Like most other companies that have been sending email marketing campaigns for over a decade, for many years the production process at my employer has involved manually creating and editing HTML files before uploading, testing, and sending through Eloqua. If after the upload to Eloqua, major edits and/or layout changes needed to be made to each email, the HTML file would have to be edited outside of Eloqua and reuploaded. This process was both inefficient and required specialized HTML coding knowledge, resulting in bloated production costs to the business. Through my Eloqua Marketing Master and Luminary training, I was introduced to many of the Eloqua tools that helped to eliminate or vastly reduce some of the time and labor costs in email production.
The Challenge: Our Marketing Automation team did not have the headcount to manually build all the HTML emails required to support the business. The previous solution was to have Marketers outsource the email production, which was costly and involved a high turnaround time, even for small changes.
The Goal: The main goal of the initiative was to drastically reduce (-50%-75%) the need for outsourcing email production, as well as to reduce the turnaround time for email production and testing, and to give Marketers without coding knowledge more control over their emails.
Current State Documentation: Through analyzing turnaround time for production tickets, we were able to determine that the average production time before the strategic initiative was 3-5 days.
Under a new strategic initiative, my team decided to migrate from manually built HTML emails to “modular” emails using Eloqua’s Email Template tools. Combining the functionality of modular templates with dynamic content, we are able to create more personalized and targeted emails more efficiently and effectively.
- Meet with stakeholders and agree on our main goals, processes, and timelines
- Using Email best practices, build and test HTML Template with Eloqua Tags (example: <div elq-delete="true" elq-edit="true">)
- Roll-out of new templates and on-boarding Marketers to migrate from manual HTML emails to templated emails
- Analyze template performance and user experience (Eloqua Analytics Insights and stakeholder surveys)
- Iteration and improvement of email templates.
Using email templates, Marketers now have the capacity to easily create their own customized branded emails, eliminating the need for external email production assistance, and greatly reducing the lead time necessary for the Marketing Automation (MA) team to build, edit, and QA emails.
The key advantages of using email templates are:
No html/css code knowledge is necessary to use the email template
Teams with no email technical support can create and edit their own emails
MORE SEAMLESS TEAMWORK
Handoff is made extremely easy by sharing a unique Eloqua link.
Multiple people can view and/or work on the same email without the back and forth of emailing HTML files, reducing email volume and ensuring multiple versions are not being created or edited, decreasing inefficiencies caused by duplicate efforts.
IMPROVED TESTING & ITERATION
Marketers are now able to create, edit, and test emails, allowing for multiple revisions and iterations without the added production time of sending work requests to internal or external teams. By testing emails themselves, marketers can spot errors and tweaks before handing off the final versions. This dramatically reduces production time by eliminating the repetitive testing and approval process for emails that require only minor changes.
75-90% Elimination of Email Production Outsourcing
Time Saved: 50-75% Production Time*Turnaround Time: < 1 day (vs 3-5 days)
*Production Time Includes: QA, testing, campaign set-up, and elapsed time (avg. 1 day each) between testing(s), edits, and approvals (vs previous 7 days).
Rather than wasting time translating changes for an outside reader with lengthy word docs, screenshots, arrows, etc., Marketers can make the exact changes needed directly in the email, increasing efficiency and accuracy and reducing lead time and frustration.
Relevance (Right Time, Right Message)
Marketers can now easily add or edit messages themselves, helping to ensure they are providing their audiences with the most relevant, timely, and engaging content.
Although migrating to Eloqua templates involved quite a bit of work initially, including creating the templates, drafting process documents, and training marketing stakeholders, the end result of vastly easier, more efficient and timely email creation and editing was well worth the effort. I look forward to exploring more email design features as Eloqua rolls them out.