Author - Tania Blake

Our Holiday Marketing Wish List

What we want in our in-boxes this year.

Forget the stockings. We have a holiday wishlist, and it’s got nothing to do with presents. Welcome to our Holiday Marketing Wishlist, where we break down the things we wish Marketers were doing more of, less of, and adding to their playbook for 2020.

It’s just a little insight from our Marketing team to yours. Consider it a one-of-a-kind holiday gift from your friends at Knak.

What we wish Marketers would do more of
Sometimes a little goes a long way. Here are some small marketing moves that have a big impact.

  • Sit in on customer/prospect calls. Even on small teams, there can be a disconnect between sales and marketing. Listen in on your sales team’s calls once in a while to find out what questions they’re being asked and how they’re responding. Understanding your prospect’s perspective can inform your day-to-day approach.
  • Be authentic and provide value to your audience. Not everything needs to end with a sales pitch. Really. Add value with the content you’re sending, and you’ll establish a new level of credibility with your audience.
  • Create a playbook for your repeat projects. You’ll save time, improve quality, and streamline your processes.
  • Do little things that delight your customers. Send a holiday gift to your top customers, branded onesies to clients who’ve had babies, a bottle of wine to clients who won an award, etc. They’re small gestures on your end, but genuine kindness goes a long way.

What we wish Marketers would do less of
Just like we said above, a little goes a long way. Being careless with your strategy is a surefire way to take a great user experience and move it down a few notches. Here are a few things that should be on your “Naughty” list.

  • Sending inauthentic communications. Be genuine with your customers. Believe us, they can tell.
  • Ignoring existing customers. Focusing the bulk of your energy on new prospects is a major mistake. A loyal customer is one of your most valuable assets, and we’d suggest that the most important relationship building you’re going to do is the kind that takes place after they convert.
  • Sending too many emails. When nurture emails overlap, you create a poor user experience. Look at your plan and make sure your content is going out at appropriate intervals.
  • Wasting time in HTML & coding. Don’t waste your valuable (and limited) resources on HTML and coding. Building emails with modules or templates eliminates this roadblock and speeds up your time-to-market. In fact, we’d be happy to recommend a product that can help you out with this. We hate to see friends waste time!

What we wish Marketers knew
Ok, we covered the basics. Now, here are some next-level marketing moves to help you up your game in the new year.

  • Focus on the content, not the tactics. Trying new tactics is great, but if you’re constantly changing your approach to drive click-thru rates, there’s a good chance your content is all over the place. Don’t try to trick readers into opening emails. Customers need to understand what to expect from you, so make sure your content strategy is cohesive, intuitive, and adds value.
  • Understand your audience. Keyword research is SO important here. Find out what your audience is interested in, and use it to add value to your content. Include external links to content your audience will appreciate – you’re not directing traffic away from your site. You’re establishing your site as a central location for valuable resources.
  • Make sure your presentation reflects your brand. When your audience sees your content, is it distinctively yours? These three components work together to communicate your distinct brand identity: Content, tone, and design.
    This may seem basic, but you’d be surprised how many organizations ignore one or more of these in their rush to get emails out the door. Don’t cut corners. Sending under-developed or hastily designed content does more harm than good and will lead readers to make a negative connection with your brand.
    *Note: For some great design tips, check out our UI/UX Designer’s blog, or Quicksprout’s Ultimate Guide to Creating Visually Appealing Content.
  • Build amazing landing pages. Yes, your emails should look amazing, and your CTAs need to be compelling. But don’t ignore what happens next. Your landing page is key to conversions, and it should be designed just as thoughtfully as your emails. Stay tuned for some exciting landing page news from Knak, but HubSpot has some great landing page design tips in the meantime.

Thanks for checking out our wishlist, readers. Have something to add? Comment below and let us know what’s on your Holiday Marketing Wishlist. Cheers to a new year of amazing emails!

Knak is the first email creation platform built for marketing teams. We help you create beautiful, responsive, world-class emails, no coding required. Get to know us at knak.com.

Felix Hits the Road

Felix Higgs was a seasoned world traveler before he came to Knak, having spent a decent portion of his professional career in organizations overseas. Knak has long been a remote-friendly bunch of people, so once he joined the team, Felix saw no reason to put his passport away.

He’s been traveling around Europe for the last two months, visiting some amazing places while still killing it as our Customer Success Manager. I caught up with him recently to see how it’s going.

