge fields, you need all what you’re going to be merging in. We usually start with creating custom fields and then running the import of the contact.
Sometimes, if it’s a longer migration, we’ll have to redo that towards the end because … [00:13:30] and there are other platform, they’re still collecting contacts. They don’t want to miss out on any so we’ll do a reimport-type thing.
After that … All of us have a little bit different because after that’s done, I usually start with forms because sometimes forms are triggers in automation so you want to make sure that those are all taken cared of so you can use those triggers that way.
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Then I’ll usually hit up automations and then campaigns or templates.
Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah, [00:14:00] yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Actually, templates first because usually the automation emails will be using those templates.
Chris Davis: Oh. Right, right, right.
Brandon Lowe: It makes it a little bit seem more seamless, so you don’t have to rebuild and rebuild.
Chris Davis: Do you have to do any mapping out outside of the application?
Brandon Lowe: What do you mean?
Chris Davis: Like flow charting or the analog …
Brandon Lowe: Version of it?
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Sometimes the other platform looks analog so they do enforce [00:14:30] but most of the time it’s … more than half of the migrations that we do are from smaller platforms that have very limited automation which makes it recreating … usually there are autoresponders so it’s literally just a basic automation for the most part –
Chris Davis: Right, right.
Brandon Lowe: – but we’re getting a huge increase like HubSpot and the other half. I think 50/50. Our top [00:15:00] other platform is Infusionsoft and MailChimp. Half of them we have to do a little bit more brainstorming of how are we going to make this fit in ActiveCampaign. There’s some weird clunky about Infusionsoft that we don’t like internal forms or fulfillment list or voice broadcast. We don’t have this stuff here. We make sure to note those in our project plan so –
Chris Davis: Right.
Brandon Lowe: – we won’t have any surprises at the end. If we know something that’s not going [00:15:30] to translate or be a replicate then we let the customer know that beforehand so they’re not like, “Oh that’s a huge part of my business.”
Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Most things are pretty simple but once you get into bigger platforms where they’re coming to us, it can be tricky but we just take it automation by automation and split things up where we need to.
Chris Davis: You try to do more of a port in any time where … maybe there’s an opportunity to optimize or do something differently. Do you [00:16:00] propose it to the end user and it’s up to them to say yes or no at their discretion?
Brandon Lowe: Right, yeah. We try to be upfront about those things because sometimes they will change functionality little bit. We’re proposing the best way. We can recreate it exactly the way it is, but this X, Y, Zs is probably not necessary so let us know how you want us to proceed type of conversation.
Chris Davis: Right.
Brandon Lowe: We can propose options and then they tell us which one.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Brandon Lowe: [00:16:30] Yeah.
Chris Davis: If you could just quickly think of all of the migrations you’ve done, the ones that have gone great, the ones that have been challenging, what would you say is the … Out of the ones you’ve done, what was the most prepared migration where you were like, “Oh, wow. This is perfect.”
Brandon Lowe: The ones that go the smoothest, sometimes I will go [00:17:00] in to their app even though … because migration a lot of times the first time that people or they sign up and then they just request it and then they wait for us to do everything and then they start hopping in.
For us, an ideal situation is somebody that’s already in there, that’s getting to know the app and maybe creates the list, kind of the shallow things and then start to … It’s definitely not necessary but it’s nice to see people and they’re working and you even [00:17:30] see they import a certain list and they start sending to that list while we’re building stuff out. For us it’s really cool to see them not waiting until we’re done because we’re not restricting anybody. We make sure to put that in the emails. You can access your app, you can send emails. If you didn’t build it like we’re probably building out so it’s under construction on certain things but that doesn’t limit them so people are using the app.
Another one is if they [00:18:00] give us their contacts list and it’s cleaned up and we don’t have to ask about, “Oh, do you need all these blank custom fields” A lot of these bigger platforms like HubSpot, a default export has 300 fields.
Chris Davis: Right.
Brandon Lowe: We only have 60 fields so that means there’s 296 that we have to create and then afterwards they are like, “Oh, we don’t need any of these.” It’s more of really taking time to find out, [00:18:30] pare down what you really need migrated. That’s another one of the challenges that we work with people and users is really isolating what you really need not versus … because everybody has a tendency to be a packrat a little bit. They pay for things and pay for campaigns and automations. They want to bring them even though they’re not using them or they have old automation, things like that.
Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah. I think that can be said for any time that you’re paying for a service.
Brandon Lowe: [00:19:00] Right.
Chris Davis: The way to get the most out of it, the most bang for your buck is to communicate clearly upfront, of course, what you’re trying to do, what your business stands for all of those –
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: – but actually have like a shell.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah.
Chris Davis: You don’t have to have it all mapped out or fleshed out. Like you said, even if they come empty handed, that’s what we’re here for –
Brandon Lowe: Right. Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: – but If you want to ensure there are no errors, things go smoothly, move quickly it doesn’t hurt [00:19:30] to get in there and say, “Okay, let me just create a couple list that I think we need. Let me just put the most important data to give them a start, to give them a go.” I would assume, on the flip end, some of the most challenging migrations are people who just sign up and say, “Okay, when will you be done?”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah. We literally have these fields in our form that say list the names or the IDs of the automations and campaigns and [00:20:00] list that you want brought over from your other platform.
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: There’s people that will put … which is no big deal. I understand their mentality. They put all, all, all.
Communication is a thing. Usually the ones … the migrations that are more challenging is lack of communication and dis-preparedness and things like that. I think the best way to look at it if you’re looking in a migration is just assume [00:20:30] and communicate like we know nothing about what you’re trying to do because at the end of the day it might be a new platform we’ve never even been in.
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Some of these applications and platforms are so dense. When you say all, that could mean six months’ worth of work but if you only really need a little bit then that could be the difference between a short migration where you’re up to running as [00:21:00] quickly or it’s this long drawn out process.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and I think that’s the key, right? If you’re using any of our migration services, be prepared of course to have the top minds in the company as implementation specialists working on it but also be prepared to communicate.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah.
Chris Davis: It’s just like when you go to a restaurant … Oh, Brandon I used to judge people, man. You had that person who’s looking over the restaurant [00:21:30] list and then they go and say, “Hey, can I have this but hold the mayo”, or “can you put this on the side?” I’m thinking, “Hey, just order the food man. Stop being difficult.”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: As time goes on … as you experience life, you start realizing you get enough plates back where it’s just the template where you say, “Hey, I just want that.” Then you get it back and you’re like, “Oh, they put a little too much ketchup on it.”
Brandon Lowe: Right, yeah.
Chris Davis: “Oh, they forgot this,” or, “Oh, I didn’t know it was going to…” Then you start asking those questions and you start communicating, then [00:22:00] the level of communication and clarity in your communication –
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: – now produces a better service and a better end result.
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: It’s the exact same here. We see it many times, right? It’s just kind of “I get it.” Especially as a business owner, things are moving fast.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, you’re busy.
Chris Davis: Right. It’s just like, “Listen, this is one more thing I don’t need on my plate. Can you just handle this for me?”
Brandon Lowe: Right, yeah.
Chris Davis: We get it, but with that being said, you still need to be able to clearly communicate exactly [00:22:30] what you’re doing. What would you say are some of the top challenges that you face in the entire migration process, from them filling out the form all the way to them saying “Great, I’m good. I’m up and running.”
Brandon Lowe: A big one is we’re trying to get the average turnaround time down to 10 days. Before, it was wide open and some migrations could take three months, six months depending on the scope.
Chris Davis: [00:23:00] Wow.
Brandon Lowe: We’re to a point where we’ve set an internal stipulation or goal but we’re treating it as gospel that no migration will ever take over 30 business days anymore.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Brandon Lowe: There’s a lot of efficiencies we’ve created. We have more people but also we’re tackling them sometimes a little differently on the big ones. We got our internal process into a project management software. We’re using Wrike. The big ones, we actually scoop [00:23:30] them out and then we’ll split the tasks between all of us so all of us, we’re working on the same one –
Chris Davis: Nice.
Brandon Lowe: – so we can crank it out faster. Turnaround time is a big thing for us because we want the experience for the customer to be fast because we know at the end of the day, we don’t want to be paying for a software for three months and not be using it. Our goal as a team, our mission, is to get people into ActiveCampaign and using it as quickly as possible and to be successful, but they have time frames.
