When email editors for enterprise brands became a common marketing automation tool, either individually or as part of the toolset that was offered by an email service provider (ESP), marketers gave a collective sigh of relief. So much promise—but it quickly became clear that although these drag-and-drop interfaces made it easier for non-technical marketers to create emails, they often caused additional challenges.
Let’s take a closer look at why email editors haven’t completely streamlined the creation process, and how to find solutions that will.
1. They don’t enforce brand guidelines or legal compliance
A consistent customer experience across your brand’s digital touchpoints—from email marketing to your website to LinkedIn—is critical, especially for brands with a global presence. Email editors can streamline the creation process, but they don’t enforce brand or legal compliance because of their one-size-fits-all-brands approach. With a distributed marketing organization, teams in different divisions and locations could be sending messages that don’t comply with brand, legal, design, or company requirements.When you’re talking about legal compliance, that could also translate into financial repercussions. According to the CAN-SPAM Act, which sets rules for commercial emails, “each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $40,654.” That can be an offense as simple as forgetting to include a physical address on the email.
2. They have responsiveness or rendering challenges, or don’t account for testing
Today’s users are constantly on the go, opening 66 percent of emails on mobile devices. But if your email template isn’t responsive or tested across today’s 40 most common mobile devices, let’s face it … your email’s asking to be deleted. While some editors do support responsive design, most don’t allow you to customize the desktop-to-mobile experience. Consider how a typical email editor interprets responsive design. It takes your desktop version and stacks the modules accordingly so it’s ready for mobile, but you have no control over how it stacks, in what order or color palette, and without the option for unique mobile and desktop image uploads. It’s inflexible, so your emails are automated but not truly optimized for a smaller screen. That brings us to testing. Even if your emails are responsive, they also have to pass rendering challenges for numerous email applications (like Gmail or Outlook). Since small changes to an email can affect both responsiveness and rendering, testing becomes critical, even if it adds hours to every email you create. Pro tip: Look for email editors that easily incorporate testing.
3. You still need to rely on designers and developers
In many of today’s email marketing processes, designers and developers spend hours transforming a beautiful PDF into a reality for every single campaign. Time spent on routine, manual work takes away from higher value projects. Even with pre-designed templates in email editors, most designers and developers still have to be involved in email creation. Designers are on call for visual requests like resizing and cropping images, and developers need to be involved for personalization, feeds, and to clean up messy code. But these team members usually have other, non-email work on their plates, which can lead to long timeline delays.
4. Integration and customization challenges persist
The email marketing stack can be complex, with (at minimum) an email creation platform, list and data management tools, and an ESP. These individual parts need to communicate effectively, or it turns into a huge headache, especially for marketing ops. Email editors don’t necessarily overcome these integration and communications challenges, and using bad ones adds more complexity to an already-struggling process. The leading editors will integrate seamlessly with your existing stack without months of integration work. The best ones are also fully customizable by team, business unit, region or role. This allows marketers to have personalized experiences, so they only have to see assets that relate to them—an EMEA marketer doesn’t need APAC-specific images, for example.
5. They don’t provide content checks or streamline Q&A
Misspelled words, broken links and other small mistakes undermine your brand’s reputation. The best defense is a streamlined review process combined with automatic checks. But email editors don’t make it easy to share files with marketing stakeholders, proofreaders and other approvers. They usually resort to manually sharing a PDF or HTML preview of the document. Multiple people have to work on a file, which leads to long email threads with feedback that’s impossible to track. That means QA suffers and avoidable errors slip through the cracks—issues that could have been avoided with effective collaboration tools, automatic link checks, and other quality assurance guardrails. We think it’s pretty clear: today’s HTML and WYSIWYG email editors aren’t perfect, but we hope this helps you in your search for the right one.