Tell me about your trip! Has this been in the works for a while?
My girlfriend and I have been in Europe for the last two months. She is Czech so we try to come once a year to visit her family. I live in Whistler (BC), which generally means mostly rain right now, so it’s a good time to get out of town!

Where have you been? What’s been your favorite place so far?
So far we’ve been in Italy and on the island of Crete. In Italy, we spent most of our time in the Dolomites. They are such striking mountains and one of my favourite places. We also visited Belluno, Jesolo, and Venice, which are all in northern Italy.
We’ve been on Crete for the last five weeks, and it has been my favourite part of the trip by far. It exceeds all expectations: great food, beautiful beaches & mountains, friendly people and still lots of places that feel wild & mainly free of tourists. In both Crete and Italy, our main activities have been hiking, rock climbing, and via ferratas.

Have you done anything like this at other companies?
Yes, I’ve worked remotely for several companies, so I have some experience doing this kind of thing.

Was it difficult to figure out the logistics of traveling/working for Knak?
Overall I would say no, but the trip involved a bit more planning than a regular holiday. We’ve mainly stayed in Airbnbs, and in each case I made sure to confirm that the place had fast WiFi and a quiet working space before booking. We also made a point of staying in one place for longer periods of time and only traveling on weekends to ensure no disruption to working hours. Knak was really supportive of this as well which was great.

What does a typical day look like for you compared to a typical day “in the office”?
Due to the time difference with North America, I generally spend the morning out and about either at the beach or rock climbing. Then I start work in the afternoon and work into the evening. Apart from that, it’s meetings, calls, and generally work as usual.

How has the overall experience been? Any key learnings you’d share?
Overall it’s been great and something I would recommend to anyone who likes to travel. I think the key is to plan ahead and make sure you always have everything you need to do your job when you need it.

At Knak, just under 50% of our team members work remotely – some of them all of the time. We’re always looking for the next superstar to join us, so take a look at our job openings, and come join the team that’s changing the way email marketing gets done!

G2 Crowd Names Knak a High Performer

Knak was recently named a Fall 2019 High Performer by G2 Crowd. We’re thrilled with this recognition because it means:

  • We’re making life easier for our fellow Marketers
  • They’re kind enough to share their thoughts

Our customers are all-around great people, and we’re honoured that they took the time to share their insight. As a company that works directly with our fellow marketers, we love feedback. We’ve even been known to create brand new solutions based on the feedback of our customers, so we appreciate what each of them had to say.

G2 Crowd allows users to post unbiased reviews of a variety of business solutions. It’s a great place for anyone looking for new software to get real-life insight into the products and hear first-hand how they work at similar organizations.

If you’d like to read the reviews or leave your own, check out our info on G2’s site. And if you’d like to learn more about Knak, we’d love to talk. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with a few of our favourite review titles:

“Frustrated email marketer finds bliss with Knak.”

“Simplify your email marketing process while evolving your design.”

“Enabling email creativity while sticking to brand guidelines.”

Knak is the first email creation platform built for marketing teams. We help you create beautiful, responsive, world-class emails, no coding required. Get to know us at knak.com.

Join us at SaaS North in Ottawa!

SaaS North Event - Floor Plan Map

It’s almost here! Canada’s largest SaaS conference for scaling up is just around the corner, and we’re so excited to join our fellow Canadian SaaS pros at the Shaw Center on November 26th & 27th.

If you’re in the Ottawa area, come to the Eastern Ontario Pavilion and say hi to Vanessa (she’ll be the one in the bright blue Knak t-shirt – hard to miss.) Stop by to chat about what’s going on at Knak and pick up some awesome swag (come on, you know you want a pair of Knak sunglasses!)

SaaS North is Canada’s go-to SaaS hub for founders, execs, service providers, investors and their teams. Don’t miss these action packed two days of networking, knowledge sharing and access to resources to scale your business!

Check out the full speaker list and agenda on their site.

Choosing a Conference: When and How to Invest

Conference Presentation

The end of the year is almost here, which means it’s time to talk budgets. We don’t want to get into the specifics of your budget (we’ve got our own to plan, thanks very much), but if you’re considering attending a conference next year, we want to help you evaluate the options and determine which events will deliver the best ROI.

What’s your motivation?

