Email Creation Maturity Model: Phase 5 Defined

If these scenarios sound familiar, your organization is in Phase 5 of email maturity.

Part 6 of the Maturity Model Blog Post Series

We recently released stensul’s Email Creation Maturity Model, which outlines the five stages of email production maturity as determined by our 5+ years of research. Over the last couple of weeks, we dove into where most organizations are today (Phase 1 or Phase 2) and also looked into the first two phases of tech-enabled creation (Phase 3 and Phase 4). Today we will explore Phase 5, the last Phase driven by tech-enabled creation.

Phase 5 Overview

Phase 5 is reached when all communication at the organization goes down the optimal path for development. The optimal process can vary for different groups, regions, or business units, but the oversight and controls are still in place.

As discussed in Phase 4, there are multiple models of email creation (centralized, hybrid and distributed) that depend on the visibility of the communication and the experience of the people working on the email. In Phase 5, each team within an organization can choose which process works for them. For example, the CRM team may choose to keep everything centralized. The events team, on the other hand, may choose a hybrid approach for larger events and distribute some of the creation for smaller event emails like a local dinner series.

The Phase 5 process and teams

The Phase 5 process supports the 3 setups from Phase 4, but each team at the company can define their particular optimal process.


The technology allows for branding, permissions, and workflows to change by each team in the organization. Last minute changes are easy, and teams have the agility required to succeed in today’s marketplace.

What does Phase 5 strategy usually look like?

The company is no longer very dependent on manual work for creation. In fact, less than 20% of their time is focused on the actual creation process. There are usually Centers of Excellence in place to enforce best practices and set up processes, but overall activities are very agile and the company outperforms their peers.

The technology stack 

Phase 5 organizations use an email creation platform that standardizes the build for the entire enterprise. The technology allows for each group to:

  • Have a configurable workflow and consistent branding
  • Plug into their tech stack (Image DAM, ESP, workflow platform, and analytics tracking)

Although each group has permissions, there is still room for enterprise oversight to ensure visibility into creation at the organization. This oversight will enable consistency in communications across the organization for branding, rendering, and compliance.

What clients experience working with stensul

Using our detailed assessment process, clients retain $1M or more in value moving from Phase 1 or 2 to Phase 5. After implementation, organizations find at least five-to-ten full-time employees who are able to focus on higher value work and strategy. In addition, moving to mobile optimization and enabled testing can yield a 20%+ uptick in revenue, increased focus on strategy, improved engagement and conversion, and decreased external spend. This return can easily reach millions of dollars in larger teams.

Client story: How a large asset manager moved from Phase 2 to Phase 5

Before stensul: Most users built emails within the ESP, requiring a seven-person QA team to check each individual email. In addition, the ESP owner spent 10 hours/week training users.

Solution: Stensul’s success team guided transformation. Depending on the region, the team uses setups based on the skill set of the builder and types of communications.


  • Process- The central QA team saved 500+ hours/month by having a setup customized to regions and a platform that removed the need for manual checks. Including requesters’ time, approximately 1,000 hours were saved.
  • Increase Strategy – 5 full-time employees’ time is now spent on strategy instead of manual checks. As a result, the message testing process has improved and the team has been able to focus more on who is receiving each communication.
  • Improve Output-  Emails are now all ADA compliant, on-brand, and pre-tested for rendering.
  • Streamlined Tech Stack – Stensul seamlessly integrated with the company’s existing ESP and SSO, and improved analytics with module-level link tracking.

To learn more about the Email Creation Maturity Model, download the whitepaper now.

Read part 1 of this blog series, Why should I read this whitepaper?

Read part 2 of this blog series, Phase 1 Defined

Read part 3 of this blog series, Phase 2 Defined

Read part 4 of this blog series, Phase 3 Defined

Read part 5 of this blog series, Phase 4 Defined