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Unexpectedly Remote

What to do when your living room becomes your office.

If recent circumstances have forced you to work from home, you probably feel a bit displaced. Trying to work in the midst of this new normal can feel a bit like navigating new territory without a map.

Knak has been at least partially remote since it’s inception, so we wanted to share some helpful tips from our team if working from home has you feeling out of sorts.

I’ve worked remotely for Knak for the last two years. It’s the first fully remote position I’ve had, and it was a huge adjustment. Within the span of a week or so, I moved from in-person meetings and onsite visits to conducting much of my business via video conferencing. The learning curve was significant – so many new software programs to learn!

At first, I tried to work my job into my daily life, but I quickly realized that if I was going to maintain a high level of productivity, I needed to start “going to work” even if I wasn’t actually going anywhere.

Whether you’re at home for a few weeks or for much longer, here are my tips for being productive while you’re there.

  • Separate your workspace from your daily life if possible, especially your rest environment. It could be a corner in the basement, a separate room, or even a big closet, but it’s important to give your brain and body permission to disconnect from work. If your workstation is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning, disconnecting becomes difficult.
  • Invest in an ergonomically sound workstation. It’s so tempting to try to save money by working from your couch or recliner, but your body will pay the price for doing this. Get a desk and chair that allow you to reach your keyboard without straining your neck and back and type easily without bending your wrists.
  • Get a second computer screen. I can’t live without two screens. I use my laptop for video and Slack communication and my second monitor for documents, emails, etc. It also helps me make comparisons and manage data entry quickly since I can reference several things at once.
  • Over-communicate. It’s more important than ever to communicate with your team, especially when you’re not in the same office. Schedule weekly project syncs with co-workers, and touch base daily with your team via Slack or Zoom.
  • Video, video, video. Get up, shower, and dress properly. It’s hard to maintain a professional mindset if you’re wearing sweatpants day after day, so make an effort to look presentable. It will help your work and keep you focused.
  • “Leave” when the day is over. I have a calendar notification set for 5 PM, and when I hear it, I shut down my whole system. No notifications, everything closed so I’m not tempted to check in during the evening. You may think, “I’m just going to check on this quickly,” but if you’re constantly checking in, your work and your home lives bleed together, and it leads to burnout.

I have amazing co-workers who have been working remotely for years and could teach master classes on productivity, so I’m going to share some of their insight as well.

From Jack Steele, Lead Email Developer:

  • Schedule time to work on specific tasks. I use my calendar to set aside time to focus on one specific task. If the task requires a lot of focus, I mute all notifications during that time slot to help prevent distractions.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out. If I’m struggling with something or need some input, I see who is available and jump on a call with them. Working remotely removes some of the natural collaboration that comes in co-located office environments, so I try to talk to people in person as much as possible rather than using email for problem solving. A quick Zoom call keeps me in touch with my colleagues and allows me to get some insight while the problem is still fresh in my mind. Plus, it’s nice to interact with people throughout the day!

From Patrick Proulx, Chief Technical Officer:

  • Plan out your day. Working from home can make it hard to focus, so having a plan for when you’ll work on certain tasks and when you’ll take a break can help keep you on track.
  • Minimize virtual distractions. If you have sites that distract you (Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, etc) and you find yourself going to them regularly, get an app that will block them for a period of time. For Mac users, I sometimes use one called SelfControl when I’m finding it difficult to focus.
  • Take more breaks. Working from home eliminates commuting and the other distractions that come from working in an office. Use some of that time to recharge throughout the day by stepping away and taking a quick walk, doing a load of laundry, etc without feeling guilty about it.
  • Prioritize facetime. It can be hard to maintain good working relationships with others when you don’t see them regularly. I’ve found it’s really good to set up a quick 15-minute meeting to touch base daily with my team. It’s much easier to build connections when people turn on their cameras and you can see them face to face.

From Fernando Benavides, Full Stack Developer:

  • Start your day early. Morning is the most productive time of day, and your mind is fresh and ready to complete your work.
  • Organize and respect your personal time. When working from home, people tend to overwork when there is no clear limit between personal and work life.

