Mind your QA Process

Level 5 - Champion

Whether you’re building one, dozens or hundreds of campaigns a week, there’s always room for error when building detailed Marketo Engage Programs. How do you stop an email from going out to the incorrect audience or ensure you have the proper brand elements in your emails? Getting a Quality Assurance (QA) process in place helps you mitigate these gotchas as you move forward.

 

IDEAS TO GET STARTED

Here are a few ways you can introduce these checks into your QA process. You don’t have to introduce them all out at once but think of ways you can start small to add these steps into your existing process.

 

Campaign Requester reviews

This is one of the easier steps to implement and most likely something you may already be doing. Have the person who requested your campaign review the email, the Smart List filters, audience count, and any other assets for accuracy. Make sure they review that the content is correct and that your audience size is appropriate. Sometimes they are closer to the audience than you may be, so rely on them for their expertise.

 

If your team is the one generating the campaign, can someone else on the team review and check that your information is correct?

 

Proofreading/Brand Quality review

Having a proofreader review your campaign assets for grammar and brand consistency takes the quality of your campaign to the next level. This step ensures proper punctuation, capitalization, and trademarks are accounted for throughout your campaign.

 

You may not have someone internally who can assume this role, but we’ve developed a relationship with a freelance proofreader to fill this gap for us. You may not be able to adopt this step for all campaigns due to resources, but you could add it for more high-profile campaigns to help ensure accuracy.

 

Marketo Program review

Our Marketing Automation team checks the nuts and bolts of every Program set-up for accuracy and tracking. We have a check system in place where someone else on the team reviews the Program to ensure that not only does the email and external facing assets look good, but the back end processes are working the way they should. We look for:

 

  • Program Set-up – Are proper Tags selected and Period Cost set? If applicable, is the SFDC Campaign Sync set up?
  • Token usage – Are we using the right Tokens and are default values set? Are the tokens populating properly when the email is sent from the program?
  • Email set-up – Are links working? Are mobile and text versions set-up?
  • Smart Campaign Smart Lists – Are your Smart Lists set-up correctly and contain the correct filters? If you’re using advanced filter logic, is it organized properly? Is your estimated send count correct?
  • Smart Campaign Flows – Are the correct links and email assets referenced? Are alerts sending to the correct people?

Some companies will also have the program reviewer schedule the emails to send, but this is a personal preference depending on your team resources.

 

INTERNAL BUY-IN

As your QA process evolves, you may need to get buy-in from internal stakeholders. Adding different QA steps can make your project timeline longer, so it’s important to explain each step through training and documentation. This way your stakeholders will understand the importance of each step, the reason behind your timeline, and how it protects everyone on your team.

 

Establishing service level agreements can also be key in setting the expectation for your QA process. This allows you to lay out each step and the amount of time each should take. With this in place it can help stakeholders understand why their campaign launch date might slip if they take longer than anticipated to respond. It’s important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to timelines and execution.

 

Here’s an example of a service level agreement for a basic Marketo Engage email send:

  • Day 1 – Campaign Intake
  • Day 2-3 – Campaign set-up
  • Day 4-6 – Campaign Requester Review (2 days)
  • Day 6 – Proofreader Review (1 day)
  • Day 7 – Marketo Program Review and Launch

For more advanced campaigns, like integrations or webinar programs, you can create a separate service level agreement, but this is a great starting point.

 

START SMALL FOR GOOD RESULTS

Our Quality Assurance process has evolved over the last few years and it didn’t start out with all these steps. By adding QA steps, you can ensure your Marketo Programs are vetted from beginning to end and your customers are getting the best experience possible.

 

How do you QA your Marketo campaigns? What did you first introduce in your QA process? Let us know in the comments and any tips you would give someone just getting started.