Question for Marketo users that work with their colleagues in setting up emails. How far in advance do you require email copy and audience criteria before setting up the email campaign? Curious as to other companies best practices around that!
You're probably not going to like this answer, BUT....It's hard to give an exact number of days because of the number of variables that go into creating an email. One of the first variables that comes to mind is your approval process. At LeadMD we work with a range of clients...some have very lenient email processes where it's one person writing the copy and sending the email, others have to send to their legal team or executive leadership before sending the email. If the email requires multiple rounds of edits or people approving the email, it's best to get the email copy well in advance to accommodate that longer review process.
Another variable to consider is the person who is actually building the emails. If it's someone who understand the business and the system super well, and is agile enough to make an email on the spot, you won't need as much time. We have clients that we've been working with for years where we know their system inside and out. Plus, we PLAN to get ad hoc email requests...when we plan for that, we can get emails turned around in 24 hours. If it's a newer client where we need clarification on fields, we typically ask for a 3-5-day lead time until we are very comfortable with the business.
Hope that helps!
As a follow on to @Jamie's answer this truly is a function of organizational need and preference. I will say however that the second most neglected aspects of campaigning is QA and testing, and the first is context. I don't believe you can optimize anything without context and an understanding of exactly who you are talking to and what exactly you hope to accomplish. When we systematize things to a point we also remove the ability for our teams to enhance the success of these initiatives. For this reason I want everyone to ask "why?" and in order to do that effectively the 'who' of the campaign must be known before any operationalization.
Therefore my answer is to get the Who, What, Why, Where, When immediately upon campaign request.
As far as the rest I think that is solely dependent on organizational nuances.
We require final email copy and creative 2 weeks prior to desired deployment date. This does not include nurture campaigns, just webinar programs, outbound emails, landing pages, etc. We only make an exception when there's an urgent, time-sensitive request.
Very valuable information there from Jamie and Justin.
As an agency with multiple Marketo clients we have flexible responses. A deadline of any decent length (more than 2 days from brief) is always interrupted by 'emergency' ad hoc emails for which we encourage clients to approve templates that can be literally filled in minutes with the relevant content and assets.
Events and nurture campaigns with complexity obviously require longer to plan, build and execute and often dovetail with larger campaigns that may include offline work and large-scale ad campaigns.
Set turnaround expectations and work to good deadline targets that are set with the buy-in of all stakeholders and worked from your experience - but understand there will always be exceptions.