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Demystifying Custom Fonts in Emails

If you’re a non-technical person like me, it can be confusing at times to understand when custom fonts can be used in emails.

Here are some tips to help you understand when and how it works:

  • Not all email clients support custom fonts. 1, 3 and 5 on this list support them, and that accounts for 52% of opens:
  • Javascript is not supported in email, and that is why Adobe Typekit fonts cannot work in emails, because they use a javascript API to inject their fonts
  • Other founderies (fancy word for vendors who supply fonts) like Google Fonts, and Hoefler & Co. offer a CSS based method for displaying their custom fonts, and therefore can be supported by 1,3 and 5 from the email client marketshare list

What if you use a completely custom font that is not hosted on any of the foundries above?

It’s okay, you can still use those fonts. However, you need special files in 4 formats: WOFF, EOT, OTF/TTF and SVG. When you buy a desktop font, you only get it in OTF and TTF. Although there are some tools out there that will generate web safe fonts, like you need to be careful with legality of doing so and there can be loss of quality when doing it this way. That is why most people choose to use one of the vendors listed above, given they provide the web safe fonts and you know you’re covered from a legal perspective.

If you want even more details on the technical components of setting up a custom font, I’d recommend checking out this awesome presentation from Robert Bertini from the 2015 Litmus Email Design Conference.

Good luck! We support custom fonts in all of our custom email template builds.

Marketo’s New Starter Templates: What You Need to Know.

With Marketo’s new email editor (which we love btw) they have also released some new email starter templates along with it. While there are some nice modern designs in these starter templates, we ran them through Litmus and there were some pretty concerning results.

These templates are not coded using the fluid hybrid method, which means they are not responsive in Outlook or Gmail. There are some pretty major rendering problems on Outlook and Gmail since they use media queries. For more on the importance on fluid hybrid email design, refresh yourself in our blog post: Your ‘responsive’ emails actually aren’t.

What does this mean for you? Well when you think you might be sending this:


Your recipients (in this case in Outlook 2010) would actually be seeing this:


It looks as though Marketo has downloaded these templates down from a vendor called ‘MailSalad’ for $15/each. You can see the original templates here:

Here are the public Litmus Test Result links for the current Marketo Starter Templates in case you’d like to take a look yourself:

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Breaking News
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Good News
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Slam Dunk

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Short & Sweet
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Save My Spot
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Private Jet
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The takeaway? We think there is a ton of potential with the new email editor, and keep in mind, these templates have nothing to do with the new editor. However, the starter templates that Marketo is offering fall short of being reliable for your audience given the number of users on Outlook and Gmail. Hopefully, they will get these templates sorted out and release some proper fluid hybrid templates that work with the new editor.

2016 Unbounce #CTAConf Takeaways – Day #2

If people were tired after the pub crawl the night before, the first speaker of the day quickly got people over the lingering hangover:

Rand Fishkin
The Wizard of Moz was dropping knowledge on how measuring vanity SEO metrics are good, but its even more important to measure the work that it takes to make the high-level metrics like page rank move. He related it to his FitBit, and although the ultimate goal is to lose weight, there are lots of different inputs that need to be done (steps, climbing stairs, sleep) to achieve the overall goal. One really good insight that we took away was the importance of actually talking to customers to get their feedback. They had a really poor performing pricing page and they simply sent an email to everyone who visited it and did not sign up, to find out why they didn’t. Turns out all their other products had free trials, except this one, and that was something a report would never tell you.

Mackenzie Fogelson
This session was all about the importance of being authentic. Anyone who went to the Marketo Summit this year knows that Will Smith mentioned that in this digital age, there is really no more smoke and mirrors anymore. I think Mackenzie was really focusing in on how customers see right through things that are not authentic, and then in order to truly connect with customers, and get passionate engaged employees, the whole business needs to be authentic. One good takeaway here for many marketers is that after you complete your persona exercise, you should actually try and find customers who fit each of those personas perfectly, so you can attach a face to the persona and make them even more accurate.