[00:24:00] It’s really, for us, it’s trying to figure out the most effective way to communicate and to really educate the customers on the editing of what they really need. Everybody has the tendency, like I said before, to be a hoarder of like, this is your business, this is your life basically. Let’s just bring it over. What we’ve seen most successful is when they’re able to really isolate what they really need and then prioritize that and then we’ll migrate [00:24:30] that and then they can keep other stuff for reference.
Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah.
Brandon Lowe: It’s like moving. We just moved across the country, my wife and I, where our family have been living there for so long, since we’re kids. We’ve moved a hundred times so we had a ton of stuff. When we’re ready to trying to pare down to move, we’re like “I don’t want to bring any of these stuff across the country to Chicago.” What we did is we started getting rid of stuff. The [00:25:00] stuff, sentimental, some things we really have to look at it like, “Do we really want to bring this across the country? Does it bring me joy anymore?” If not, it went to the Salvation Army or whatever.
We pared down so much and once you get to your new place and it’s not cluttered. You have all the space and freedom and you can focus. That’s the same thing with the migration. You collect so much stuff if you’ve been in a platform for years, and years, and years. It’s being able to log in in your ActiveCampaign and see [00:25:30] all of that can be overwhelming especially if it will clutter things up, but if you just have the stuff that brings you happiness, the stuff that makes you successful and it’s essentialized you’re going to be set up for success I think a lot more.
It’s really trying to figure out, “Okay, do you need these 300 custom fields or Do you really only use 15 of them” because these files are always going to be here. You can always go back to references file if you need that data in the long run.
Chris Davis: Right.
Brandon Lowe: But what are you going to be using? Do you really want a contact record [00:26:00] with 300 custom fields in it? No, you probably don’t need that. It’s really trying to figure out how to help people pare those things down.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and if you’re just using your moving experience you also had to, in your mind, prepare for a different city.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah.
Chris Davis: The living, the culture, the speed, the base, everything was going to be different. What would you say to help people … because what I’d like to do is … because I’ve seen, here’s the notorious [00:26:30] question and it doesn’t matter what platform you’re using. If there’s a user group, you’ve seen this question.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: The question goes, “Just migrated to blank, deliverability has dropped. What should I do?” Right? A lot of times I’d like to tell people, “Listen, you have to understand life after migration.”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: It’s going to be a bit different before it gets the same. I’ve communicated it a few times [00:27:00] in office hours and I told people, I said, “I know what they’re doing. I get it because I’ve done it before, is you’re seeing your contacts being exported over but what you’re not knowing is that you’re assuming that the relationship you had with those contacts that your previous ESP knows is being transferred over to” and that’s just not possible, right? The ES for your new marketing platform, I should just, not ESP, but your new marketing platform, [00:27:30] they don’t know those contacts.
Brandon Lowe: Right. It’s new.
Chris Davis: It’s like me saying, “Hey Brandon, this is my best friend.”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: Since we’re good friends, just know this is my best friend –
Brandon Lowe: Trust him, yeah.
Chris Davis: You can trash him. If you trust me, trust him.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: He’s like, “Listen Chris, I’ve got nothing against you but I don’t know the guy. I’m not going to have him babysit in my room. Remember [crosstalk 00:27:51].
Now, you have to build that relationship with my best friend. The platform [00:28:00] has to establish its own relationship with those contacts. It’s one of the worse comparison saying, “Hey, I was sitting in platform A getting a 30% overrate, and now that I’m sitting in ActiveCampaign, it’s dropped to 5%.”
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: In that conversation … that’s a huge conversation in itself.
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: That’s probably a separate podcast, but in that conversation is the expectations of life after migration. What would you say are some of the key expectations, so much have [00:28:30] taken into account with what to do or what to expect after the migration has been completed?
Brandon Lowe: Because what we do is we’re basically recreating everything, I think life … as far as your workflow is in, all the stuff that’s part of the migration, be prepared to go through and come through it. Make sure that it’s, one, it’s up-to-date because we’re taking stuff that you maybe hadn’t looked at in a while. The last thing you want to do is click Active and just blast [00:29:00] the list with these automations. You want to make sure that, one, they’re current; two, they’re optimized, and then test everything.
