How to turn your email creation team from the Mudville 9 to World Series Champs

Casey-At-the-Bat-768x914

I’m sure you know the poem “Casey at the Bat.” Many see it as an homage to the beautiful game of baseball. While it does tell the tale of the team from Mudville trying hard to win the ball game, it explains how Casey caused his team to lose by not adapting to the situation presented to him. There’s an interesting parallel between the 19th-century poem and today’s email creation team – the one you manage, in all likelihood.

Casey was confident his approach would win the day. Unfortunately, as we recall, he struck out and, as a result, there was no joy in Mudville.

No matter the level of play, all teams strive for excellence. It’s no different for you as the leader of an email creation team. In some respects, what your crew deals with is not all that different from what a Major League Baseball team must face. There’s a game to be played and won just about every day, and the pressure can be intense.

The tough pitching you face comes in the form of a torrent of email requests, unexpected rendering issues, and super-tight SLAs, the equivalent of a high and inside pitch.

Just as the manager of a ball club constantly assesses the team’s players, you need to be able to answer questions about your own, such as:

  • Do they have the proper orientation and skills? 
  • Are they team players or grandstanders seeking glory for themselves? 
  • Do you have the right processes and equipment to compete and win in today’s high-paced business environment?

To learn the answers to those and other questions, download the eBook “The Email Creation Team Playbook – How to change your team’s game for the better” today.

Positions on an Email Creation Team

To help you answer those questions, let’s first look at the positions or roles on a typical email creation team.

Position Responsibility Defining Characteristics
Marketer
  • Identifies the need for an email 
  • Prepared an email brief that outlines the strategic need the email should fulfill and offers a design/messaging concept
  • Strategic thinker
  • Organized
  • Data-driven
Designer
  • Translates the parameters contained in the email brief into a design that, ideally, complies with company branding guidelines and includes necessary regulatory language
  • With the copywriter, seeks approval of the design concept from the Marketer
  • Thinks visually
  • Creative
  • Intuitive
Copywriter
  • Takes the direction offered in the email brief and prepares text that conveys the intended message in an appealing, readable way
  • Coordinates development of the text with the designer to achieve a coherent word-and-image presentation  
  • With the designer, reviews concept with Marketer so it can be moved on to the Developer
  • Fact-finder
  • Storyteller
  • Pragmatic
Developer
  • For those organizations using traditional email creation methods, this activity involves turning the approved concept into HTML code from which the actual email will be produced. 
  • If a No-code email builder or Email Creation Platform is used, this team member can be re-positioned to higher-value work.
  • Technical craftsman 
  • Process-driven
  • Inventive
Quality Assurance
  • Checks to see that all aspects of the HTML code render properly. If the slightest thing is wrong, the email goes back to the Coder for the needed HTML fix.  
  • Technical
  • Process-driven
  • Detail-oriented
Brand/Legal Review
  • The individuals responsible for maintaining adherence to corporate design guidelines and compliance with industry or governmental regulations review the proof of the email produced from the HTML code. If these individuals/roles have issues with any part of the email, it goes back to the Marketer, Designer, and Copywriter to be adjusted as required. It moves to the Coder, and another proof is produced. With each revision, all team members will get another opportunity to review and comment as needed.
  • Policy wonk
  • Process-driven
  • Inflexible
Executive
  • Depending on the type of email or the substance of the message it conveys, senior management will be a cog in the review machine. This additional player reviewing the email may lengthen the time it takes to fully approve the email.
  • Big picture
  • Unaware of creation pain
  • Mercurial

It’s easy to assume that these team members work efficiently, as smooth and swift as a second baseman-to-shortstop-to-first baseman whip-fast double play. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen anywhere near whip-fast. Stensul’s research found it takes 2 or more weeks for a single marketing email to get out the door for 80% of companies. 

Innovate to win

Baseball is dripping with tradition. Still, if you’re even a passive follower of the sport, you’re aware that managers, players, and entire organizations will embrace new approaches to just about any aspect of the game with one thought in mind: win. 

It’s still largely the game that Abner Doubleday laid out along the shore of Lake Otsego in Cooperstown, New York. However, much has changed in how those involved prepare for, play, and learn from each contest.

Take a look at how your organization creates emails. As capable as your team might seem in your mind, they’re using the same method first seen in the 1990s. This “traditional approach” is filled with many tedious, largely manual tasks and a time-consuming review and approval process. 