Each organization has their own motivation for attending conferences, and they usually boil down to some combination of networking, learning and lead generation. Those three things are definitely nice, but at Knak, we base our conference decisions on a few key things:

  • Will our current clients be there?
  • Will our prospective clients be there?
  • Will our competition be there?
  • Will our partner be there?

The Knak team recently attended MarTech East in Boston, and our decision to go was pretty straightforward:
We are Marketers who love marketing, and we have a product that makes life simpler for our fellow Marketers. MarTech East is a huge marketing technology trade show, so having a booth there gives us great visibility along with a chance to connect face to face with our clients and our prospects.

As you’re considering conference options, spell out why you want to go. Do you have a new product to introduce? Do you want to increase visibility into your organization? Who is going to be there that could help you reach some goals?

The “why” and the “who” are going to dictate the “where” here, so once you nail that down, compare your reasons to your list of options and see which event is the best fit.

What’s the cost?

Once you’ve found the perfect conference, it’s time to make your case for the budget dollars. Here’s how to determine your break-even benchmarks and ROI.

  • Add up the out of pocket expenses first:
  • Travel and accommodations
  • Booth rental
  • Sponsorship, or other partnerships that can add visibility
  • Signage, brochures, and anything else you need to print
  • Dinner, drinks, coffee, etc with your clients and prospects

And then figure out what you need to do to recoup that amount. Can you:

  • Assign value to the interactions you’re hoping to have
  • Figure out how many new accounts would cover the cost

When we were planning, we added up the expenses and then determined how many leads, demo requests, and new clients we’d need to justify the expense. We approached our budget with those goals in mind, which made it easier to show senior management that we’ve carefully weighed the costs/benefits and determined that the ROI would be worth it.

A note here: most of us are good at thinking qualitatively about the cost of conferences, but it’s important that we don’t neglect the quantitative costs as well. An out-of-pocket investment now can lead to long term returns over time, and a quantitative approach to budgeting can help you make smarter investments in the long run.

Maximizing your spend

Once your conference has been approved, it’s time to maximize your investment.

Invite, invite, invite
Personal connection is tremendously valuable here, so don’t leave it up to chance.

  • Have your sales team and customer success team reach out to their contacts and set up 1-on-1 meetings in advance
  • Personally invite people in your database – clients and prospects – to visit you at the event
  • Send a map of the expo floor plan, offer a giveaway, invite them to meet you for coffee between sessions, etc.

Be genuine, and let them know you’re looking forward to connecting in person.

Also, take a close look at the list of presenters and sponsors, and search the event’s hashtag to find attendees. See someone you want to meet? Reach out via social media and request a quick meet up while you’re there.

As the event gets closer, keep promoting it. Send an email, use social media, put a banner on your website. In addition to the meetings your team has set up, you never know who will reach out to request a meeting of their own.

Plan your space
Our real estate friends aren’t wrong when they say location is everything. If you’re going to spend the money to be there, make sure you’re in a good location and not buried in a back corner by the vending machines.

Register early enough that you can strategically select a booth. It’s even better if you can see which other organizations have already picked their spot so you can see where the competition will be located.

Drive traffic
While you’re there, drive traffic to your booth with social media posts, geo-targeted ads, or consider hosting a friendly competition at your booth.

Invest in your VIPs
Use the event to further the relationship with your existing clients. We hosted a VIP dinner at MarTech East, and the evening was great on several levels:
We got to hang out with our clients who are some all-around great people.
We got to introduce our existing clients to some of our prospective clients, giving them the chance to serve as brand evangelists for the evening.
We got to rehash the best keynote sessions of the day with people who love marketing as much as we do.

Whatever you do for your VIPs doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just make the effort to connect and let them know you appreciate their business.

What to do when it’s over

Debriefing after the event is just as important as your pre-event planning. Get together with your team and revisit your key learnings:

If the event was beneficial, consider re-booking right away. Many conferences offer a discount and priority booth selection if you book the next show during the current show.
Find out what conversations they had with new leads, prospects, clients, competitors, etc.
Make a list of everyone you want to follow up with, and get started: it’s important to make contact quickly once you return.

Keep in mind that it’s important to track results over the long term. Some of your prospects may convert long after the show is over, but if you’re tracking prospects properly in your marketing automation platform, you’ll have a record of your contact and can use the data to make decisions on next year’s show.

