Anyone who has worked with an email building platform is acutely aware of the troubles that lurk in the darkest corners of their marketing activity. For example: you can spend hours designing the message in the builder to ensure that your email looks good; then with all that work behind you, you end up accidentally sending the communication email with a placeholder like "Hello %" without using the recipients' real name. The fact is that there's many aspects of email marketing that are both dangerous and removed from actual marketing activities.
If we were to describe the necessary email marketer skill set or expertise, we'd have to include:
- General marketing
- Conversion optimization
- Design and branding
However, in order to inform, retain, and succeed in email marketing, there is no real need to combine all of these abilities. Email has come to rely on automated tools, and marketers are tool expert rather than experts on the modern manager and marketing expertise. As it turns out, thousands of frustrated marketers are working with email building platforms that the consider inadequate for various reasons. In fact, many people feel like they are wasting their time learning and working on these email platforms as they just don't seem to cut it.
A collaborative environment
Collaboration is something that was not in the making of email years ago and is now the key to how people work. Even small teams working together on email campaigns are trying to make decision making and collaboration across multiple devices more efficient.
CRM-like email management
Being able to build emails in a system that also serves as a CRM for email management is often the difference between wasted time and a profitable company.
Most common email marketing solutions do require users to learn at least basic HTML. This coding skill is required in order to change things up and make an email template. If you don't have HTML for your email coding experience, you'll be stuck as soon as you need help with something small.
Email preparation - tool, provider, usability test
Today's popular email platforms are built for most tech people: usability testing has never been a focus of those applications. Yet it is important for users of those applications to be able to quickly and easily send test emails. This is necessary to verify the functionality, personalisation, mobile responsive content and the design's UX.
Working across multiple platforms can make your emails leak: the messages will look bad and you will lose or fail to retain revenue. Combining and integrating your services can solve all these problems.
If your product team includes content writers, developers, translators, designers and marketers, you may find it difficult to address brand sustainability. Make sure you've got a tool that makes it easy to check your output against the brand, style and technical guides. Such tool is only one source of truth.
Identify a platform that can scale with your business. Plan for teams in other markets or facilitating internationalization and localization. Then find a tool that fits your goals. The goal of using an email platform should be to double your team's capabilities and to identify those areas where your core competencies aren't complete. Marketers are rarely design experts, so it's best to find a platform that can guarantee on-brand emails no matter who's using it. Not all marketing teams have expertise in coding, so it is essential for an email platform to provide the quality without forcing users to rely on external help for coding.
In the same vein, your builder platform should measure your customer reach. It should give you access to email marketing techniques that you haven't tried yet. You should be able to experiment with image carousel, coupons and countdowns and to explore what AMP can contribute to your conversion numbers.
Errors and damaging bugs
Like everyone else in this corner of the world, as some point you sent an email using the wrong merge tag, maybe even with a bad subject line. Quality assurance often eats up the email production budget. This is because of the difficulty of sending test emails, but also because of bad UX in the email software. This too often leads to public shame and loss of customers -- think of brands using sensitive consumer information.
Flawless identification processes
Remember that email messages go to businesses and departments that have firewalls. Make sure the email plarform and CRM features that you use have clear and solid authentication processes.
Dark mode on!
Dark mode is a feature to be expected. The bottom line is: plan carefully and avoid sending too many confusing and strange email visuals.
Simple UX Testing
UX Testing (a.k.a. visual or interaction testing) is one of the most problematic areas in the email marketing process. UX testing verifies that users are sending pixel-perfect emails which work every time the audience is interacting. Make sure that your email tool has this capability to test the user experience, so that it can correct emails before they go out.
One of the great features of modern email communication is interactivity: users can swipe, vote, click, play or communicate with the sender right from the email. If you use an email marketing builder platform that doesn't allow these interactive features, you are on the losing side.
With most of the world moving to mobile email usage, fast loading and clean-coded emails can be successful in getting and responding. AMP compliance is key to boosting email performance metrics.