We do our own QA process on our end but we aren’t you so we don’t know what your standards are or specific things that are important to you. We’re on the technical side. We’re making sure that they function and that they’re going to do what they should. Be prepared to test everything and make sure to go through [00:29:30] an optimizer or edit things and make sure that everything’s looking good.
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: We haven’t really had any horror stories necessarily. People are just launching stuff out but the thing everybody that’s in marketing automation know, you need to test everything a couple of times, send it. That’s just another thing I always worry. We try to set people up and make sure we have a disclaimer and letting them know, “Hey, make sure to go through and comb everything over. Make sure it looks good. If there’s anything, let us know, that we need to adjust [00:30:00] or whatever.”
It seems like most people understand that but still we try to reiterate that for sure.
Chris Davis: What I’ve seen often because I migrated many platforms and I have migrated to ActiveCampaign myself, you also need to give yourself time to not only learn the platform but learn how to use it. Learning the platform is one thing. Okay, I know where contacts are, I know where texts are –
Brandon Lowe: Navigations, yeah.
Chris Davis: – I know automations [00:30:30] but actually knowing how to use it … and one of the things that honestly took me the longest is outside of the DL CRM just because I had never needed to rely so heavily on the CRM before so I just put it off to the side. It was like the stepchild of [inaudible 00:30:46].
Brandon Lowe: Right. It’s like we’ll deal with you when I need you.
Chris Davis: Right. I’m too busy sending emails and doing all these stuffs, where now I realize the CRM is the focal point of your marketing automation, but in ActiveCampaign … one [00:31:00] of the things that took me awhile to … you benefit from it immediately but it took me a while to be like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I could do automation without this again.” It’s our segment builder, right?
Brandon Lowe: Right. Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: In other platforms you go to one place. One place you crate all your segments, you manage your contacts and then you leverage that throughout the application, right?
Brandon Lowe: Right.
Chris Davis: If you need a new segment, you’ve got to go back to the settings to create that segment and then go back and it really breaks the flow [00:31:30] of things. Wherein ActiveCampaign, the segment builder is everywhere. You could use it to start trigger in the if else conditions and go conditions, sending emails. It’s everywhere so if you’re coming from a less capable platform, this is something you have … you now have a new weapon.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah. It’s a tool.
Chris Davis: You could now segment at a deeper level. If you’re coming from a more complicated platform, what you thought was going to take 10 clicks, you can now do in two. Like [00:32:00] that retraining of how to use it has been one of the things that I realize can be challenging at times. Internally it can get frustrating because it’s like, you feel bad because you’re like, “I’m sorry you’ve been abused in thought that it had to be this hard.”
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, right.
Chris Davis: But it’s actually just two link clicks.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, it doesn’t make me that convoluted. We know.
Chris Davis: Right. Right. All right, well great. In closing, Brandon, what would you say … any wise words of wisdom [00:32:30] for those … I want this to be specific to those who are listening that are approaching a migration, in the middle of a migration, or just terrified of it; but they know, “You know what, as much as I like my platform, people have been telling me that I need to go. I’ve been dragging my feet. I’m terrified”, or maybe they started it and they’re just like, “I’m already halfway in it, maybe it’s broke, they can help.” What would you tell that [00:33:00] person? I guess I want to exclude the person who has already started, but the person who has a notion that migration is upon them. What would you give them? What would you tell them?
Brandon Lowe: First thing is it will be worth it, I promise. Coming from Infusionsoft and working with other … I’ve literally probably been in 50 email marketing platforms.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Brandon Lowe: Trust me, it will be worth it. Coming over to ActiveCampaign and using our migration services [00:33:30] too. Just, one, be patient with yourself because there’s a learning curve. Don’t get frustrated. I would say, just focus on the things that you do in your other platform, like your essentials and educate or learn how to those in ActiveCampaign so you can at least have a seamless transition, you’re not going to lose any time communicating with your customers or tracking things. Start with those things and just bit by bit learn how to do those as you’re [00:34:00] migrating. From there, after post-migration you’ll be able to start learning all the new weapons that you have and your arsenal with the segment builder and the automation builder and all the integrations.
