Be honest. Requests for email are rising steadily. It’s as if everyone wants an email created for one business purpose or another. And with good reason. They’ve come to know what email marketing pros, like you, have known for quite some time. Email works.
Some 90% of B2B marketers point to email as their top lead generator while 80% of B2C marketers say email is their best way to retain customers. Others, like event planners who work in the field, find it’s a great way to build attendance for in-person product demos or online webinars. Salespeople, whether they’re working on the other side of the world or across town, feel it’s an excellent way to prospect for new customers. Those involved in people operations see email as a superb vehicle to have employees understand and embrace new policies. And the list of who wants to utilize the power of email goes on.
Chances are this manifests itself in your marketing organization as a higher and higher volume of requests for emails to be created with shorter and shorter due dates. Your email team might be already stressed by the workload. Meaning delays occur, a result of bottlenecks that can and do occur in the way the vast majority of companies create email. That is a complicated process involving specialists using single purpose tools operating in silos, taking days or weeks to create a single email.
The folks in your company operating in the field often need their emails far sooner than you’re able to create them. Realizing that, they take the process into their own hands. Often, the results are less than desirable. Beyond things like poorly worded messages, even typos, these field-created emails may have no visual connection to what your email team creates. The type font, colors, even the logo may not comply with your corporate branding guidelines. Further, if emails need to adhere to industry or regulatory language requirements and they don’t, your company might have a problem that’s greater than poor color selection.
Empower those in the field
The way to manage this easily and effectively is to empower those in the field to create their own emails – with controls in place – and not have them request you to create them. Decentralize the creation while managing it on a centralized basis.
If you wonder why you should consider this approach, consider these three compelling reasons to enable the field to create emails:
1. Email creation in the field will save time for your team
The fundamental reason to decentralize email creation is to shift work your team is handling to others, freeing up time for them to spend on things like complex coding, personalization or segmentation, and optimizing your Marketing Automation Platform. You can let them handle their own email requests.
Re-assignment of email creation does not mean relinquishing control on how emails are made or what they will look like when completed. Utilizing an Email Creation Platform lets you institute robust guardrails to keep all aspects safe and secure, ensuring branding and regulatory compliance each and every time.
2. Email creation in the field makes the field more agile
Field marketing activities often crop up unexpectedly. With a week or more of time typically eaten up by the requested email creation, your colleagues in the field won’t have time to focus on strategy or adjust to changes in dates or venues and end up with emails that miss the mark. Also, the inherent back-and-forth that goes on in most centralized email creation processes prevent a rapid reaction. With an Email Creation Platform the field can make changes quickly and easily
3. Email creation in the field yields better results
Your team are email experts. They might not be experts on the sales climate for your company’s product in any of the markets in which it’s sold. Those working in the local markets know what sort of message will resonate with prospects and customers there. By enabling those closest to the customer to create the email, chances are good the desired result will be achieved, if not exceeded. Here, too, an Email Creation Platform allows for the right language to be used in the right way.
Controls aid email creation in the field
In terms of controls, the management of decentralized email creation from a central point involves six areas:
Templates and modules
Make it clear with what and how the field can create emails. Will they use modules or work in templates? If one, the other, or both, someone on your team needs to determine what needs to be locked down.
Identify who on your team will maintain them both from a technical, “clean code” basis, and a branding/regulatory compliance. Once all of this is determined, communicate to the field so there are no misunderstandings later.
Content and Images
An Email Creation Platform lets you pre-configure practically every detail of your corporate branding guidelines as well as your company’s and industry’s required legal statements. Every word of text will be as it needs to be. Robust guardrails ensure email creation in the field is worry-free for you and your team.
Guardrails also extend to the type, size, and nature of images. The visual aspect of emails today has greater importance due to the impact of Dark Mode as well as the need to be ADA-compliant. Assuming your organization has an image library and/or some kind of digital asset management (DAM), who has access to what? It all needs to be spelled out and understood by the field.
Permissions and approvals
Certain emails are not for the field to create. Announcements that have company-wide implications need to be created centrally. But even at the field level, there needs to be a well-defined governance process, a permission hierarchy that serves to protect the company, its employees, even its customers.
Along with having everyone understand who has permission to do what, there’s the need to have a clear reviews and approvals process. It shouldn’t involve endless back-and-forth. If approvals don’t move as efficiently as the other components of the process, email creation in the field won’t work.
An Email Creation Platform brings all involved together in the same environment, allowing reviews to move along so deadlines are met consistently.
After the email has been approved, how does it get sent out? If that’s not understood by the field as well as your team, you have a problem. Using an Email Creation Platform you can have people in the field upload their emails to whichever deployment platform your organization uses. It can be done with one-click ease through a secure API. Even with that, you may want to allow them to push it to the deployment platform for your team to then get it one last look before actually being deployed.
Beyond measuring email performance, you need to assess how the decentralized approach to email creation is working. Ask probing questions to show you’re not going through the motions; that you want field email creation to work as much as those in the field.
Even with an Email Creation Platform, people in the field will seek advice, have questions, even run into problems when creating emails. Who do they contact? And for which kind of matter? That must be made known and the person or team needs to always be ready, willing, and able to help.
Make email creation in the field happen, collaboratively
If you want email creation in the field to be done right, then you need to bring the key players out in the field into this process, from the very start – whether for a totally new Implementation or a major revision to what you may have in place.
Once you’ve devised your rollout plan, determine which is the best group to start this with. They’re the ones who will embrace decentralized email creation and, in the process, become your champions encouraging others to join in this process.
Follow these suggestions and you’ll be able to manage email creation in the field worry-free. For information, download the Stensul eBook “Worry-free email creation in the field – 3 steps to get and keep control of decentralized email creation.”