From Felix Higgs, Customer Success Manager:

  • Take a shower. Make it feel like you’re “going to work” before you start. Take a shower, eat breakfast, do what you normally do before you leave for work.
  • Take a break. Take some real breaks in which you’re not looking at your screen. I like to go outside and get some fresh air a few times a day.
  • Have a quiet workspace. Invest in some good headphones. No matter where you’re working from, you need to be able to mitigate noise when you have a meeting.

From Asra Sarfraz, Senior Visual Designer:

  • Make your workspace nice. Find somewhere with sunlight and a plant or two. It’ll brighten up your space, and having plants around means cleaner air.
  • Don’t hit the wall. Take a break whenever you feel stuck. The five minutes you’re away from your screen will help you find a fresh perspective.
  • Memes and water. Stay hydrated, and find something funny to smile about.

From Pierce Ujjainwalla, Founder & CEO

  • Dress like you’re going to work. It might sound nice to work in pajamas all day long, but if you’re dressed like you’re going to work, it’ll put you in the right mindset and you won’t be hesitant to connect with others.
  • Turn your camera on. At home, it’s easy to hide behind your webcam cover or just not turn it on, but having a camera on makes it that much closer to meeting in person. Plus, it helps you establish a stronger virtual connection with co-workers and clients.
  • Enjoy the proximity with kids/animals. Sure, they can be loud. They can be distracting. But we’re all in this together, and now more than ever, everyone can relate to having their kids and pets around as well. Bring them into the video and show your human side. Try to enjoy and see the positive side of all of this 🙂

If you’re new to working remotely, don’t be discouraged. It’s a big change at first – I was right there with you when I started this – but before long, you’ll settle into a rhythm that works for you. Be intentional with your schedule, and do what you can to maintain a separation between your work life and your home life.

Ask for help when you need it, and don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues to brainstorm, problem solve, or just check in. You’ve got this!

Want to see our workstations (and some of our pets!)? Check out How Knak Works from Home.

How Knak Works From Home

a dog sitting on a desk chair in front of a computer wearing a knak tuque

The Knak team is working from home, and some of us have our furry friends to help us out. Here’s a look at a few of our workstations and the things we need to get our jobs done. It’s that #homeofficelife, Knak style.

We’re here to help.

blue background with white text that reads covid-19 update from our founder & ceo

Dear Knak Community,

We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19. As information continues to be shared, we want to update you on the steps we’re taking to support our customers and our team during these challenging times.

The health and well-being of our clients, team members, and their families is our first priority. At this time, Knak staff members are working from home, and we’ve suspended all business travel, including attendance at tradeshows and conferences. We have also stopped all outbound Sales and direct marketing efforts as we know that people have more important priorities right now.

For our customers, you should find that it’s business as usual. We know our platform is critical to your team’s day-to-day success, and we are ramping up support as needed to ensure that your operations remain on track. Fortunately, remote work is nothing new for our team, and we have the resources needed to continue providing high-level customer service.

As always, connectivity is at the heart of Knak’s mission. We are fortunate to have a product that allows people to stay connected, and we’re glad to have a chance to help our clients “fill in the gap” at a time when in-person engagement is limited.

In the coming days, we’ll be shifting the focus of our online conversation to provide content that helps you – as email marketers, developers, builders, and strategists – navigate these days of uncertainty.

I continue to be impressed with and grateful for our team. They’ve been proactive in developing solutions to our current set of challenges, and they remain focused on meeting customers’ needs. Like many teams, we’re relying heavily on telecommunications right now, and they’ve embraced these changes with grace and good humour.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help, and whether you’re a stakeholder, a current customer, or a prospective client, we welcome the opportunity to engage with you and help you reach your audience.

We are grateful for your continued partnership, and at a time when communication and information sharing is critical, we look forward to helping you deliver your messages.

Sincerely,
Pierce Ujjainwalla
Founder & CEO

When Summit Gets Cancelled

an animation of a rocket circling and sputtering

Sometimes, circumstances happen outside of our control. Plans change, weather interferes, global health concerns arise … it’s just how life goes.

The Knak team has been planning for Adobe Summit for months, but last week, in the midst of travel concerns, the event was cancelled.

Adobe Summit isn’t alone. Facebook, UNICEF, TED, Amazon Web Services, and a host of other organizations have cancelled events across the globe. South by Southwest won’t take place this year, museums are closed, and sports teams are currently competing without spectators.

