The digitisation of marketing shows no signs of slowing down and an increasing number of technologies are forming part of the marketing stack of companies in the financial sector. One of the main problems derived from this “technification” of marketing lies in operations, the set of tasks necessary to convert a plan, strategy or initiative, into a perfectly executed campaign/journey (on time and without errors).
Marketing operations are responsible for creating audiences, submitting tests, validating links, including tracking codes and other tags, converting designs into HTML pieces, writing the query codes so that the personalisation rules and dynamic content work correctly, etc. Without marketing operations, plans remain just plans.
One of the most stressful situations from an operational point of view occurs during the production and approval of the final pieces (emails, push notifications, in-apps, banners…). In the specific case of Email Marketing, another stress factor is the generally short production times. Although the campaign briefing may be approved several days in advance, the designs, links, UTMs, copies, translations, etc., usually arrive when the deadline for release is imminent. In a context like this, operational excellence will allow us agile and secure Email and Marketing Automation management.
Although each team in an agency or client will have its own modus operandi, there are three aspects without which an Email Marketing team will find it very difficult to achieve the desired operational efficiency.
1- Using a modular template
A modular template is an HTML matrix in which we incorporate all the design structures with which we plan to work in the medium term. These structures must be agreed between design, commercial and layout with the designs adhering to their blocks, otherwise, we will have to model from scratch every time we receive a structure which is new or outside of the parameters of that template.
2- Using the text whenever possible
Although the advantages of using text in emails instead of images have long been well known, it is common to find companies that continue to send emails only in images. In most cases, the reasons for favouring the use of text are based on usability issues, such as the ability to transmit content when images are blocked or to personalise content, which is so relevant in any communication between a bank and its client.
However, the operational efficiency, argument is hardly ever used, although it is a compelling one. One of the bottlenecks is found at the stage of revision and changes, fundamentally when due to last minute changes we have to modify copies (texts, prices, legal texts, for the different language versions. In a context like this, modifying texts instead of images would be much faster and more agile and would avoid an extra workload, whilst decreasing the chances of error.
3- Using the personalisation languages of ESP/Marketing Cloud
The benefits of content personalisation have been known for many years. The challenge for e-commerce and CRM departments in the financial sector from a marketing operations point of view is taking advantage of the information from each record (often hosted in different repositories) to create unique user experiences, a complex operation. However, most ESPs/Marketing Clouds have developed their own customisation languages (in many cases you can create queries directly in SQL) which will consult the values of a field in a table or database, and return a certain value (a text, a name of an image, a URL, etc.) to HTML.
Using these customisation languages, we can send the same email to 1 million different users, but display it in 1 million different versions. The intelligent and creative use of content personalisation is key to optimising the entire campaign management process for our clients.