The Perks

In our years of attending events, we’ve found a few bonus side perks that are like the icing on the conference cake.

  • Recruitment – what better place to find future team members than at an event with 15,000 amazing people who already work in your field? If you have open positions, keep an eye out for someone who might be a good skill- and culture-fit for your organization.
  • Team-building – we’re largely a remote team, so trade shows are a great opportunity to actually have our team working together in the same place.
  • Client stories – at our last few events, we took advantage of the fact that we were in the same physical location as many of our clients and created some short video testimonials.

We’re already planning our attendance at Adobe Summit 2020 (it will definitely include our clients, our prospects, and our competition, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer for Knak).

It’s just one of literally dozens and dozens of great options for next year, so to help you pick the perfect conference, we’ve compiled a shortlist. Check out our 2020 Marketing Conference Guide, and find the event that’s going to drive results for your organization.

The 2020 Marketing Conference Forecast

The events you don’t want to miss, all in one place.

We love conferences. Aside from being a fun break in the routine, they’re a great way to:

  • Get our team’s creative juices flowing
  • Hear from experts in our field
  • Hang out with people who love marketing as much as we do
  • Maybe take a quick peek at what our competitors are up to

Unfortunately, we don’t have an unlimited conference budget, so we’re super intentional with our conference spend, and we’re making it easy for you to be, too.

Here are our top conference choices for 2020 – listed chronologically – and some info to help you see why they might be worth wrapping into next year’s budget at your organization.

Note: Before we dive in, we’d love to know what’s on your can’t-miss conference list for 2020! Fill out this short survey to let us know what marketing conferences you’ll be attending next year, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Modern Marketing Express
January 23, 2020
San Francisco, CA
Data-driven marketing can deliver impressive results, but there’s plenty of misinformation about it that can derail your strategy. Oracle’s Modern Marketing Express is designed to connect marketers with the innovators, influencers and thought leaders that can help make sense of it all.

Adobe Summit
March 29-April 2, 2020
Las Vegas, NV
With 400 sessions and labs across 11 content tracks, Adobe Summit is the place to join the leaders in marketing automation, analytics, advertising, and commerce for five days of groundbreaking customer experience insight.
Hint: Register by December 15 to save $400 on the regular price of a full conference pass.

MarTech
West: April 15-17, 2020
San Jose, CA
East: October 6-8, 2020
Boston, MA
The MarTech experience is carefully choreographed to help senior-level marketers find actionable tactics to solve today’s marketing challenges. Join key members of the martech community and learn to deliver exceptional customer experiences and better ROI. The Knak team attended MarTech East in 2019, and we’re planning to be back in 2020. Check out our recap here.

True North Dreamin
April 23-24, 2020
Vancouver, BC
TND is a coast-to-coast-to-coast Canadian Salesforce community conference. It’s heading to Vancouver this spring on a mission to connect Canada’s SFDC pros, and in our experience, it’s an action-packed two days, full of training, team-building, and swag. Our Sales Operations Director attended the 2019 event and had an amazing time. Check out her thoughts here.

EiQ Gathering
April 30, 2020
Atlanta, GA
EiQ Gathering delivers cutting-edge email marketing trends and innovations. The sessions are a cool mix of creative, strategy, and data-driven marketing designed to give email marketers an edge, and the event stands out with their unique approach to thinking beyond the inbox.

SiriusDecisions Summit
May 3-6, 2020
Austin, TX
SiriusDecisions Summit is the place to be for B2B marketers. With the unveiling of new B2B innovations, sessions dedicated to best practices and new technologies, and a chance to connect with an elite community of sales, marketing, and product leaders, Summit blends content and community in the best possible way.

Email Innovations Summit
June 1-3, 2020
Las Vegas, NV
This conference is laser-focused on email marketing’s latest technology, strategy, and design innovations. EI Summit also goes the extra mile with sessions designed to help marketers incorporate their learnings into their overall strategy once they return to the office.

HYPERGROWTH
June 10, 2020
London, ENG
Also:
September 2020 – Boston, MA
November 2020 – San Francisco, CA
HYPERGROWTH is where marketing rule-breakers go for hands-on training, real-life examples, and industry-leading innovation. Hear from the masters who are using Conversational Marketing to drive conversion rates, pipeline, revenue and more at their businesses, and experience an event that’s unlike any other.