Brian Davidson
The city’s newest Vancouver Canuck’s fan, after Unbounce generously gave him a new jersey, was sharing how to best connect with audiences on Facebook. Given that the majority of Facebook’s traffic is coming from mobile, its absolutely essential to have mobile friendly landing pages if you want to convert them into customers. We can honestly say that we have never been that impressed with results from Facebook campaigns, but after seeing some of the tips Brian provided, we’re going to give it another try. One thing we will be doing for sure is adding the Facebook pixel to our website so we can re-target that traffic on Facebook. Looks like their targeting options have improved quite a bit lately, and according to Brian will be getting even better in weeks/months to come.

Matthew Sweezey
You can find Matt on Twitter @msweezey, and this well spoken salesperson turned marketing guy from Salesforce was giving some great tips on how to optimize your email campaigns. A self-proclaimed non-coder like many of us, turned to text only emails out of necessity. Knak wasn’t around when Matthew was initially starting to build email campaigns for Pardot. He shared some really great tips, I think the biggest one being that Marketers don’t HAVE to create all of the content that they promote. A company that shares valuable content through their email campaigns is creating value, even if they didn’t create that content themselves. Although we don’t agree with the fact that Matthew said we should “F%*# HTML emails’ we feel your pain Matthew, without coding knowledge and the proper tools HTML emails can be a real pain.

Kristen Craft
If you were ever curious about video analytics, this was the session for you. Kristen comes from Wistia, and they have a whole ton of stats on video, which Kristen was kind enough to share. Some real gems in this session, including that you should autoplay your videos when you’re promoting them in an email. Use faces in your thumbnail images, especially smiling/happy ones. It’s really good to script video as most people do not have the media training to really pull off winging it. The majority of people have been flying blind on video analytics.

Jonathan Dane
Poop emojis and Google AdWords improvements. That’s all you need to know.

Cara Harshman
Cara shared how they took an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach to optimizing their homepage. She walked us through the different variations they tested and some results. Loved how transparent this conference was, a good example is that Cara admitted that personalization has not yet proven itself to drive more revenue, although engagement is up significantly. The results were still early, so revenue could always be just around the corner.

Aaron Orendorff
This guy will speak on TedTalks soon, if he hasn’t already. Very good delivery on a topic covering engaging content creation. He went through the 3 content sins:

  1. It’s not about you
  2. It’s not about Sales
  3. It’s not about Success

Given his content has featured in many by many of the industry’s top publishers, we think Marketers can learn a lot by following his lead on this.

Stephanie Grieser
Every Unbounce conference attendee would attest that they put on an excellent event, and Stephanie was the person behind the events for the past 2 years. She shared her secrets on how to make your next event a success. One of those being to have time-sensitive urgency offers to get people to sign up. And not the ones where you just say ‘limited time offer’ or ‘seating is limited’. It’s 2016 people so let’s use countdown timers (like the ones we offer in our templates) and give actual numbers of how many tickets are remaining. Also, Stephanie cited that although they make email marketing fails from time to time, the Oopsie emails that they send afterwards have some of the highest open and engagement rates. People like to look at the car crash – so don’t worry so much about being perfect, there are very good side effects.

Michael Aagaard
Last session of the conference, and what’s that saying? Save the best for last? Really great session on mixing psychology and landing page optimization. Two concepts in particular to take away. One being that there are two types of thinking. 1 being east, the other being difficult. Good landing pages do not make your brain have to work to get what you need accomplished. That is what everyone should strive for. The others, you have to really think, you have to really want whatever they are selling, and those are obviously going to have much lower conversion rates. The other concept was about priming your visitors to get them to take action. The example Michael used was SO_P. So what word did you make? Soup or Soap? Showing a picture of a bowl of soup prior to showing SO_P is much much more likely to get someone to write SOUP. And the same kind of concept can be applied to landing pages. So, keep it easy for your visitors and prime them to what you want them to do and you can achieve great results.

That’s it! Over and out Vancouver. Kudos to Unbounce for putting on a great conference.

2016 Unbounce #CTAConf Takeaways – Day #1

This week we’re in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, for the 2016 Call To Action conference put on by Unbounce. There are about 1,000 marketers here for the 3 day event covering many facets of digital marketing.

The day started pretty early today (although not so much for us given we’re still on east coast time), but the weather has been awesome and the venue at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is really great. The vibe is very fun and upbeat, and the Unbounce team even gave all attendees a big cheer as we walked into a conference venue. There are a few vendors that make up the non-expo-hall-expo-hall, that all have really creative and cool booths. Unbounce also has a lounge near the entrance to get more information about their product.

