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2020 Holiday Marketing Wish List: What We Want in Our Inboxes Next Year

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to make our list and check it twice. That’s right: we’re back with our second annual Holiday Marketing Wishlist, where we unpack the things we wish Marketers would do (or stop doing) in 2021.We work with Marketing and Marketing Ops teams around the world every day, so we get a good idea of what other teams are doing and how it’s working. This list is full of expert insight from our CEO and CMO, so read on, and get a 2021 email marketing head-start, courtesy of your friends at Knak.

What we wish Marketers would do more of

✔️ A/B test to improve engagement. In our 2021 Benchmark survey, 82% of teams said they rarely or never A/B test their emails. In our opinion, this should be corrected immediately. How can you optimize your results if you don’t test what you’re sending out? Invest the time, and test send times, subject lines, personalization, CTAs, etc. Here are some A/B testing best practices to help you get started. 

✔️ Foster an environment of honest conversation. The platforms and processes you have in place do nothing to move your team forward if you don’t have buy-in. Make it a point to open your door to honest conversation so you can make sure that everyone on your team has the tools, skills, and support they need to be successful.  

✔️ Be creative. We recently chatted with a fellow Marketing pro who happens to be a 2020 Marketo Engage Champion. He said that he feels Marketing teams are too risk-averse, and as a result, creativity has taken a hit. We agree. The beauty of email marketing is that it’s always changing, so don’t limit yourself. Try out new design and campaign ideas, and A/B test them so you know if they work. 

✔️ Challenge the status quo. Just because you’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. Marketers are some of the most creative people we know. It’s time to use that creativity to shake up your approach to email creation and collaboration. 

✔️ Take care of your people. 2020 has been a challenging year, and it’s taken a toll on everyone. Take care of your team by checking in regularly and asking how you can help. Offer flexibility so they can take care of their families. Organize social events to help with isolation. Figure out what you can do at a team level to help everyone be healthy (physically and mentally) and productive as you kick off 2021.

What we wish Marketers would do less of

❌ Stop using old processes and technology. We get it: change is hard, and no one likes it. But it’s time to take a hard look at the way you’re doing things and ask if there’s a better way. Focus on known pain points, and rather than learning to live with it, look for solutions. 

❌ Stop hand coding emails (or using agencies to hand code emails). For real. Stop doing this! Potential for human error aside, it’s just not necessary. Coding emails used to require a specialized skill set, but email creation platforms make hand coding obsolete. Replace coding with efficient technology, and reinvest the time and money you save into strategy and creativity. 

❌ Stop paying for email templates. Email templates are an outdated way to build emails, but if your team is still using them, at least you can get them for free. Our library of premium Marketo and Eloqua templates is available for download – free of charge – so you can customize your own emails and landing pages without paying an agency to build or code them.

What we wish Marketers knew

👍 No Marketer needs to struggle with email HTML. Again, you don’t need specialized skills to get campaigns out the door. Building and coding emails can be handled by an email creation platform so you can focus on creativity.

👍 Marketing Ops pros don’t need to be involved in campaign execution. Instead, they should be focused on driving Marketing to greater efficiency and scaling operations as needed. Read more about the most efficient way to structure your Marketing Ops team here. 

👍 Creativity is your competitive advantage. Creativity can’t be automated, and it can’t be replicated by your competition. Foster and celebrate creativity on your team, and invest in technology that allows you to be creative at scale.

👍 Campaign automation is gaining momentum. This is a hot topic among Marketing teams, and we believe it will continue to gain traction in 2021. An increase in automation is great to a certain extent, but not when it comes at the expense of creativity and engagement. 

That’s our 2020 Wishlist! Hopefully you’ve gained some insight that will lead to a stronger team culture and more successful campaigns. If you need help, we’d love to chat! Reach out here, and find out how a platform like Knak can handle the heavy lifting of email creation so you can get your campaigns to market quickly and easily.

Tania Blake is Knak’s Marketing Manager, where she’s known for her strong attention to detail and unique ability to balance "process" with "getting stuff done". When she’s not juggling a million and one projects, you can find her cooking up a storm, doing yoga, or hanging out with her family.

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