There’s so much to play with and there are so many ways to optimize your business. Other than that, just really take a hard look at your current platform and really find out [00:34:30] what you need because the migration will be a lot faster and a lot more better for your business if you are smart about what you’re migrating. Those things, it’s going to be worth it. Really find out what’s essential for you and your business and we’ll take care of the rest of that. Just know it’s time you learn anything. You go to school and you take a course. You’re not just going to learn by osmosis, you can [00:35:00] actually do a little bit of legwork. I know, as a business owner, sometimes there’s not a lot of time for that.
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Brandon Lowe: Carve some time out and connect and network with people. There are lots of ways to get education without having to just sit down and do it like podcast. There’s a lot of things you can learn in that stuff.
Chris Davis: That’s good. In it all, I think that what I’ve seen helped … I’ll be transparent.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: In [00:35:30] ending here, I used to be a smartphone junkie. Every two or three times a year I used to switch phones.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, upgrade.
Chris Davis: Every time I got a new phone, I’m just like yeah and then I’m bored with it or I’m comparing it and I’m always finding fault with it, right?
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Davis: One thing that helped me get free of such addiction was I sat down one day and when I switched to a phone, I wrote down all the reasons why I switched. It served as a reminder [00:36:00] because sometimes when you switch you start thinking about the old phone.
Brandon Lowe: Yeah, yeah. I had that one thing.
Chris Davis: Right. Really, with anything you could switch a gym, you could switch the car that you drive. There’s a transition period where you got to get rid of the old and stop thinking. I found that when I, whether it’s writing or just keeping those things in my mind, this is why I left. I’m not promoting on a blog post [00:36:30] but they’re just reminders because nothing is going to be perfect no matter what. Sometimes there’s a hiccup in ActiveCampaign or something. It could be very easy to forget all of the other hiccups, all of the other limitations in the other platform.
I offer that as well in addition, but I think you said it best, Brandon. To sum it up, it’s worth it.
Brandon Lowe: Yup. For sure.
Chris Davis: It’s worth it. If you’re thinking about it, don’t fear. Brandon is here.
Brandon Lowe: That’s right, activecampaign.com/ [00:37:00] migrate.
Chris Davis: There it is. Brandon, I appreciate you coming on to the podcast, man.
Brandon Lowe: Thanks for having me.
Chris Davis: I’ll see you around the office.
Brandon Lowe: All right. Sounds good.
Chris Davis: All right.
That concludes today’s podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and I hope you see the value. I hope you see the value in the migration services that we provide. Your data is important. Your data is so valuable to your business and it should be handled in that same manner. [00:37:30] Also, I hope that this podcast did a good job with setting expectations going in, understanding that communication is the key. Where is it not the key, right? That theme is consistent throughout your life. Communication is the key and understanding that life after migration is going to be a transition. Be prepared for that transition, but in the end, in the end it will be worth it and things will get better.
Just a recap, if you want to check out our migration services, [00:38:00] that’s activecampaign.com/migrate. If, as Brandon mentioned, in the migration process you’re looking to educate yourself and learn more, feel free to browse the education center at activecampaign.com/learner so you get all of the guided content. Continue to use these resources.
We also have one-on-ones available. You can talk to somebody on our success team, another human on our success [00:38:30] team about your business and your needs with getting started with ActiveCampaign.
Last but definitely not least, you’re listening to it. If you’re not subscribed to the ActiveCampaign podcast now is the time. Now is the time to jump on board, subscribe. We’re in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, SoundCloud. Any mobile app that can subscribe to podcast feed, we are there. Don’t miss another episode. Please do so; [00:39:00] and when you do so, after listening to this episode and if you’ve listened to others, feel free to leave us a review. Please leave us a review or five-star rating. It helps us keep the word going. The word is already getting out but it allows us to keep it moving and allows us to help as many people as possible.
Thank you for listening. I am truly honored and I cannot express the form of gratitude I have for every time I hear somebody say, “Hey, I listen to the podcast.” [00:39:30] Thank you. It’s the listeners, it’s you all who are listening and doing that make the podcast great and worthwhile doing.
This is the ActiveCampaign Podcast, the Small Business Podcast to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I will see you on the next episode.

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