It’s prone to bottlenecks and a seemingly endless back-and-forth among all those involved in creating emails. It’s tedious so that even the most even-tempered, positive sort can become disgruntled, even downright angry. 

More importantly, it can cause several, if not all, on your team to get burned out. You need to act before that happens. Not doing so will severely hamper your ability to win.

It’s your choice. Do you remain like Casey, convinced he can win the day or adapt to meet the demands you face today and in the days ahead? Let’s face the facts, demand for email as a marketing communications channel shows no sign of lessening. If anything, the use of email to find, sell to, and keep customers loyal has grown dramatically.

You cannot keep playing the game like it’s the 1990s. You need to change your game to win. To do that, you need:

  • Game-changing email creation process
  • Game-changing email creation people
  • Game-changing email creation technology

Game-changing email creation process

Stensul found that as much as 90% of the time available to the email team is taken up by production-related activities. Little, if any, time was spent on testing to sharpen the strategy and achieve better email performance. 

To win the email creation game, you need to change the process. This calls for a move from specialists using single-purpose tools and operating in silos to having them work together in a single environment that enhances seamless collaboration – within your team and cross-functionally. By doing so, workflows will be more streamlined, and approvals will come quicker – with far less back-and-forth. Not only that, but emails created this way will get to market faster with reduced SLAs.

Game-changing email creation people

To turn the game in your favor, don’t put more people against the task. If your process is inefficient, increasing headcount won’t necessarily mean creating the email will take less time. It will make it more expensive than it needs to be.

The game-changer here is not more people. It’s using the people you have more effectively by instituting a process that gives them time to create better emails faster, ones that are on-brand 100% of the time, that exceed performance expectations because they have the time to conduct A/B tests or implement personalization efforts or add dynamic content.

Game-changing email creation technology

If you disregard the inefficiency of your current email creation process, it’s understandable that you might think it’ll work for you now and in the future. Here’s the reality, it won’t work because it is so inefficient.

To win the email creation game, you need to place an Email Creation Platform at the center of your creation process. An Email Creation Platform simplifies and speeds the entire process, from developing the design concept to uploading for deployment. It significantly shortens the review and approval steps.

It creates a single collaborative work environment that empowers non-technical people to quickly and efficiently create quality emails in minutes with all corporate branding and regulatory requirements maintained. As demand for email grows, an Email Creation Platform lets you scale to easily meet that demand without needing to increase the size of your team, be they full-time employees or outsourced services.

The case for an Email Creation Platform

It’s up to you to foster that change among your team and your management. It’s a case you can make with ease. Here are the three points to make to convince your leadership team.

1. Get Efficient

An Email Creation Platform heightens the productivity of every member of your team and gives you flexibility on how the team is structured.

Its No-code or drag-and-drop approach to email creation means coders or other technical team members don’t need to do such work. Further, the right Email Creation Platform offers the additional choice to utilize your code to create modules. 

Robust, automated guardrails for brand, compliance, and rendering turns the usually time-consuming, complicated approval and QA steps straightforward and speedy. 

A top-tier real estate development company saved 254 hours/month, shifting to an Email Creation Platform for their email creation.

2. Be Strategic

An Email Creation Platform gives your team the time to focus on developing content that will exceed expectations on engagement and other crucial performance metrics. It also lets you launch campaigns faster and at higher volumes. 

A global B2B payments company recaptured time lost to email production to conduct 10x more A/B testing, personalization, and leverage more functionality from their deployment platform.

3. Optimize performance

Most martech stacks already include technology contributing to email creation, such as image libraries, link tracking, dynamic content, workflow/project management tools, and messaging platforms. An Email Creation Platform can make your investment in those technologies better when it securely integrates with them to make email creation even more efficient and less prone to bottlenecks or inadequately trained personnel going where they shouldn’t in the email creation and deployment processes. 

A professional sports team that integrated its Email Creation Platform with all relevant adjacent tech in its martech space realized an 83% time savings while dealing with a 50% increase in email volume. Lastly, and importantly, they saw a 20% revenue lift.

Learn to change your game

Be sure to download the eBook “The Email Creation Team Playbook – How to change your team’s game for the better” learn all there is to know to win the email creation game.