First and foremost, a good design agency is the best gift a marketer can be given. Designers are your friends – they take the ideas that you’ve scribbled down on notepads or have attempted to draw in Word and make them beautiful, magnificent works of marketing art. However, as we know, email design can bring it’s own set of challenges. In my career I’ve learned a few things about how to streamline this process and am happy to share with you my tips.
Give them the basics
Portraying a consistent message across all platforms is good marketing. Portraying a consistent image across all platforms is good business. Right out of the gate, make sure to provide the design agency with the following materials:
- Company colors.
- Company font suite.
- Full Size
- Brand Messaging requirements.
- Company tagline/slogan
- Product-specific verbiage
- Company culture/misc “inside” information about how you want to be portrayed
Give them some context
Knowing where you’re coming from can help you with where you’re going – this holds true with emails, too! When working with any outside team, make sure to provide them with some context to the project by asking these questions:
- What types of emails have you been sending out in the past?
- Event invitations?
- Thank you emails?
Pull all of these answers and assets together, then ask…
- What do you need to prepare for moving forward?
- Is there a strategy for sending more newsletters?
- Are your event managers looking to communicate with event attendees differently?
- Is the company re-branding soon?
Once you have all of this together, it’s important to keep the conversation open. Remember, your design agency is your partner!
Give them the low down
As marketers in Eloqua, we know that sometimes things just don’t work. So, let’s help out our designers and let them know about those peculiarities that we find every day in email marketing. Start with the list below:
- In-Line CSS is OK
Unlike other email marketing tools, Eloqua loves us and gives us the ability to do in-line CSS. Provide your design agency with everything above and this article – they should be ready to rock.
- Label EVERYTHING
Even the best of marketers aren’t HTML experts. Make sure to tell your design agency to label where those major attributes of emails should be changed by identifying them with the comment tag: <!–>
It is not supported on most email clients and Oracle Eloqua will prevent uploading HTML emails that contain <script> tags. So, before they dive into java, let them know that it’s just not going to happen.
- You can upload an HTML file or a ZIP file.
If you upload a ZIP, Oracle Eloqua will extract the files during the upload process. So, when getting those files from your design agency, DON’T FEAR THE ZIP!
- The maximum file size you can upload is 2.5 megabytes.
If your design agency is getting intricate with their email templates, don’t be afraid to pull them back in. If it goes beyond the file size, you’re plain out of luck.
- Make alt text your BFF
Not all email clients automatically display images. So, to save us all, make sure your design agency knows to add alt text to every image in your email.
- Always declare the doc type
Eloqua requires every email to have a declared doc type at the top of the page. If this isn’t done, the email doesn’t work! Make sure your designer has that <!doctype html> code at the top.
Give them a pat on the back
As with all projects, deliver these things in a clearly communicated way, and set some deadline expectations. It helps them and you! Make sure to send praise their way when it’s all delivered. Working with your design agency should be a partnership – don’t be afraid to re-work things if they’re just not working. Feedback and open communication is key to success!
What have you learned in working with agencies? Comment below so we can all learn.
If you have Eloqua and you need support with email strategy or building emails, please contact us! We love helping companies transform their marketing automation.