Q&A: The Cost and Effort of Moving Marketing Automation Systems

After I created a post on 10 expert tips on moving from Marketo to Pardot, I received many questions about the cost of moving from one marketing automation system to another and how much effort is involved. Here is a breakdown of level of effort and the tasks that are involved with moving marketing automation systems.


Roles for the migration

Depending on the size and structure of your company, there might be involvement from many different roles to complete the migrations. To help you out, here are some roles that might be involved during this process.

  • Marketing will usually lead the migration.
  • IT or whoever manages your domains will need to switch the CNAME from your old system to the new system. They will also need to change the domain keys and SPF to the new system.
  • CRM Admin: If you have any integrations with Salesforce or any other CRM, you will need to involve the admin to get the integration setup properly.
  • Developer: Unless you know some HTML you might want to get help from a developer to switch over your landing pages and emails to the new system. A developer will also be needed if you have any custom integrations with your current marketing automation system.

Identifying what needs to be moved over

First, you need to know what exactly needs to be moved over to the new system. Depending on the size of your organization this involves all users to get together and figure out what assets, data, etc, needs to be moved over to ensure nothing is missed. Some questions to ask during this process are:

  • What emails are currently in use?
  • Are there previous emails we want to keep?
  • What landing pages are currently in use?
  • Are there previous landing pages we want to keep?
  • What forms are currently in use?
  • Are there any integrations with the current system?
  • What data should we move over? All contacts? Only active contacts?
  • What should we change when we move to the new system? (ex. this could be a good time to re-vamp our scoring model)
  • What fields should we keep? Are there some that we don’t need anymore?
  • Are there some fields we should keep in our CRM only?

Moving everything to the new system

Moving everything to the new system can be a tedious process if you have a lot of landing pages, email templates, images and campaigns, since you can’t just export/import from one system to another. Here is a breakdown of what is usually high effort to move over and what is low effort.

  • Moving emails (Low): Usually you can just create an email in the new system and copy/paste the HTML from the previous system. Keep in mind you should test these emails again though.
  • Moving landing pages (Medium): This really depends on the system. For example, moving from Marketo to Pardot was a bit tricky since the landing page templates are setup differently, which required a bit of coding.
  • Moving data (Medium): If you have a CRM integration moving the data can be really easy since you will just have to setup the integration and import any records that were ONLY in your marketing system. If you don’t have a CRM integration it’s a medium level of effort to move the data over.
  • Moving campaigns & Automations (High): The tricky part about moving over automations or campaigns is that the new system might not have the same features as the old system. You will have to have enough knowledge about both systems to complete this task.
  • Moving integrations (High): Does the new system provide an out-of-the-box solution for your integration? If the integration doesn’t exist in the new system you might need to hire a developer who can use the API to create one for you.
  • Moving forms (Medium): Forms are usually system-specific in most marketing automation platforms, meaning you can’t import/export the form from one system to another. Re-creating forms usually isn’t a difficult task, but it’s time consuming, so it requires medium effort.


You may want to hire someone who knows both marketing automation systems to complete the migration for you. Not only will this save you time, but it will also prevent some mistakes since everything needs to be re-created using the new system’s processes. The cost would depend on the agency you go with as well as the following factors:

  • # of emails to migrate
  • # of landing pages to migrate
  • # of forms to migrate
  • # of campaigns/automations to migrate
  • Custom integrations
  • CRM integrations
  • Data and # of field mappings

In addition to migrating everything over to the new system, you might want to get the agency to set up the new system as well. This includes:

  • User setup
  • Domain key and SPF setup
  • Domain setup for landing pages
  • Out-of-the-box integrations

If you decide to keep the migration in-house there won’t be any additional cost, but it takes quite a bit of time to migrate to a new system.


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