Create Engaging Emails with Marketo's Definitive Guide
Need advice on how to craft the most engaging emails? Marketo has produced 150 plus pages of tips in an attempt to define the email marketing genre.


Engaging Email Defined

Organizations are no longer the gatekeepers of information because the Internet allows for a much freer flow of research and analysis. This is changing how companies interact with their customers or more precisely, it's changing how customers interact with companies they may want to do business with in some capacity.

Companies like Marketo need to make sure organizations know how to reach those customers, and using its automated email tools is certainly one of those ways.

But before companies go out and buy software from Marketo or any other vendor, they are going to want to take a flyer, metaphorically speaking, and Marketo has provided a veritable phone book instead. Beyond just a brochure, Marketo's Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing is a detailed analysis of what email marketing can do and how.

That starts with a definition of what engaging emails really are. They are trustworthy, always relevant, conversational -- not campaign based, coordinated across channels and strategic, according to Marketo.

Trust + Relevancy in Emails

Relationships are built on trust, and some level of trust needs to be established even over digital channels. That means building and maintaining quality email lists. Marketo spends a good portion of its report on this key step. Marketo is known for its lead generation prowess, and it was named a Leader in the most recent Garter MQ for Lead Management.

On the technical side, trust won't get organizations very far if the emails simply don't get through. That's why deliverability is also key in this regard. In North America, nearly 20% of permission based emails don't get through, and spam filtering techniques are only getting better. Google, for example, now segments emails into primary, social, promotions and updates categories.

Marketers won't have to worry about emails getting missed even in this configuration as long as the messages are timely, relevant, engaging, valuable and human, the report noted. There are, however, specific laws targeting spammers in the UK, Australia, Canada and the European Union, and Marketo gives the details on how to abide by the opt in requirements in those places, too.

Conversations + Cross Channel

Fortunately for marketers, the Internet is in fact making it easier to avoid any tactics that could be misconstrued as spam. Using search engines, it's not hard to find the information one is looking for, so marketers can be much more strategic in their targeting. It turns out that is a handy tactic, because no one likes to get blasted with unsolicited messages.

That mindset came out of the old direct mail methodology, where large amounts of information were disseminated not according to buyers' schedules but according to marketers. With targeted emails, all of that can be avoided, and if a message is triggered by a particular behavior performed on a website, it will be all that much more welcome.

Many email providers likely know this, but they often employ flow charts that dictate when an email is to be sent and what it should say. The problem is, customers don't always do what marketers are asking them to do. Once that happens, those flow charts become pretty useless, so Marketo has come up with a more automated, smart system to increase relevancy.

It's called the Customer Engagement Engine, and it more or less automatically manages the timing and sending of the right content, to the right person at the right time. Within this framework, Marketo allows customers to build customizable streams that can be set up to automatically send emails when certain behaviors are performed.

The streams can be defined for those at the top of the funnel or the middle, for example, fresh content can be quickly dropped in, and there's even alerts that will warn when content starts to run low. Rules can be defined as to when a customer should be moved to the next stream as they move along the funnel.

It's the closest thing we've seen yet to truly automating email campaigns, and the tool itself is fairly intuitive.

Create Engaging Emails with Marketo's Definitive Guide
Drag and drop fresh material into streams of content to be sent out based on targeted behaviors.

Moving to Marketing Automation

As noted at the top, this is an incredibly thorough guide, and we certainly can't cover it all here. Whether an email marketing novice or an industry veteran, however, marketers would do well to make this guide a part of their day to day operations. To recap, engaging emails should be trusted, relevant, conversational, coordinated with other channels and strategic.

Marketo, of course, thinks it has exactly the right tools to help accomplish this. It uses behavioral targeting to establish relevancy, help create relationship building conversations and can build coordinated multi channel campaigns. Additionally, it offers strategic analytics and customer lead management. Many email service providers only have tools for mass emailing and measuring open rates and clicks.

With advanced email tools like those from Marketo, marketers can consistently reproduce repeatable workflows, and that can help companies scale campaigns, focus more on creativity, and of course, save money doing it.