MozCon
July 6-8, 2020
Seattle, WA
MozCon is a one-track journey into the depths of search marketing. Learn from the experts on SEO, conversion optimization, data-driven decision making, and more, and connect with fellow marketing pioneers at lunch-time discussions and evening parties. Plus, we hear they’re very generous with the swag and fist bumps.

Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON)
July 14-16, 2020
Cleveland, OH
AI is poised to have a major (think trillion dollar) impact on marketing, but let’s face it: most marketers struggle to understand how to implement it in their day-to-day strategy. MAICON is the answer, and it’s a can’t-miss event for marketing leaders who are ready for the next frontier in digital marketing. Plus, we love that it’s geared toward a non-technical audience, so attendees without a background in analytics or data-science will fit right in.

Litmus Live
August, 2020
London, ENG
Also:
October 2020 – Boston, MA
November 2020 – San Francisco, CA
Litmus Live is where email nerds get together to talk design, strategy, and development. A favourite of the Knak team and email marketers worldwide, this is the place to be for sessions on data-driven design, advanced personalization, improved workflow, and way more. Our lead email developer attended the London 2019 event: get his thoughts on the speakers, content, and sessions here.

INBOUND
August 18-21, 2020
Boston, MA
INBOUND is a four-day event for creative marketers, start-up founders, and out-of-the box thinkers who are ready to consider some big ideas. It’s a huge event (26,000+ attendees and nearly 400 sessions), but it’s a great place to consider your existing opportunities for growth from a new perspective.

Call to Action Conference
September 29-October 1, 2020
Vancouver, BC
Based on the traditional IQ framework, CTAConf is a single-track experience that covers the six core elements of marketing intelligence. Full of actionable tactics and brilliant speakers, it’s a unique approach to digital marketing that’s expertly curated and not to be missed. View the 2019 recap, including session recordings and speaker slide decks here.

Content Marketing World
October 13-16, 2020
Cleveland, OH
Meet the best and brightest in the content marketing industry, and learn to create an epic content marketing strategy. With sessions covering storytelling, AI, demand generation, and more, marketers will leave with the tools they need to grow their business and build their team.

Dreamforce
November 9-12, 2020
San Francisco, CA
SFDC’s Dreamforce user conference is packed with keynotes, demos, workshops, and sessions (more than 3500 of them) designed to let you get up close and personal with the technology of tomorrow. Be inspired by new ideas, and leave ready to challenge the status quo and build your career.

SaaS North
2020 TBA, November 26-27, 2019
Ottawa, ON
SaaS North is Canada’s largest SaaS conference for scaling up. We love it because it’s right here in our hometown AND it gives us a chance to hang out with our fellow Canadian SaaS pros. With an intentional focus on scaling for SaaS companies, tracks are designed to help drive growth at every stage.

How Knak Does Email: Email Testing At-a-Glance

If you’re an email marketer, you may have some questions:

Should I put that heart-eyes emoji in the subject line of my email or leave it out?
What format is best for my content?
Will that GIF give me better click-thru rates?
Should my CTA say, “Download Now” or “Get the Facts”?
Should my CTA button be blue or green?
And while we’re at it, should my CTA button be at the top or bottom of my email?

Fortunately, there’s a great way to find out the answer to all of those questions. It’s called A/B testing, and if you’re not doing it, it’s time to start.

We’re going to take an in-depth look at email testing in the coming months, so consider this A/B Testing 101, and read on for some of the basics.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of sending one variation of an email to a subset of your subscribers and another variation to another subset to see which performs better.

The “A” refers to the control group, and the “B” refers to the challenger, or test, group.

Here’s a real-life Knak example:
We launched our Knak newsletter recently. Beginning with our September edition, we wanted to test the efficacy of including an emoji in the subject line.

We set up the test in Marketo to send the newsletter with the emoji to 25% of our subscribers and the newsletter without the emoji to another 25%. The test ran, and at the end it, Marketo sent the email with the higher-performing subject line to the rest of our subscribers.

(The results? As you can see below, in September, the subject line without the emoji performed better. In October, the winner was the one with the emoji. Stay tuned for the tiebreaker …)

A/B test graph

Why do I need to do A/B testing?

If you aren’t doing A/B testing, you’re losing valuable insight into the marketing tactics that resonate with your audience. Over time, those insights translate into dollars.

