Since Marketo's email editor is obviously terrible...
What other email editors do people use to get anything done?
Do you have experience building emails? Many people have had success with Email Editor 2.0 Make sure you've reviewed Email Editor 2.0 - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation
Have you looked into Litmus or Email on Acid? Both offer email builders along with the ability to test your emails across devices and email clients.
We are using 2.0.
I'll check out Litmus and Email on Acid. Seems odd that Marketo's email builder is so limiting and cumbersom to use compared to many others out there.
What exactly are you trying to accomplish with Email Editor that you are having issues with? Are you trying to add new modules or are you just trying to make basic edits to the emails?
See my response below for one example.
We're developing a drip sequence. We wrote text and we're porting this into some of the templates marketo give you. Formatting text was hard. Moving text up or down within a block, especially when there's a background image, seems impossible to do via the editor. Removing some elements seems impossible. When you upload an image, it has to be the perfect pixel ratio. Then, if you change the size of the text on top of the image and length of the text, the image gets distorted.
I imagine if you kept to the exact same parameters - same string lengths. Same size photos, they'd work fine. It's deviating even 25% from these that seems to make things fall of the rails.
My colleague and I both ran into issues - and we are by no means new to email marketing, wysiwyg editors, or the like. Image resizing, trying to remove text from templates, after a few hours, we were considering hiring a full time designer because we'd pretty much not gotten anywhere...
Hey David - totally appreciate how frustrating all those issues must be. Examples are helpful.
What you're encountering are issues that are not the result of Marketo's email editor being a bad editor, however, but the email template that you're using not being built to enable the kind of changes you'd like to make, or the degree of control you'd like to have.
Sounds to me like you'd benefit from a more advanced and customised email template - all of the problems you list are problems that I don't have in my template because my template is designed to enable these functionalities/ways of working.
Going in echo what Grace said here. Actual email assets can be as customized as you want, and it all starts with the template.
If you want help with a truly customizable template with all necessary modules, a third-party can assist with creating that. I also have plenty of experience in designing custom templates and would be happy to talk over some possible solutions with you.
I'd also second that David - The email 2.0 editor is extremely powerful and can say without a doubt, as someone currently using both systems in different businesses, that it gives far more flexibility and control than HubSpot's editor. BUT it's only as good as the template you've got, and to create a really powerful template you really need someone with strong email HTML skills (note: I say email specifically, because it's not the same as building HTML for a web page) and probably some basic programming experience at a minimum.
I'd highly recommend if you don't have that sort of person in-house, you look at getting someone in to put together a custom template for you - we spent a fair bit of time developing our own template but ultimately it cut out about a half day of work per week over our previous process in terms of customizing and setting up different emails on a regular basis, so quickly paid off the time spent.
From an email template developer perspective:
The thing about Marketo's Email Editor is it can be as limiting or as flexible as you'd like. It all depends on how much of the Template Syntax is being utilized. With Marketo's Email Template Variables you can create settings for every module of a template that allows a lot of flexibility/functionality.
For example, changing the vertical alignment of text in a banner, you could utilize a drop-down list setting (mktoList variable) on the module that allows you to change it to top, middle, or bottom. Every aspect from changing spacing, font-sizes, colors, background images, swapping columns, it's all possible when you have a fully functional template that is utilizing what Marketo provides for custom templates. Almost anything an experienced email developer can do in email they can find a way to tie it to a variable/module setting.
I find that in Email 2.0 Templates, you can have a ton of flexibility, while locking down the most important code that could cause issues with email client compatibility/rendering.
At the end of the day, the Email Editor experience is solely based on how the template is developed.
Below is an example using a template variable 'mktoList' where there are options for top, middle, and bottom. That variable/setting is then tied into the template's HTML code to change the html style to match that setting, allowing the end user to adjust the vertical alignment between the image and the content on the right without touching the code. More information on the variables is located in the Marketo Docs here: Email Template Syntax - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation
Hopefully this helps clear things up, and most importantly that there may be more room to fully utilize the Marketo Email Editor.
After struggling with these same issues for many years and then trying Knak for a few years.... we were still underwhelmed balancing ease of use, flexibility and consistency. While Knac (and other solutions mentioned) offered a templated approach, we didn't find the flexibility and it was hard to get consistency across the different templates they offered (especially if you wanted to make small changes to the template). Then Stephen built us a single 'flex' template that can accommodate (nearly) endless versions of creating templates for each use case we needed. You can turn on/off elements on the master and save your own templates with ease. No matter how the team wants to 'customize' the look/feel - every email is consistent to the master. The team is happy and are no longer spending hours trying to make an email work as desired. I wish I would have done this years ago.
So I would agree with others... the email editor is only as good as the effort put into designing your templates. And the template needs to be built in a way that allows ease of use, without sacrificing flexibility and consistency.
(This is not our final flex template but a mockup we worked from to design/brand our own)