Elliot Ross, Email Evangelist at Taxi for Email, explains why bringing your email management together is the best way forward.
Over the past two years, our working lives have changed into something we have not ever known or dealt with before. This is even more true for email marketers. They’ve not only had to undertake more work due to increased demand, but they’ve also seen their working styles change as strategy, communication style and pressure to increase email marketing’s contribution to the business ROI have taken front seats.
It’s more important now than ever before to have a consolidated email marketing operation in order to meet these new business goals and ambitions. But what if you have a siloed and decentralised team making these changes harder than they need to be?
What is a decentralised team, and do I have one?
A team that is not set up to work in an optimised and unified way to achieve the desired business outcomes is what we would call decentralised. In the vast majority of cases this is entirely unintentional and often can be the case in larger organisations, where there are multiple marketing teams or a single marketing team split across different geographical locations.
This “distance” can lead these teams to take on different working processes to one another to achieve the same goals – which makes it tricky to work closely with one another when needed, and can ultimately cause issues and delays, and errors and inconsistencies.
Four red flags that you have a decentralised team:
The benefits of centralising
Here's why we think centralising your email marketing is a great step towards a better email workflow:
1. Improved project and time management: If everyone is working in the same tools and with the same processes, and transparent in their working, quicker and more informed decisions can be made and a more collaborative team will be built.
2. Increased visibility: Managing projects will become a lot simpler and delays easier to avoid if everything is in a shared tool. This will also move your team away from repetitive manual processes and will free up more of their time to focus on personalisation, segmentation and behavioural targeting.
3. Email stacks in one central location: Your team can all share the same resource, whether bringing in something new that works to this end or being more clever about how you use your existing tools. This might be concentrating their uses in specific parts of the workflow, or saving money by getting rid of one/some altogether (especially if there is another equivalent being used already).
4. Tackle bigger goals: Ensuring your email marketing is organised, streamlined and agile will provide foundations for your team to do greater things.
How to start centralising your email process
Step 1: Outline the goal! Remember that you’re looking for a solution that supports a better process, not trying to plug the gaps on the current one.
Step 2: Give your team a common space to share ideas and discuss ways of working. Probe your team with questions like what are the key frustrations at the moment, Where do your team suffer most in your current process, and Where are the bottlenecks that are stopping you from moving quickly? Then build out a list that you can use to start building a better process, addressing these questions.
Step 3: Map out your current workflow, highlighting the action points and timelines needed to complete each stage. What information needs to be provided to start? How long does it take to create a first proof? Who needs to approve what and when? This will help create an understanding between email operations and the rest of marketing and the wider business.
Step 4: Look at what systems and workflow tools your organisation already has in place. You may find there are already tools being used elsewhere that will help you achieve your new goal.
Lastly: A good QA process helps you spot mistakes when they happen – but a good Email Design System prevents you from making them in the first place because you can set controls you couldn’t set before. Sound out this idea to your email coders and developers. We all know the challenges when it comes to sending an email: from planning your message to designing and coding, to testing and approval. So why add more strain by having several different tools, communication channels and sign off processes, when it can all be centralised into one, which will allow for better collaboration, giving you and your team time to take a more progressive and sustainable approach to email marketing.
By clearly outlining your email goals, mapping out current workflows and simplifying processes into one, you can create a better experience for your audience, in turn improving on engagement and conversion and increased ROI.
Check out this guide on how to structure an email system in 5 easy steps. An Email Design System can help your team create high-quality, on-brand emails that can be made by anyone, at pace and scale, and without risking any branding mistakes.