None of these decisions were made lightly, and Knak is just one of thousands of businesses who were affected by the Adobe Summit news. We’re definitely disappointed, though, so as the CMO, I have the unique challenge of leading the team through the aftermath of what was to be one of our biggest marketing events of the year.

Planning Ahead
We started planning for Summit in mid-2019. Many of our customers come to Summit every year, and we look forward to the opportunity to connect face to face and show them some love with exclusive events.

We also look forward to connecting with prospective customers. We invest heavily in Summit because the ROI is undeniable: we’re able to meet prospects in person, which often accomplishes the work of a few weeks of calls and emails, engage with people who don’t know about us yet, size up our competition, and connect with thousands of our fellow marketers all in one place.

It’s truly an “all-in” event for us. The connections we make at Summit lead to sales pipeline for months and even years to come, so when Adobe announced they were cancelling, I immediately started thinking about how to minimize the impact of the cancellation on our business and our team.

It was time to start making lemonade.

Step 1 – What can we recuperate?
In the last 6 months, we’ve invested a lot of time, money, and effort into Summit. Adobe has been extraordinary, and they made it simple to get our money back.

Likewise, we had a special event planned at a venue inside the hotel, which allowed us to cancel without penalty. We were also able to put the brakes on some of the swag we ordered and the build for our booth.

Unfortunately, there’s a decent amount we can’t get back. Some of the swag has already been produced, and we have printing projects in process that can’t be halted and travel expenses that won’t be refunded. Plus, our team has invested significant time brainstorming, planning, designing, writing, etc, and those hours cannot be recovered.

So, my first job was to take a look at what we have spent and figure out what we can recover.

Step 2 – What do we do next?
Once I understood how much money we had to play with (and how much we had to just write off), we started to think about what to do with the funds.

Our investment in Summit was part of our marketing spend, and it’s primary purpose was to drive pipeline growth and foster customer success. To that end, what makes the most sense? Do we invest in marketing initiatives? Shuffle some of the budget to the sales team? Use part of it for customer appreciation?

I’m not going to give away the farm and hand out our marketing plan, but as the CMO, I will tell you that I’m confident in my team, and I believe that our path forward is investing in a combination of projects both inside and outside the marketing department.

Step 3 – Pivot
You decide how you look at life – positive or negative. As a leader, you also influence how your team looks at life. For my part, I’m choosing to look at this as an opportunity.

On the one hand, the planning we did is not a total loss. We made some critical decisions about Adobe Summit as a team, and we’re going to shelve those decisions and use them as a launch point for the 2021 event. That way, we won’t be starting from scratch, and some of the legwork will be done before we even begin.

On the other hand, the Summit cancellation gives us a chance to test some new campaigns and new ideas we wouldn’t otherwise have the time or money to explore. As with anything new, there are risks to what we’re doing, but I truly believe that doing nothing in this circumstance and continuing with business as usual is an even bigger risk.

So, we’re going to ride with this change and explore some new opportunities. After all, Knak is an email marketing company, and in the face of worldwide event cancellations, what form of communication is more critical than ever?

If your prospects can’t come to you, you’re going to have to go to them. And so far, the email inbox has proven to be an excellent place to reach customers.

If it’s time to start building beautiful emails that keep your brand at the center, we’d love to chat. Request a demo and let us show you how Knak makes it easy to create incredible emails from start to finish!

Not ready to chat yet? Browse through our product page to learn more.

Buying a URL

Knak.io to Knak.com Animation

What to do when it’s time to join the .com club

Having worked with a number of smaller organizations in my career, I can tell you that it’s a huge moment of pride for the company and the marketing department to finally purchase their .com URL. It feels like a right of passage.

I’ve managed this process a few times already, and I’ve learned a thing or two that can make this milestone less stressful and potentially less expensive.

Here’s a look at why Knak decided to move to knak.com, along with some insight into managing the timing, purchase, and transition at your own organization.

Why invest in knak.com?

Purchasing knak.com was one of the largest marketing investments we’ve made to date. So what made us decide to pull the trigger?

It’s all in the timing. The timing was right, and the opportunity to purchase the URL at a reasonable price presented itself.

