Stensul raises $34.5m in Series C funding

‘Mo money’ doesn’t have to mean ‘mo problems.’ Scaling email creation when your company closes a big funding round.

email marketing team

The late rapper Notorious B.I.G.Notorious B.I.G. famously rapped, “It’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” As an email marketing leader at a company that recently closed a significant funding round, you can relate to the late rapper’s #1 hit, “Mo Money Mo Problems.” That newfound money means you and your email team will play a major role in getting your company up a steep growth curve. 

After the all-hands meeting – where your CEO used the phrase “revenue growth” a half dozen times – you may have found yourself somewhere between exhilarated and anxious. It’s understandable since you’re responsible for securing the opportunities that will lead to revenue growth.  

That means handling more email requests and producing higher email volumes. As a marketing pro, you know nothing works better than email to find customers, get them buying, and stay loyal. 

If your team is efficient, it needs to be more so. If the email creation methods in place have worked for you before the new funding, they probably won’t keep up with the demand you’re now facing. Whatever the velocity level you’ve been at, it needs to be higher and at scale. You want to avoid “mo emails mo problems.”

The way to scale your high-velocity email operation is to ensure the four components necessary for success are in place. They are:

  • Process
  • People
  • Programs
  • Performance

To learn more, download the eBook How to scale a High-Velocity Email Operation.

Here’s why each is crucial and how to incorporate them into your email operation.

The email creation process

Most marketing emails are created by specialists using single-purpose tools, operating in silos. Given that, it should not come as a surprise that 80% of all brands take a week or more to get just one email out the door. 

The two most commonly-used workflows to create emails – Design-to-Code and Templates & Modules –  are rife with places for bottlenecks to occur and for lots of back-and-forths. The marketing, design, and compliance people involved in the approval process aren’t reviewing the email in the same place, let alone at the same time. For example, a reviewer sees a period mark where a comma should be. Instead of making that simple fix right then and there, it needs to go back to a coder skilled in HTML for the correction to be completed and the email proof put back on the approval route. 

Analysis by Stensul of thousands of email creation efforts using the two most common methods has found that as much as 90% of available time is taken up by creating the email. The net effect is email teams have little time to test, gain insight, and refine the strategy to boost email performance. It just gets to be a bigger problem with more email requests and more volume. 

There is a better way: use an Email Creation Platform.  In brief, it’s a cloud-based service with a comprehensive suite of features that add speed to the production, review, and approval processes. It does not deploy emails. It sits in front of an ESP and or MAP. 

Instead of marketers submitting requests to individuals working in design or with coding tools, an Email Creation Platform brings all of the actions to create an email into a single collaborative work environment. It empowers non-technical people to quickly and efficiently create quality emails in minutes with all corporate branding and regulatory requirements maintained. Bottlenecks are reduced, and marketers’ requests are fulfilled on time. 

An effective Email Creation Platform will include:

  • Drag-and-drop, no-code functions
  • Reusable modules and templates without the risk of broken code
  • Brand and compliance guardrails
  • Integration with workflows, image libraries, dynamic content sources, and more
  • Review and approval features that streamline and simplify 
  • Email export services to integrate with email deployment services
  • Automatic link validation and tracking parameters
  • User role optimization for admins to set permissions
  • Custom elements, the option to embed custom HTML and CSS code in established guardrails for greater design flexibility 

The email marketing people

Depending on the organization, an email team may be multiple people for each function or individuals overseeing multiple functions. And, to be fair, email marketing is not the sole responsibility of any of them. They have other marketing and marketing operations duties. 

All too often, as email requests grow and email volume rises, there’s a tendency to hire more people. Throwing more bodies against the task doesn’t work in a high-velocity email operation that must scale. It just makes the problem more costly. 

It’s not about more people. Instead, the solution lies in using the people you have more effectively. In large measure, that’s possible when you use an Email Creation Platform. It allows anyone to create an email in minutes. If someone can drag-and-drop, they can create emails. 

Importantly, because it’s easy and fast, your team’s ability to handle email creation requests, as well as their other responsibilities, soars. What’s more, the potential for employee burn-out plummets. An insurance policy, of sorts, is to make sure you are leading your team in the best possible way – for you and team members.

The programs

Being able to create 5x the email volume your team had been generating before your company’s big bang event isn’t enough. More of the same won’t get you to where you need to be in terms of results. 

What’s called for here is a plan that gets email creation to work in a way that directly supports the growth your company is striving to achieve. The key is to optimize the beneficial synergies of the correct email creation process used by the right people in the right way.

Your team can’t get better if they can’t work smarter. To do that, you need technology that simplifies collaboration in ways that streamline email creation and deployment. An Email Creation Platform needs to integrate with as many adjacent technologies as your martech stack might hold for that to happen. Look to see if it integrates with:

  • Workflows like Asana, Workfront, or Wrike
  • Image libraries, like AEM or Brandfolder
  • Dynamic content, like Movable Ink or Liveclicker
  • Link tracking like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics
  • Messaging, like Microsoft Teams or Slack   
  • Every leading ESP and MAP

Having great systems available to be used by smart people are two of three factors to achieving a high-velocity email operation at scale. The third is knowing what to do with all you have access to via integrations.

The performance of a scaling email marketing operation

To have a high-performing, results-producing, high-velocity email operation, you need to measure a range of criteria. What you measure is a matter of preference or need, depending on the requirements of your leadership team or board. Regardless of your choice, make the measurement process repeatable and presentable. By doing so, you can validate that the right process, people, and programs are in place to deliver the results your company needs.  

Companies that put an Email Creation Platform at the center of their email creation process produced high-quality emails at high velocity at scale. They experienced: 

  • Email creation time reduced from 5 to 10 days to just 4 hours
  • A 166% rise in the number of emails created per month without a headcount increase
  • On-brand and responsive emails 100% of the time
  • A 50% of developer time to more strategic work
  • 5x increase in email production with 4x fewer touchpoints 
  • A saving of 254 hours/month of email team time for higher-value work
  • A doubling of email volume while reducing turnaround time 80%
  • A 25% improvement of overall email team productivity
  • Reallocation of  60% of agency spend to strategic work
  • Created 99% of emails without coding

To learn more, download the eBook How to scale a High-Velocity Email Operation.

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