Gain the insight ⇒ turn it into better campaigns ⇒ reap the benefits.

If you don’t have the insight, your campaigns are at the mercy of your marketing team’s best guess, and you won’t have the benefit of hard data to support those guesses.

Our recent Email Benchmark Report notes that only 46% of those we surveyed say they regularly conduct A/B testing. That means 54% of email marketers are leaving a wealth of information on the table.

Join the minority here. A/B test your campaigns, and get a leg up on your competition.

Ok, let’s make it happen.

Here are some A/B testing dos and don’ts to help you get the most accurate results:

  1. Don’t test more than one thing at a time.
    We know you want to see which subject line/emoji/CTA/format/font color works best, but you have to stick with one thing at a time, or you won’t know which piece is influencing which result.
  2. Do send both tests at the same time.
    The time of day that your email is sent impacts your open rates. Don’t weigh a green CTA button sent at 4 PM on Sunday against a blue CTA button sent at 8 AM on Monday.
    (Hint: email send time is a great thing to A/B test on its own. )
  3. Do set goals for your tests.
    You need to know what you hope to gain from your A/B testing. Are you trying to improve open rates? Click-thru rates (the ratio of “clickers” to email openers)?
    The metrics you’re trying to improve will dictate which elements you’re testing, so channel your inner middle-school science student and start hypothesizing. Finding out if what you think will work is actually what does work is a great learning exercise for your team.
  4. Do test more than once.
    If you truly want accurate results, you need to test and test again. If we had only tested our emoji-in-the-subject-line once, we would have thought it was ineffective. But since the results the next month showed something different, we know it’s worth exploring further.
  5. Don’t ignore the results.
    Collect the data and analyze it! Keep track of your results and use them to improve your campaigns. Do the results line up with your hypotheses? Do they support the types of campaigns you’re already sending? Do you need to consider tweaking your design? Insight like this is incredibly valuable and can have a lasting impact on your campaign results (and therefore your bottom line).

Help!

Marketo, Eloqua, and most other marketing automation software have built-in A/B testing capabilities. If you need help setting it up (or figuring out how to use it!), we can help!

After all, we’re marketers too, and we’d love to welcome you to the 46% of us who are improving our open and click-thru rates with A/B testing.

Congratulations to the Fearless 50!

Marketo Fearless 50 - Knak Customers

Marketo recently announced their 2019 Fearless 50 class, so we’re sending HUGE congratulations to all the recipients and especially the five Knak clients who made the list.

The Fearless 50 is a yearlong program for marketers who are committed to marketing fearlessly and driving digital transformation at their organizations (in fact, they’re SO good at what they do that Marketo calls them Rockstar Marketers).

We’re proud of our clients’ commitment to their craft, and we’re thrilled to partner with them as they keep on pushing the envelope.

Congratulations to our very own Fearless 50:

Enrico De Leon – Associate Director, Marketing Operations – AMRI Global
Matthew Gomez – Senior Manager, Marketing Ops – Laureate Education
Rachit Puri – Digital Marketing – Thoughtworks
Jake Schlan – Senior Manager, Marketing Technology & Operations – Palo Alto Networks
Katy Snyder – Director, Demand Gen – BitTitan

Knak is the first email creation platform built for teams. We help you build beautiful, responsive, world-class emails, no coding required. Get to know us at knak.com.

How to Streamline Your Email Creation Process

Recently, Knak sponsored an Email Benchmark Report. We gained a lot of valuable insight, but one thing that seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the piece was that the email creation process is generally frustrating, time consuming, and inefficient.

In fact, a majority of respondents told us that it takes a week or more to get an email campaign out the door. That’s an eternity in 2019, and we know there’s a better way.

Here’s where the hold up seems to be:

  • Inefficient creation process – campaign guidelines/timelines aren’t clear
  • Slow approval process – deployment is delayed because approval processes are murky (or non-existent)
  • Design updates – templates are inefficient, and even a minor change means the email has to go back to the designer

These things are problematic at organizations of every size, so whether you’re an SMB or an enterprise, there’s a good chance your email creation process could be more efficient.

No matter how big or small your company is, you need to be thinking about scale. But how can you be ready to scale if your existing process is inefficient and labor intensive? And even if it’s going well, how would it work if you suddenly needed to scale up?