Some of my fellow Marketers will disagree, but I believe that owning your .com URL gives your business an increased sense of legitimacy. It may be a bit less relevant than it used to be, but it’s certainly still a factor.

A few other key reasons:

  • It makes Knak easier to find – direct traffic makes up an important part of our website’s traffic, and it’s a common assumption that an established company will own their .com URL.
  • It’s the most recognizable and accessible top-level domain (TLD) – even though it’s 2019, the bias toward .com still exists.
  • It keeps the URL out of the hands of the competition.

How do you know when the time is right?

I’m often asked how you know when the time is right to purchase your .com URL. Unfortunately, there’s no magic moment, but I do think that some times are better than others.

Here are some key markers to help you determine if the time is right:

  • Your company is gaining momentum in the market, and you’re consistently winning new business.
  • Your brand is still somewhat flying under the radar compared to your more established competition.
  • You’re profitable – this is key if you’re funding the purchase yourself, less so if you have outside funding.
  • You’ve received a round of funding or are about to announce funding.
  • You’re about to announce a major corporate or product update.

Making a successful URL purchase

The first step here is knowing what your URL is worth.

Like almost everything else, at the end of the day, the value of the URL is what the market is willing to pay, and that value can increase with the visibility of your brand.

If you’re working with a reputable broker (and I would strongly encourage you to use a broker), they’ll likely have developed an evaluation process to help you arrive at a ballpark figure. Make sure you’re comfortable with the range; once you understand the cost, it’s time to talk to the URL owner.

Here’s how to help it go smoothly:

  1. Use a Broker! Unless you’ve done this in the past, you’ll likely need the help of a professional. Yes, there are fees associated with this service, but a properly structured commission plan should help you get a lower overall purchase price and take the stress out of the transaction. Some additional benefits to using a broker:
    • They assure anonymity, which can help with negotiations.
    • They know the ropes and can advise against tactics that may come back to haunt you.
    • They’ll be willing and able to answer your 1,001 questions.
    • They may have an existing relationship with the seller that can expedite the process
  2. Don’t approach the URL owner until you’re willing and able to make the purchase. Putting out feelers now can make your purchase more expensive down the road because it alerts the seller to your organization and allows them to keep tabs on your growth.
  3. Proceed in good faith. Whether you’re dealing with an individual or a business, at the end of the day, you’re looking for a win-win outcome to your negotiations.
  4. Get creative with your financing. Maybe a lump sum purchase isn’t feasible right now. Some companies that specialize in buying and selling URLs will offer a payment plan. Beware, though – the penalties for missing a payment can be grave. You can lose your URL and forfeit the payments you’ve already made.
  5. Use an escrow service (hint: we like escrow.com). An escrow service will manage the contract and money transfers and help protect both parties. It’s well worth the extra investment, and it may be non-negotiable: most reputable sellers will insist on using an escrow service.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to consider purchasing other variations of your URL at the same time (.io, .net, .ca, etc). They can usually be picked up on services like GoDaddy for a few dollars a piece.

What not to do

Unless you have a rock-solid case, avoid going through ICANN to forcefully claim the URL. If you fail, there can be some serious consequences, which can come back and cost you from both a brand and a dollars perspective. Remember: you’re dealing with people. People will remember your actions when you’re negotiating with them, and until you own the URL, you’re vulnerable to retaliation.

Case in point:

Once I inherited a situation where, before I joined the organization, management had attempted to forcefully claim the rights to a URL, only to have the request rejected.

As a consequence, the rightful owner decided to retaliate by directing said URL to an adult website.

In the end, the URL was purchased successfully, but the acquisition price was well above what we had anticipated (and budgeted for). A different approach might have yielded a more positive outcome.

We got the URL! Now what?

Once you’ve completed the purchase, make sure you’re ready for the technical transfer of your URL. That means engaging with your IT team or lining up a trusted consultant ahead of time to make the hand-off and implementation as smooth as possible.

