Would your Master Email Template pass our testing?
When working well, the concept of a Master Email Template should fade into the background because it’s so ingrained in your marketing processes. This means other teams don’t request designs with modules that don’t exist. This means, your team knows exactly which Master Email Template is truly the ‘master.’ And this means you don’t have to worry your Master Email Template won’t render images or certain buttons incorrectly.
Perfecting your Master Email Template, and arriving at this transcendental state, requires a blend of people, process, and tech.
As a marketer, Master Email Templates are probably either something you’re so glad to have or the bane of your existence. If you’re in the former group, jump to the section below ‘tech’ to see how our checklist compares to yours. If you’re in the latter group, take a look through this article to see what you might be missing.
Step 1: Answer the question, who should be involved?
- Director or VP may not be using a Master Email Template day-to-day, but can offer directives and guidance for long-term planning
- Marketing Operations know the intricacies of your Marketing Automation platform, so they’ll be able to share best practices and will help you make the most out of any email template
- Field & Product Marketers have the most to say to your audience, so they’ll have an idea of modules they need and can provide input on specific requests
- Brand Team can help make sure your emails match the brand experience on your website and beyond
- Design Team or a freelance designer can put together template designs and provide redlining, so the developers know how to build
- Dev Team are the ones who will code your email template and answer the tough questions on what is and isn’t possible
Step 2: Think through the following questions.
- Do we have too many or not enough templates already? Or, put differently, how is what we have now serving our needs? And, what is currently lacking?
- Are we looking for standardization or maximum flexibility?
- How many different modules do we want? (Follow up – do we actually need all of those modules, or is there an opportunity to standardize?)
- Who is going to be building and deploying emails?
- Will most of our audience be on mobile or desktop?
- Have we locked in branding? Are we expecting any fundamental changes to branding in the near future?
Step 3: Pay attention to the details.
- A designer should be aware of this, but you’ll want to build for the standard 640px width for desktop and 340px width for mobile
- Have a hero image where the height is no larger than ½ the width (something your designer can also provide input on, depending on your branding specifications)
- Build so that CTA buttons are coded, rather than images—this will allow them to render, even if images are not enabled on someone’s email client
- Make sure your footer is CAN-SPAM compatible—a.k.a., provides an option to opt-out from receiving future emails (check out the full guidelines here)
- Customize the look and feel of the ‘View in Browser’ link at the top of your email—Marketo has a default option for this, but it likely won’t match well with an email specifically designed for your brand experience
- Consider whether you which root block element you’ll apply across your instance: <p>,<div>, or None—and confer with the dev team to make sure the template you’re building accounts for this
Step 4: Complete quality assurance checks.
Complete testing on different clients because not all email clients will render your email the same, or as you expected. Email on Acid is the platform we use, which shows how the email will work on different email clients and devices. What should you be looking for? Things like images and logos getting cut off or blowing up, CTA buttons the wrong shape or enlarged, and spacing issues.
Yes, it can be time-consuming to check how an email will display on ~50 email clients. Is it worth it? Also, yes. This is your opportunity to iron out any kinks and make your Master Email Template the best it can be. Email clients can be unpredictable, so by relaying back issues, this enables the developers to make small tweaks, for a flawless experience for customers, no matter where they receive and read your email.
Our quality assurance process extends beyond just testing on multiple devices. Interested to see how your QA process stacks up? Download our Master Email Template Quality Workbook to get started today.
Coming soon—watch for our Master Email Template! We’re creating a full HTML template that you can import directly into your Marketo instance and use right away. We are excited to be able to share this with you! Think you could use a hand creating a custom Master Email Template for your team? Get in touch. We’d love to help out!