Have you experienced these 7 Tales of Horror in Email Creation? Read the tales

5 Signs Your Email Creation Process is Broken (& Tips for Fixing It)

With shelter in place policies impacting both B2C and B2B businesses, many marketing operations teams have experienced significant jumps in the number of email marketing campaigns they are now managing. Requests are coming in more frequently from multiple departments.

It’s not just the marketing team putting together the weekly newsletter – the customer team wants more options to communicate with specific customer segments, the sales team needs a new way to connect with the leads they can no longer meet in person and the CEO wants to send a personal note to let customers, prospects and vendors know what actions are being taken to keep everyone safe.

For the teams practicing an agile process, the sudden jump in email volumes is doable. But for the marketing operations leaders who were already struggling to keep up with email requests, adding one more campaign to the existing project list only intensifies existing challenges. When you are in the middle of the chaos, moving from one project to the next, it is difficult to identify the primary pain points in your email creation process, much less address them. But being able to name the problem is the first step to fixing it.

In our time working with marketing operations and technology leaders, stensul has discovered five primary signs that an email creation process may be broken:

Problem #1: Email campaigns take too long to get out the door

If the time it takes for an email to go from idea to delivery is regularly delayed because of your review and approval process, then you have a problem. Something as simple as a revision to your footer content or an outdated image somewhere in the email becomes a cog in the system. The product manager doesn’t like the newly added copy so the copywriters have to do a re-write or the creative team adds an unapproved photo. The email has to then re-enter the approval process, taking up everyone’s time.

With stensul’s email creation solution, permissions can be set so that only approved images are available to use and sections of the email can only be revised within parameters defined by the marketing operations team. Reviews and approvals no longer have to be a back-and-forth process that lasts for days. Everyone is on track and deadlines are kept.

Problem #2: Your team keeps fixing the same content errors week to week

Often martech teams tasked with managing email campaigns feel their hands are tied when it comes to streamlining the email creation process. When you have multiple business units contributing to your email creation process, it’s easy for branding guidelines to be overlooked — or worse, problematic creative elements get added to an email that end up causing rendering issues.

Stensul’s platform eliminates the need for marketing technologists to act as proof-readers. With stensul, emails are created using custom modules built by the marketing operations team that allows for more creative flexibility than a limited set of email templates. Each module has guardrails that can be put in place around email elements like fonts, colors and text styles, enabling an error-free collaboration process.

Problem #3: Someone outside the MOPs team is using a “rogue” tool 

There is nothing more exasperating for a marketing operations leader than learning someone outside of the martech team has decided to use a new solution without checking to make sure it will work with existing systems. A simple design tool can be a major roadblock if the technology does not integrate with the platforms and apps already in place.

It is the marketing operations team’s responsibility to oversee the full martech stack. If someone outside the marketing technology group is using a “rogue” tool, the entire process can be delayed – or worse, come to a screeching halt. To make for a smooth process, each piece of your email marketing stack should easily integrate with each other. Any email creation platform that doesn’t integrate with your email automation tools or major platforms like Marketo, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Eloqua and Adobe Campaign is not only a red flag, it will most likely break whatever email creation process you have in place.

Problem #4: Compliance issues are an ongoing challenge

The introduction of GDPR and CCPA legislation has brought compliance issues to the forefront for marketers, but marketing operations teams have long been making sure their business’ email programs follow the legal guidelines set forth by CASL, CAN-SPAM, ADA and other industry-specific regulations.

The only problem is, if your organization has a decentralized team, there is a chance not everyone creating emails knows the rules. Do all emails include an unsubscribe link and list your company’s postal address in the footer? What about a link to your company’s terms and conditions? Do the images in your emails include alt tags to meet accessibility guidelines? If you can’t confirm that every email contains this information, your email programs may be violating legal regulations and at risk of incurring substantial penalties and fines.

With stensul, marketing operations teams can easily enforce compliance guidelines across campaigns by setting rules within the custom modules. The email creation process can be just as easily managed with a decentralized team as it can within a centralized team.

Problem #5: Non-stop flow of email requests is limiting productivity

Does it sometimes feel as if your team cannot come up for air due to the influx of email campaign requests? If your marketing operations team is not embracing an agile practice within your email creation process, you’re likely spending way too much time on execution and not nearly enough on strategy. Everything feels like a priority and the requests never end.

You may not be able to control the number of email requests your team receives, but you can control how you manage those requests. Putting an agile process in place and implementing platforms like stensul can help increase productivity, saving time and reducing costs.

Whether your email creation process simply takes too much time or your marketing operations team is repeatedly having to correct the same content errors, the remedy could be as simple as adding stensul to your marketing stack. Putting the right solution in place can help you adopt a more agile practice – allowing your team to focus more of its time on strategy and less on execution. Productivity increases, cost efficiencies become more apparent, and best of all, your email creation process aligns with your business’ overall goals.