  • Make a list of what will need to be updated with your new URL:
    • Digital assets – website, landing pages, social media, forms, etc.
    • Digital links & redirects.
    • Martech – marketing automation platform, email creation platforms, chat bots, etc.
    • Corporate email – update to the new URL while making sure you maintain access to old inboxes.
    • Printed materials – business cards, swag, banners, handouts, booths, signage, etc.
  • Let your customers and your broader audience know about the switch. Make an announcement and encourage them to take a few steps to ensure it’s business as usual on their end:
    • Update digital bookmarks to the new .com.
    • Add the new .com to their email safe-sender list.
    • Ask them to click the new .com URL to test accessibility. Instruct them to reach out to their IT team to whitelist the new URL if there are any issues.

I would encourage you to check out this article on SEMrush. I would also suggest downloading their comprehensive “Migration Checklist” to help ensure your bases are covered.

Handle the basics first

Purchasing a .com is a big step for an organization. It helps further your brand, protect your brand identity, and make it easier for prospective clients to find you. But, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic bullet.

If you’re unable to generate leads, struggling to attract the right audience, or experiencing SEO challenges, a .com isn’t going to solve your problems.

My advice would be to hold off on the purchase, and instead, invest your time and money in fixing the fundamentals.

But if you’re ready to move ahead with your URL purchase, congratulations! You’re about to achieve a major milestone in the life of your organization, and we want to be the first to welcome you to the .com club.

For some helpful advice on naming your URL, check out “How to Choose a Domain Name” on Moz’s blog.

Prepping for Q4: Finish Strong, Start Fresh

Prepping for Q4

The end of the year is coming, and that means it’s time to start thinking about how to make your next fiscal year a success. Don’t leave the planning for December, when holiday and vacation schedules make communication challenging. Instead, start now. Review this year’s email campaigns, and get a head start on being awesome next year.

Here are some tips to help you determine what worked this year, what can be improved for next year, and where you should be experimenting.

Look at the data:

Review your campaigns for the year and take a hard look at the results.

  • Which campaigns worked?
  • Which didn’t?

Even though you undoubtedly still have campaigns to deploy this year, don’t wait to get started on your attribution reporting. Look at your previous campaigns, find out which elements made a difference, and determine how email impacted your bottom line.

Review your objectives:

Based on the findings from your data, ask:

  • How did email help you achieve your marketing goals this year?
  • In light of your team’s larger goals, what role should email play next year?

You may need to add or reconsider some campaigns to make sure they’re in alignment with your team’s overall objectives. Be willing to evaluate them on a case-by-case basis to make sure they’re still meeting your needs.

Revisit your strategy:

What does your email campaign strategy look like? Planned out for the next 24 months? Not sure what next week looks like? An email campaign/content calendar helps align your campaign strategy with your marketing objectives.

  • Are major campaigns clearly identified?
  • Can your team see what’s coming up in the next week/month/quarter?
  • Does your team have the info they need to meet deadlines without feeling stressed?

Take the time to plan out your campaigns. Use the content calendar as your North Star, and simplify life for your team.

Check your tech:

Remember that shiny new technology you purchased last year? Did it live up to the hype? Year-end is a great time to review your tech stack to see what’s being used, what gaps you need to fill, and what may not be worth the investment.

  • Are you paying for technologies that no longer meet your needs?
  • Are there new platforms or solutions that can help fill the gaps you identified?

Identify these things before the year ends so you can have an optimized tech stack in place before the new year begins.

Budget:

Take a look at the tradeshows, partnerships, and other large marketing investments that impacted your business this year.

  • What was worth doing again?
  • What new initiatives do you want to explore next year?
  • What email campaigns will you need to support those initiatives?

Make space in your budget now for the things that’ll have a positive impact on your business next year.

Email Extras:

What did you add to your emails that improved your click-thru rates?

  • Did GIFs generate more clicks?
  • Did including videos drive engagement?
  • Did dynamic content help your emails stand out?

Don’t guess! Dive into your reporting and find out what email extras are actually boosting engagement and adding to your bottom line.

And then, do your research: review some thought leadership pieces about upcoming email trends. (Hint: Here’s our piece about adding GIFs to your emails to get you started.)

  • What could you see working at your organization?
  • What email experiments do you want to run next year?

Take your ideas to your team. Create a plan to try them out, and build in A/B testing so you’ll know what’s working.

*Did you know: Dynamic content has a major impact on click-to-open rates. A recent survey of thousands of email marketers found that those using dynamic content report CTO rates 56% higher than those who don’t. If you’re not currently using it, it may be time to try it out.