The theatre itself is quite big. Seems like it could accommodate many more people. Anyways, here are some of the takeaways we got from the sessions today:

Oli Gardner
One of the cofounders of Unbounce, and arguably one of the internets go-to experts on landing page optimization, had an excellent talk about machine learning and how Unbounce is working on some crazy artificial intelligence to automatically tell you how to optimize your visitors web experiences. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but as he started lifting the covers a bit about how it would all work, I have to say I became a bit more of a believer. He also had some great and practical tips about optimization, like how you should have a CTA on every page, and that it should always be above the fold. Seems like pretty common-sense stuff, but sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. He also mentioned that exit or bounce pop-ups can actually be quite effective if they are used in the right way. Finally, another key takeaway was just to get rid of all the useless jargon on your pages, and just have what we really need.

Andy Crestondina
Had a great session about how you can do more with Google Analytics. This was definitely a trend today, in terms of optimizing analytics through better usage of GA. If only GA was a bit more user intuitive so you didn’t have to hire a consultant to figure all this stuff out. Mentioned a tool called Jing that easily allow you to annotate screenshots.

Anum Hussain
This session was all about growth teams and how we should think of our subscribers in the same way that we think of users of a product. Just like product teams try many many tests to determine the best way to get people to convert to paid customers, marketers should do the same with their subscribers. Test, iterate and determine the best way to keep people engaged. If they aren’t engaged, cut them loose. One key takeaway here is that we should not just take a new subscriber and automatically drop them into the regular blog cadence, but instead send them the top posts for the first few emails to get them immediately engaged and prove the value of the content.

Erin Bury
There is no silver Marketing bullet, and it is truly different for every company. To stand out from the crowd, companies need to try and push the limits and do things differently. This was proven by an example Erin gave about how one of their clients who ran a deli signed up to Tinder as a piece of meat. Some very creative examples of Marketing here.

Amazing selections of about 6 different food trucks. Beautiful weather and west-coast sunshine. Compared to some food truck rallies I’ve been to the lineups moved pretty quickly too!

Kevan Lee
This was a whirlwind through many different social platforms and how you can take advantage of them. Top takeaways here were to use a pinned tweet on Twitter for lead generation. was reference in this session and others, seemed to be a trend for the day. Follower-walk was a great tool to analyze information about your Twitter followers. Another exit example whereby they provided a coupon for 25% off if a visitor was bouncing from their pricing page. They made a lot of conversions using this method, and then bumped it down to 10% and found an almost insignificant drop in conversion rate.

Morgan Brown
This was one of our favorite sessions of the day. Similar to Anum’s session, there was a focus on growth team’s. Morgan talked about the importance of doing a lot of tests cycles and making decisions based on the results of said tests. He also mentioned that it’s good when assembling a growth team to have people with very different skillsets, for example his team has a marketer, a data scientist and an accountant. Music to Marketo customers ears were his comments about the importance of data and a good lead lifecycle.

Andre Morys
This guy was hilarious – and very smart. We were instantly fans after his breakdown of Dell’s horrific customer experience on their check out page – there were a couple of f-bombs that only got people laughing even harder. But amongst all the laughs was some really good information about psychology and how humans interact with web and companies based on their psychological needs. Some very interesting examples about how companies like Amazon & have used these methods to their advantage.

Annie Cushing
Annie was lucky enough to draw the last spot of the day, but managed to keep people engaged well past normal business hours. Lots of great tips here about how to maximize value in Google Analytics and the importance of good data.

And that was a wrap (at least for the sessions) of day #1! Overall a really great day with a nice broad range of content and lots of great actionable takeaways. Looking forward to day #2!


Introducing: Video Backgrounds for Marketo Landing Pages

A popular web design trend is having video backgrounds on lead generation pages. It definitely sets your page apart and offers a unique and engaging experience for the viewer.

Historically these have been complicated to add to a Marketo landing page. However, Knak has partnered with to offer its users free video backgrounds in select templates.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download a template from the Knak library that supports video backgrounds (currently: RIGBY)
  2. Sync it to Marketo
  3. Go to and download the video background of your choosing (it’s free!)
  4. Upload the video files to Marketo and copy the URLs
  5. Paste those URLs into the corresponding variables in Marketo
  6. Magic

We’re really excited to offer this new service to Knak customers. The best part is there is absolutely no coding required to achieve amazing results on your next landing page!

Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!

Why Your Landing Pages Belong in Marketo.

Marketo calls it the Marketing Platform for a reason – it’s meant to host ALL of your important Marketing information.

However one thing the Marketing Platform may be lacking is a way to make great looking landing pages. So many Marketers look to third party tools (Knak being one of them) to help them solve this problem.

There are some really great tools out there for you to choose from, but make sure you understand the impact of selecting one tool over the other.

One of the biggest questions you should ask should be: Will my landing pages live in Marketo? If the answer is no, here are some things you should be aware of:

No More Marketo Forms
Forms are the entry point of all of your leads, and when your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, it likely means you don’t use native Marketo forms. This means you’re losing out on functionality. Namely, the ability to auto-complete all of the people who are already cookied by Marketo. See: big drop in conversion rates. In addition, your inferred data like inferred country, state and company are no longer going to get passed through. Oh, and now you need to setup another integration and new sub-domain. Form triggers are also impacted which typically means new custom fields need to be created.

Can’t use Marketo Tokens
Marketo tokens are a huge timesaver, and many Marketo marketers like to build out scalable programs using tokens. When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, you simply can’t use this powerful functionality.

Program Data is Fragmented
When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, it means when you review your Marketo program to see how its performing, critical metrics such as page views and conversion rates are not there. This means you don’t get a full view of your program performance in one spot.

Say bye-bye to Dynamic Content
Dynamic content is a feature that many Marketo marketers are excited about, and for good reason. It allows you to setup segments in Marketo so that you can show certain individuals content tailored to them. When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, you can’t take advantage of the rich dynamic content capabilities found in Marketo.

Some of the landing page creation tools out there are super powerful and offer an editing experience unlike what’s available in Marketo’s editor, however, before you select a new landing page partner, you should definitely ask if it means your landing pages will still live in Marketo… and I’m very happy to say that with Knak, they most certainly do 🙂

Marketo Summit: Another Point of View

I’ve attended Summit for 3 years as an attendee, but for the past 2 years did it as an exhibitor. Given that many Marketo marketers may have tradeshows in their arsenal of marketing channels, I figured I’d give you a bit of a behind the scenes view of the Marketo Summit from the exhibitor perspective in hope to help you at your next tradeshow.

I can easily say this is our biggest marketing investment for the year. Almost everything we do is digital advertising, but I believe at some points you need to cross channels and there is no better avenue than the Marketo Summit to reach our customers. Unlike some other companies, we ONLY sell to Marketo customers, and pretty much everyone who uses Marketo could be our customer, so you don’t find a better concentration of potential customers than at Summit.

What we did:

  • Expo hall booth
  • Ice bar party
  • Videos (customer testimonials, what’s new and party)
  • Who’s Who Infographic

Exhibitor Booth

There are many packages available to exhibit on the show floor. They vary drastically in price. For us, we’re a small growing company so spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a booth is out of the question – but many companies do. We went with the exhibitor booth, which set us back about $10K. The booth is a high financial investment for us, but low time investment (other than being at the booth). Marketo does a great job of taking care of most of the booth logistics, so its really a breeze. We produced a video that would run on the screen at our booth showing real-time numbers from what’s happening in our app, but that was probably the biggest time investment we made.

We had a ton of great traffic at our booth, and lots of really good conversations. At the end of the week we had about 60 scans at the booth, although I can definitely say our team did not scan every single person we had a conversation with. This bit is really quality over quantity, but when you look at the cost-per-lead it is definitely pretty high ($166/lead). Personally, I believe that although in Marketing we should strive to measure and report on everything, there are some intangibles of having a booth with regards to branding that may never be able to be reported on.

Ice Bar Party

Jeff Coveney from RevEngine Marketing is a very good partner of ours, and he reached out asking about doing an ice bar party with him. Given we are in Canada, ice is right up our alley and we jumped at the opportunity. What I liked about our party was that it was not really competing with anything at the time we had it at, in fact there was really nothing going on before the Hakkasan party other than dinners. Also, the ice part of it makes it a bit unique and more of an experience than just going to a bar. Finally, it was at the Mandalay Bay, so not sure about you guys but I feel like I needed to get out of the MGM at that point or I was going to lose it.

