In our 2019 State of Email report, you told us that…you’re busy. It’s not uncommon for teams of any size to be working on multiple emails at the same time. In fact, teams of 11+ employees can have 21-25 campaigns in various stages of production. It makes sense, then, that finding ways to efficiently work with your stakeholders is key to getting messages to market.
Litmus Live Day in August focused on just that: weaving in collaboration throughout your email creation process. We’ve summarized a few of the high-level takeaways from our expert presenters, and spoiler alert: Templates play a big role.
Templates are a real time saver for everyone on your team
If teams are working on multiple messages at the same time, you already know that bandwidth is going to be a bit stretched, but the skill sets of your team also play a part. Chris Greufe, Sr. UX Designer with Duke Energy, is part of a two-person developer team that supports other internal departments. Over the last few months, they’ve put focus on building templates that gives power to each marketer and have already seen collaboration efficiencies grow:
- Template testing = less error. Each set of templates are tested at points along the way to ensure consistent rendering. As the marketing team picks up and customizes these pieces, they have confidence that the message isn’t picking up hidden errors or issues that become tangled and unable to solve over time.
- Making the process current. As teams scale in size, making the way emails are built becomes more important. Findable and accessible templates remove the need to send a base file to each marketer or designer each time. It also allows the developer team to make crucial updates for rendering, consistency, or compliance needs over time.
- Document, document, document. Chris’s team uses Litmus to not only build each template, but also to document key considerations for each module. Having details such as size limitations, character counts, hex colors and more as part of the code allows teams to immediately know what they have to work with, empowering them to bring messages to market efficiently.
Scott Epple, the Principal Product Manager here at Litmus, also shared details on how Visual Editor and the design library can efficiently help you create and maintain your templates. Read up on Visual Editor and the power it provides to you and your team.
Give your team ways to keep learning
One great thing about email is its ability to offer a new teachable moment with every click. The process of strategizing, developing, writing, reviewing, sending, and analyzing your campaigns is the best way to educate yourself on the power of a well-designed and focused message, regardless of your role. Annett Forcier, Owner of Email Boutique, provided insights on the power of collaboration and transparency at each step of the production process.
- Use a template or framework to “cross-train” your team. Not only does a consistent framework let your team learn more about what is, and isn’t, supported by email clients, it also serves a big efficiency gain by allowing members of your team to work without waiting. For instance, copywriters that know the limitations on character counts within modules can begin writing content that fits within those boundaries, even as other team members may still be finalizing imagery for the message. Templates can help keep your projects moving without one step waiting for the next, leaving your team to spend time working on messages outside of this templated process, or looking into ways to optimize campaigns in the future to meet your team’s evolving goals.
- Share the performance metrics of your campaigns with designers. An HTML developer knows how to build and test a message that functions in the inbox, but they don’t always know how well the message performed. Having insights into things like clickthrough rate, unsubscribe and bounce rates, and even email shares or forwards can help inform future strategies on changes to templates. Your developer or designer may not need to know every bullet point or detail you report on for your sends, but these few key pieces will help them make sure the frameworks they build are working in the inbox. Plus, we all like to know the time we spend on projects is paying off!
And given how templates were the star of Litmus Live Day August, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our latest ebooks on email templates, chock-full of info on exactly what you need to know to create a successful template!
Check out the one that’s right for you: The Ultimate Guide to Email Templates or The Ultimate Guide to Email Templates: Retail Edition.