Buy-In:

Before you can implement changes, you need buy-in from your team and key stakeholders. Think through:

  • How will the changes affect your team’s workload?
  • Do these changes conflict with other priorities?
  • Realistically, what does roll-out look like?
  • How will you measure the success of these initiatives?

Take your ideas to your team, and work together to develop a plan. The more you’ve considered ahead of time, the better your chances of getting buy-in.

A strategic Q4 leads to a dynamic Q1

Don’t wait until the end of the year to start reviewing. Invest the time now so you have a thoughtful approach to your next fiscal year in place before the year begins. Make Q1 planning a priority now, and you’ll set your team up for success later.

If you’d like to learn more about how Knak can help you reach your email marketing goals for next year, we’d love to chat. Reach out to nancy@knak.io with any questions.

Welcoming Christopher Chan

 

Knak has experienced rapid growth in the last few years. We’re taking steps to make sure our growth is sustainable. To that end, we’ve identified a few key roles we need to fill in order to make sure our team is supported, and one of those happens to be an addition to our financial team.

Meet Christopher Chan – Knak’s new Controller.

We first met Chris while he was working for Logan Katz, an Ottawa-based accounting firm that has been helping us with our finances for some time. Chris has a Commerce degree with a specialization in Accounting from the University of Ottawa, and he completed his CPA designation earlier this year.

When he’s not crunching numbers, you’ll most likely find him outdoors: Chris is an avid hiker, rock climber, and white-water kayaker.

We’re glad to have him on the Knak team, and we’re excited about the expertise he has to offer. Welcome, Chris!

Together at Knak.

On Site, In Sync

Knak has goals, and since we know our team is the key to reaching them, we got together for a few days of goal setting, mission clarifying, and brewery touring. Here’s the inside scoop on our very first Knak on-site.

Our team is spread all throughout Canada. While we love the remote setup, Zoom calls and Slack channels are no substitute for facetime (The real kind. Not the app.). So, we converged on Ottawa last month and spent 4 days digging into our mission and solidifying our strategy for the next year.

Knak, By Definition

We started with an open discussion about Knak. Our founder and CEO, Pierce, asked each of us how we define Knak’s mission, and it was interesting to hear that we’re on the same page. We also had a chance to share our own ideas of what we think is possible for the future.

Then, we spent a bit of time breaking down Knak’s building blocks: the why, how, and what of what we do. First and foremost, we’re Marketers helping Marketers. We’re obsessed with our customers’ success, and we’ll bend over backward to exceed their expectations. Here’s a recap of how we make that happen:

Why we do what we do: We empower enterprise marketing teams to focus on what matters to them. By streamlining the email creation process, we’re freeing them up to devote their time and resources to driving revenue.

How we do it: Knak’s easy-to-use, self-service platform eliminates the distractions and pain-points that enterprise marketers face.

We also spent some time reviewing our core values and discussing how we implement them in client engagements and prioritize them when we make hiring decisions. These are the principles that keep us on track:

  • Show Respect
  • Practice Transparency
  • Think Bigger, Act Bigger
  • Stay Curious
  • Maintain Balance
  • Take Calculated Risks
  • Get Sh!t Done

Group Goals

It’s easy for a CEO to dictate goals. The larger the organization, the greater the likelihood that someone without a ton of day-to-day interaction with the team is charting a course for the future and handing the plans down to be implemented. We have a great team, and even though I’m sure we could implement whatever comes our way, that’s not the way we work at Knak.

We started our goal-sharing session by giving each team member a chance to create a conservative and an aggressive revenue goal for our next fiscal year. We shared those goals on a whiteboard, and as a team, we arrived at our goals for the next year. Some are aggressive, some are more conservative, but most importantly, our goals are in keeping with our mission and they have team buy-in.

We also took the time to identify gaps in our team and sketch out a hiring roadmap for filling those gaps. We did the same with our products: what should we prioritize, when should they be completed.

It was a frank, open discussion, and it gave us a great opportunity to make sure we’re in alignment and working towards the same north star.

