sloth mode and email marketing

How Agile Email Teams Avoid Sliding into Sloth Mode


It’s International Sloth Day! Yes, there is an actual day devoted to the beloved, cute, slow-moving mammals who like to sleep and hang upside-down. But don’t use this day as an excuse to get lazy with your emails.

The sloth life is one of leisure, but it’s definitely not a model for creating and managing successful email marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, most marketing operations teams feel stuck in “sloth mode” when trying to move email campaigns from concept to delivery. 

Stensul’s research shows that 80% of brands report it takes at least one week to produce a single email. Meantime, Email on Acid discovered less than a third of the email marketers it surveyed are able to produce an email campaign in less than a week. 

Everything about the email creation and deployment process can feel as if it’s moving in slow-motion and upside down (especially to antsy executives). Creating a single email takes too much time. The review and approval process goes on forever. Testing is an afterthought if it’s even considered. Meanwhile, email marketing tools fail to integrate with other platforms, and offline collaboration is disconnected. 

How do email marketing teams steer clear of sloth mode? It takes a concerted effort across all stages. From email development and testing protocols to enabling collaboration across teams — marketers need to stay agile

Stensul and Email on Acid assembled the following advice to keep your email campaigns from entering sloth mode: 

Design an agile email creation process: No sloths allowed

sloth with a donut

Marketing operations teams are juggling an endless stream of requests when it comes to their email marketing programs. Some of us are stuck with ineffective solutions that fail to provide an agile email creation process. During email creation, copywriters and designers often work on separate platforms without any integration, and collaboration across teams is difficult at best.

With no creative guardrails in place, teams create emails on the fly. There’s little oversight to maintain brand guidelines and regulations. Plus, the lack of “no-code solutions” means you need a developer every step of the way to build – and rebuild – emails that need to be sent, “ASAP!” 

Email marketing teams find themselves stuck between a rock and hard place. They’re trying to move campaigns across the finish line while managing an ineffective review and approval process. With so much confusion, the entire process loses momentum and campaigns go straight into sloth mode before they even have a chance.

What if there was an easier way? One that embraced an agile email creation approach?

Stensul gives marketing operations teams a single platform that is accessible to everyone in the marketing organization. With a no-code platform, teams can create emails in a collaborative environment following built-in guardrails to keep everyone within brand guidelines and regulations.

By offering a truly agile email creation platform, brands are able to create emails in less time without adding more staff or sacrificing quality. Campaigns go from concept to delivery in a streamlined fashion, and everyone is much happier. 

Keep your email testing as agile as email creation

sloth looks at email analytics

Just like the email design and development process, marketing teams must avoid sloth-like behavior when it comes to testing and deploying emails. 

According to the Email Errors survey, 60% of teams who skip testing have sent at least one email with a costly mistake in the last year. The survey also found that most email marketers who do pre-deployment testing tend to use a manual process. They send emails to colleagues and ask them to check it on different browsers, clients, and devices. Unfortunately, that still leaves lots of room for human error.

“As team size increases, so does confidence that emails are error-free. Heavier senders – brands that send more campaigns in a shorter amount of time – are more likely to send mistakes in emails.”

Error Emails: The Definitive Report (Holistic, Email on Acid, 2020)

According to Email on Acid’s report, “Copy errors, wrong links/CTA, and wrong audience are the most common errors.”

To keep email testing and deployment tactics right-side-up and agile, marketing operations teams must move beyond manual processes. Email redeployment testing is an area that’s ripe for improvements.

Email on Acid’s platform provides email readiness features designed to automate the pre-deployment testing process. It includes a collection of email team management tools such as custom profiles and collaboration features. The automated Campaign Precheck predeployent checklist does the work for you. That means your email team can focus on improving strategy and design.

Collaboration is key to avoiding sloth mode

The real test to avoid sloth-like email marketing tactics is collaboration. While sloths tend to lead solitary lifestyles, email marketing teams must collaborate. An agile email team has to work with other departments or business units. By enabling clear communication across functions, email campaigns can move more quickly through the production process with everyone on the same page and aligned to the same goals. 

The only way to establish an effective collaboration process is to implement email marketing platforms that are accessible to everyone. No-code functionality, intuitive user interfaces and wide integration capabilities are a must when selecting technology that fuels collaboration. This is especially important as marketing teams and enterprises at large adopt remote workforces. 

Stensul and Email on Acid both designed their platforms to provide a collaborative work environment – not only for the marketing operation teams managing email marketing programs, but anyone within the organization who may be involved in the process. 

Speed and automation doesn’t mean error-laden emails

Some marketers may fear adding platforms meant to speed up the process and automate tasks will only lead to a higher rate of email errors and missteps. But to survive in today’s economic climate, speed is imperative. As McKinsey recently reported, faster organizations outperform others by a wide margin when it comes to profitability, operational resilience, and organizational health and growth. 

The truth is, moving fast doesn’t mean you have to break things to accomplish your objectives. Tools designed to enable speed and automation reduce the risk of mistakes that occur when you’re email marketing processes are stuck in manual. Automated processes are consistent and repeatable.

Implement email platforms that enable agility and productivity

sloth waves hi

To truly avoid email marketing sloth mode, marketing teams need agile platforms that enable productivity while reducing errors.

With so many email marketing platforms to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Stensul recently reported on Workfront’s Global Marketing Survey, which found 75% of marketers are frustrated with ineffective platforms that fail to offer any value. 

A truly agile email marketing process is built on integrative marketing technology that allows teams to work in a collaborative environment with features that streamline the process. 

Stensul and Email on Acid are perfect examples of agile platforms that work together. Teams are able to build their email with stensul in less time using fewer resources and then quickly test their emails using Email on Acid’s email readiness platform, dramatically reducing pre-check routines and eliminating deliverability issues. 

When used in conjunction, these platforms do more than keep your email team from entering sloth mode. They also elevate your email marketing performance – saving you thousands of dollars in production costs while boosting the return on investing in email. 

Stop Email Disasters Before They Strike!

It’s an email marketer’s worst nightmare. You hit the send button and an important campaign goes out with an ugly, costly mistake. Make sure that never happens with our email readiness platform. Optimize your campaigns and fix mistakes – even if you’re not an HTML pro! Keep clients and customers happy when you deliver email perfection. See how it renders before you send with previews from 100+ email clients and devices.

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