Email marketing is hard. It's the highest ROI (38-to-1) but can be difficult to do right (to say nothing of coding, rendering, and other process-related bugs). As Marketing Coordinator at Litmus, I had the chance to sit in on workshops and sessions for our own The Email Design Conference Boston and enjoy a few days of amazing email geekery.
With so many different people a part of the creation process (for emails or otherwise) it's essential to try and speak the same language. Relationships make a big difference when it comes to getting work done. Good design takes time, but you need a clear idea of what you're doing beforehand—and you can't get a good idea of what you're doing if you don't talk about it. It all comes down to people, not just great design.
I attended Jenn Fernandes' workshop on optimizing your client services model, and what stood out the most to me was the emphasis on the dreaded 'P' word: process. This nugget from Rachel applies to everyone in every project. At the outset, have we determined who owns what? Where are the handoffs? Who needs to work together? We often get so wrapped up in the creative aspect of marketing projects that we forget about the details on how to get things done.
Design leadership is all about starting small. We think about strategy as this grand, life-changing vision, but what really matters is a clear idea of what to do next, and that might be a tiny step in the right direction. Every communication that your brand sends out conveys your email strategy. It's your voice, your cadence, and your organization.
Failure is so difficult. No one wants to make mistakes (or worse...have to tell the big boss about them.) We need to accept our mistakes and move on so that we can stop wallowing and start making email better. If we can't learn from our mistakes, we'll never get better.
The punniest talk of TEDC, Vicky emphasized the value of email marketing and the importance of permission. The ability to send email isn't something we should take for granted. We need to go back to what the customer cares about and what matters to them to send the best emails. We can't bait-and-switch just to push our products. No amount of revenue is worth jeopardizing customer trust.
More than anything, TEDC was about building better processes, making incremental changes, and focusing on bridging what the customer craves with marketing goals. What an incredible experience to see everything we planned coming to fruition. On to San Francisco!