Being stuck under contract with an inadequate email service provider (ESP) can leave marketers feeling as helpless as the castaways stuck on Gilligan’s Island. Baby boomers (and some Gen Xers and older Millennials that caught reruns on Nick at Nite) recall the recurring theme of the show with Gilligan and the gang attempting to get rescued off the island and that help always seemed to slip through their fingers. Often, visitors such as cannibals from neighboring islands, Russians, movie producers and even “Tongo the Ape Man” would appear on the island with false promises to rescue the castaways if they could get something return. This story is a little like some of the ESP’s promising marketers that all their problems will be solved if only they cancel current contracts and move over to a new email platform.
Unfortunately, the grass isn’t always greener when it comes to switching email platforms. Most users have issues with ESP’s that revolve around “support”, so think of the bumbling Gilligan as your support rep – often very likeable, but not a lot of follow-through and substance.
Getting on the S. S. Minnow for a “three-hour tour” didn’t work out for the castaways on Gilligan’s Island. In retrospect, they got tricked into thinking the voyage would be short and sweet, but once shipwrecked on the island, the castaways were stranded until the show was cancelled. When making a decision to upgrade your email solution, make sure you do your due diligence. Ask questions and talk to existing clients to see if there is substance to what the ESP is offering. You will save yourself a lot of angst and heartache in the future if you do.