Eating Our Own Dog Food

KnakOnSite

Next, we got creative. Over lunch, everyone (everyone!!) on the team created emails. I’m not a designer and I don’t have a tech background, but I, along with the rest of the team, used my own skillset to create an email. We reviewed the emails together and took the time to consider them in light of the feedback we get from our customers. The results were fantastic! In just over an hour, each person on our team created an email that was identical to one from their favorite brand. We already knew that Knak made emailing easy, but seeing the number of beautiful emails that the team created in no time at all was a validating experience for the team.

I’m not about to join the design team, but we liked the exercise so much that we’ve planned to incorporate it into future team meetings and use it as part of the on-boarding process for new team members.

Team Building

Knak Brew Donkey

Ottawa is a beautiful city, so spent some time showing it off to our visiting team members. We did a brewery tour and got to know each other better. It was a chilled evening, and it was great to make some more personal connections with the team.

The on-site got us in sync in a way that only actual face time can. It helped bring our goals and expectations into alignment, and it opened the door for better communication in the weeks since. We’re energized to work towards our goals, and we’re ready to carry on with our mission!

The best way to translate emails for Marketo and Eloqua

We help lots of large enterprise companies with email creation in Marketo and Eloqua. Almost all of them are global organizations, which often means they start with a single email and then need to translate that many times for all of their different regions.

But, what is the best way to do this when you are working with Eloqua or Marketo?

Large global teams who make emails often start in an enterprise email creation platform like Knak because they want to be able to control the entire email creation process from request, collaboration, approvals and sync to their Marketing Automation platform. Once they have synced it over, how are translations handled?

We recommend using a translation integration partner like Cloudwords to help facilitate this process.

How does it work?

Basically, you create your email in Knak. Then you sync to Eloqua or Marketo using our native integration. From there, someone like Cloudwords allows you to sync either an entire email or portions of it from your Marketing Automation platform directly to the translation agency of your choosing. Because of how the Cloudwords integration works, there is no copying and pasting or risk of compromising the email code. This allows you to use native Eloqua or Marketo integrations for both the email creation and email translation portions of your process.

We have been getting lots of questions on the best way to do translations with Marketo or Eloqua and this is the most efficient and scalable way we’ve seen to do so.

Any questions, let us know in the comments below.

Q1 Product Update

We’re happy to announce some new features that are going to make Knak even better!

These new features are live now, and available to all Builder & Enterprise customers.

  1. Update previously synced emails
  2. Set default link URL parameters
  3. Set default email settings (sender display name, from/reply email)
  4. Edit any section or make it dynamic (Marketo-only)
  5. Text-only version is synced automatically (Marketo-only)
  6. Set email settings from Knak before sync (Marketo-only)
  7. UI improvements

1. Update previously synced emails
Once you sync an email and set it up in your programs, if you need to make changes in Knak, it can mean you need to make changes in Marketo or Eloqua. Now, you will have the ability to resync emails once an email is synced. This means once you sync an email, you can hook it up to your programs and not need to sync new versions of the email from Knak each time you need to make a change.

2. Set default link URL parameters
In order to do proper lead source tracking, it can be quite difficult to accomplish without a lot of manual effort in remembering to include URL parameters on all of your links. With Knak, you can now set top-level URL parameters so that ALL of your email links have specific URL parameters added to them.


3. Set default email settings (sender display name, from/reply email)
To speed up the email creation process, you can now set top-level email settings for sender display name, from and reply email address at the brand level. These will automatically get incorporated into your email settings whenever you make a new email.

4. Edit any section or make it dynamic (Marketo-only)
All sections can now be edited in Marketo’s email editor. This also means that any section can be made dynamic. This update only applies to Marketo customers.

5. Text-only version is synced automatically (Marketo-only)
Before this update, the text only version of an email was not visible or editable in the Marketo editor. Now, we send a special text only version of the email over to the Marketo editor. We also try to clean up the text only version so it is better than what Marketo generates automatically when it copies from the HTML version. 

6. Set email settings from Knak before sync (Marketo-only)
Our goal is to be able to bypass Marketo’s email editor completely, and there were still some areas (like email settings) that you still needed to go into Marketo to adjust. Now you can make an email operational or make it available through MSI right from Knak.

We’ve also made some minor UI enhancements, like a new load spinner, that we hope you’ll like!

Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions on any of these updates! Cheers!