A scalable email marketing plan keeps you agile so you can keep delivering knockout campaigns without sacrificing quality and creativity. But you can’t wait until it’s time to scale to put a solid plan in place. Doing the legwork now ensures that you’ll be ready to add on whenever you need to.

Here are some ways to streamline your email creation process so you can be more efficient right now and ready to scale later.

What are you working with?

Take a look at the existing pieces of your Marketing department:

People – Who’s on your team? Do their existing roles optimize their strengths? How is their current workload?
Make sure:

  • Your team can handle an increase in projects without neglecting their current customers
    They have the right skills to reach the new areas you’re targeting
  • Evaluate your current team, identify their strengths, and determine what crucial skills are missing. Once you see what your current team is capable of, you can identify where you need to hire to help you reach your goals.

Processes – Scaling up your marketing can easily turn into one giant headache if you’re not intentional about it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a step back, evaluate your current process, and see what’s working.
Can you:

  • Adjust your content without time-consuming re-designs?
  • Get through the approval process quickly?
  • Easily identify where you’re seeing a positive ROI?

If you can’t quickly identify what’s working (and what’s not), go back to the beginning and think through each step in your process. Once you have a clear picture, you’ll be in a better position to scale.

Technology – What’s in your MarTech stack? Do you have a piece of tech that could be making your life easier? Make a list of the pain points you’re experiencing and then take a look at your technology.
Is there:

  • Something you already own with a functionality you’re not using?
  • An area you could automate to help eliminate errors?

The right technology is vital as you scale. Whether you need to leverage a piece of tech you already have or look for something new to help resolve those pain points, a thoughtfully designed tech stack will help reduce human error and free up your team to focus on growth. Better technology = a smoother process, better results, faster time to market.

Time to Streamline

Now that you’ve examined the moving parts of your email process, we’ve got some inside tips to help you turn it into a well-oiled machine.

Here are six things that will keep your campaigns on track and on time:

1. Provide a clear brief

  • Spell it out – all of it. Include your goal for the campaign, who it’s going to, and why you’re sending it. List target dates for each part of the process: copywriting, design, approvals, revisions, and launch.

2. Set a kick off meeting with key team members

  • Even if you’ve done a thousand campaigns together, have a meeting to make sure you’re on the same page.

3. Ensure alignment on goals and timeline

  • Buy-in from your team is crucial. A clear brief and a kickoff meeting will go a long way here, so make sure your team has the info they need to launch the campaign successfully.

4. Leverage your tech stack

  • We love Asana for setting and managing timelines and Knak for handling feedback. Remember: more automation = less human error, greater scalability.

5. Schedule time for revisions

  • Whether you’re using pre-built templates, coding from scratch, or designing from modules, revisions are a given. Build the time into your schedule so they don’t put you behind schedule.

6. Be strategic with your approval order

  • The most senior approver doesn’t need to see the first draft. Design your workflow so they’re not bothered with small edits and only see the (nearly) finished product. *Hint: the Approval Groups feature in Knak makes this simple!

The Right Strategy, The Right Scale

Your email creation process can be simple and ready to scale. It may take a bit to get there, but once you have the right strategy in place, you can eliminate delays and get your campaigns out the door quickly.

And as a bonus? The right strategy and the right technology makes scale simple. Your process will adjust when you need it to, and your team will be free to devote their time to what really matters: more creativity, optimized results, and knockout campaigns.

If you’re ready to talk strategy, we’d love to help. Reach out, and we’ll work with you to develop a plan that grows with your organization.

Announcing the 2019 Marketo Email Benchmark Study

The State of the Message, and what it means for you

Knak recently conducted our second annual Marketo Email Benchmark Study, and the results are in. We’ve covered everything, from deliverability and click-thru rates to team size and structure, popular email trends, and the technology that ties it all together.

Basically, it’s can’t-miss information for email marketers, so download the study now, and find out:

  • What your peers’ email marketing strategy looks like, and how yours stacks up
  • Which email components are making the biggest impact on click-thru rates
  • How to navigate through some common email marketing pain points
  • What technology can help take your email marketing to the next level

We surveyed Marketo Admins representing 40% of Marketo’s account base and analyzed millions of emails for this study, so get the report and give your team the insight they need to deliver best-in-class Marketo email performance at your organization.

Knak is the first email creation platform built for teams. We help you build beautiful, responsive, world-class emails, no coding required. Get to know us at knak.com.