How Palo Alto Networks Increased Its Global Email Deployment by 188%

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About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is a next-generation security company, leading a new era in cybersecurity by safely enabling applications and preventing cyber breaches for tens of thousands of organizations worldwide. Built with an innovative approach and highly differentiated cyberthreat prevention capabilities, their game-changing security platform delivers security far superior to legacy or point products, safely enables daily business operations, and protects an organization's most valuable assets.

"With stensul, we recognized that we could scale very quickly, ensure that the templates we created were still brand-compliant, and be able to get non-technical users to create their own emails without having a significant bottleneck. It’s allowed us to scale as our business has doubled in size."

Cathy Chang

Senior Director, Demand Operations of Excellence

The Problem

Palo Alto Networks business has doubled in size over the last two years, stretching and stressing internal resources – especially in email development.

This growth was accompanied by a goal: Send more personalized emails to more segmented users – not batch-and-blast. To achieve this, Cathy Chang, Senior Director of Demand Operations of Excellence, realized she would need to hire four additional full-time developers, just for HTML creation.

Developers were already stretched thin in the U.S. headquarters. For telecommuting field teams overseas, sending emails in multiple languages and time zones added another layer of complexity. When field marketers tried to create their own emails, it could take upwards of four hours per email. “And that wouldn’t even be coding - that would be taking step-by-step instructions and videos and pre-coded HTML and trying to add their own content,” says Cathy.

These emails were also funneled through one marketer responsible for that entire region’s HTML development. Mat Harper, Marketing Program Manager of Cloud Security EMEA, ensures brand compliance and messaging consistency – for almost every single EMEA-sent email. If it took Mat a full day to edit one HTML template, multiply that by 10 field marketers, and you’ve got yourself a big bottleneck.

The Goals

Decrease email production time
    without increasing headcount

Remove the field marketing team's creation bottleneck

Centrally house and reuse HTML and templates

"We would need to hire significantly for a basic task,"

Palo Alto Networks had big goals for email - and big bottlenecks in their process.

1) Overworked developers
As the company grew, it recognized a huge gap in its developer headcount of two. “We would need to bury [developers in work] or hire significantly more for what is a pretty basic task,” Cathy says.

2) Marketers were searching for raw HTML on Google
Mat often resorted to “cannibalizing” HTML he found online or through coworkers. “I would literally ask, ‘Hey, I’m looking for an HTML template with a rail on the righthand side, a full-width banner image, and a speaker image. Can you help?’” he says. The lack of central template storage also wasted time and effort in the long run and wasn’t scalable for a rapidly growing company.

3) Each email build required a unique conversation
For any given EMEA email request, the details provided varied greatly from marketer to marketer. “Everyone had their own vision,” Mat says. This made it extremely difficult for him to get started without having a conversation for every email request.

4) No way to easily enforce brand guidelines
“I would write our official hex code colors on a Post-it® note to try and make sure all our URLs were the right color,” Mat says. This, among other inefficient workarounds, was too manual a process for too large an email volume.

5) Consistently missing timelines
If you’re trying to send an email on a Friday afternoon, last-minute updates, slow digital asset management, and colleagues in different time zones can delay your send by a week.

“With our global goals for email programs - We have to be nimble. stensul allows us to do that.”

Ricky Luo

Senior Manager, Global Email Marketing

The Results

No one has to wait for available developers anymore; and it’s a solution that works no matter the language, time zone or technical ability. “We can skip over the entire creative services process for our non-English email and go right into production for a field campaign send,” says Ricky Luo, Senior Manager of Global Email Marketing. “We’ve become a lot more efficient.”

1) Faster email sends + meeting timelines
“Back then, hand-coding emails was all I was doing,” Mat says. “50% of the time wasted was spent on what is now really easy HTML editing.” That means the EMEA team can hit its desired SLA of two working days, which they routinely missed in the past. The team can also now quickly complete last-minute requests. “We send most of our emails same day or next day, without any cost in quality."

2) Happier, empowered field marketers
The EMEA team’s newfound autonomy has had a direct impact on their morale. “One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is that [they] are much more confident and creative,” Mat says. “Now that they own their campaigns, they want to make them the best they can be.”

3) Email translations + brand guidelines are a breeze
EMEA email metrics have been rising in the last two quarters. The field team being able to create emails in their own language is a major plus. No one worries about which elements within their email are scalable and usable for other campaigns because they all are.

4) Better collaboration across global teams + sharing of resources
One clear advantage of an end-to-end solution is being able to reuse content and templates, Ricky says. “Now it’s easy to develop content quickly, make changes, and share that amongst our own stakeholders, not just within our group but across different hubs,” Ricky says. “It’s very easy to share things and collaborate.”

5) More time to build the Palo Alto Networks business
“Now I’m able to concentrate on what my real job is,” Mat says, “developing and deploying a real email strategy.”

“The biggest thing stensul has given me is time. If I’m given time, then I can do what I’m hired to do, instead of being stuck here copying and pasting things into an HTML editor.”

Mat Harper

Marketing Program Manager, Cloud Security EMEA

 “Not having to use (our developers) for 80–85% of the emails is huge and lets us really scale email without the bottleneck.”

Ricky Luo

Senior Manager, Global Email Marketing

Real Palo Alto Networks Emails Built with stensul

Palo Alto Networks Results Recap

Decrease in production time

Increase in email sends

Decrease in people involved

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