The party was definitely a big time investment. We made a new email and new landing page template for the show, and handled setting up the program in Marketo. Although Knak makes the process of making emails and landing pages easy, first we have to design and develop the actual template that our customers download from Knak, which is what ends up taking the most time. For the landing page in particular we did a lot of stuff that hasn’t been done before (countdown timers, pop-up forms, video backgrounds) so it was time consuming to say the least. Jeff from RevEngine Marketing was great at taking care of the logistics of the bar and what not, and our other two partners LeadSpace and Rybbon were really great to work with as well. Having good partners is key – and we had some of the best.

Another challenge was figuring out how many people we needed to get registered and how many would show up. Our venue had a capacity of 300-350 so we knew that was our ceiling. We also figured we would have about a 40-50% attendance rate, so we were initially aiming to get around 200-300 people registered. We ended up getting almost 800 people to register and had just under 300 attend. The entire party cost us less than $20K, so split 4 ways it really was not too bad. Given some other sponsors spent way more than that on their parties, I felt as though we got a really good ROI and more importantly, everyone we talked to had an awesome time.


This is the first year we’ve experimented with videos. We got a really good recommendation from a client of ours, Brendan Farnand, who knew an excellent videographer. This definitely makes a big difference working with the right people who have the right equipment and demeanor to get what you need. Shooting videos is still a ton of work though. We lined up some key interviews with customers and be prepared to invest quite a bit of time into scheduling and approvals and all that fun stuff. In the end we totally believe they will be worth it.

Who’s Who Infographic

This is the second year that we’ve done this infographic, and it consistently is a good draw. We basically take all of the partners that go to Summit and bucket them into different categories to help attendees better understand where all the vendors fit. We find it generates some hype pre-show and is just a useful piece of content for marketers to consume before the show.

The Results?

It’s too early to tell, but we met a ton of potential new fans, met some familiar ones, made some awesome relationships and had a really good time doing it. Now, its up to our product team to deliver on the experience that we are promising from Knak and go from there!

Infographic: Who’s Who at the 2016 Marketo Summit

This year’s Marketo Summit features over 100+ LaunchPoint Partners who will be showcasing their latest solutions and services to help the modern day Marketo marketer.

It can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you navigate the expo hall like a pro and find the partner that can help you.

Who else is excited for Vegas?!



5 Exciting New Things About Knak.

At Knak, we’re always trying to make Marketers lives easier by making it simple to create beautiful email and landing pages.

Having created thousands of templates for over 25% of Marketo’s customers, we’ve received some amazing feedback from our fans. We released Knak at the 2015 Marketo Summit and have been working behind the scenes to make Knak even better.

Today, we’re excited to announce some enhancements to our app, which is only the beginning of a much bigger vision of Knak. Simple, made simpler.

So, here are 5 exciting new things about Knak:

1. Connect directly to Marketo

One thing we always talk about at Knak, is never having to look at HTML code again. Now, this wasn’t entirely true with the first version of Knak, since you did have to copy and paste the final HTML code from Knak into Marketo.

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Now, with our brand new Marketo integration, you can push a button and your brand new Knak template gets synced to Marketo.

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It’s so fast, you should probably wear a helmet.


2. Save template settings to your profile

Our initial release of Knak stored template settings in a cookie on your browser. This worked okay if you always used the same computer, but that wasn’t always the case. Now, you can save all your company details to your profile under the ‘My Knaks’ section. This is the foundation of an even bigger feature that we’ll be releasing shortly…

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3. See all the templates you’ve ever customized

Our template library showed you all available templates. But, if you wanted to see all the templates you’ve already customized, you can now see all of those in the new ‘My Templates’ section. This allows for easy editing, or syncing to Marketo.


4. Help yourself!

Billing, your account, invoices, used to be things that you had to contact us about. This is now available in a self-service portal available. If you need to add a new credit card, upgrade your account, or change the name of the person using the account, this can all be done from the new account settings page.

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5. A glimpse into the future

Taking a spin through the new Knak should give you a bit of an idea of where we’re headed next. We started Knak with 1 goal – to make Marketo email and landing pages simple. And this release stays true to that vision.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know what you think in the comments below!