I've used 4 different marketing automation tools and I've been new to Marketo over the past few months and I don't understand why there isn't a drag and drop editor for landing page templates and email templates. I feel extremely frustrated because although I know some very basic coding, it's not nearly enough to do some basic things like move modules around or create a very simple landing page that just has a text box, a title, a form and a footer.
Also, I don't understand why there are two options to create a landing page template: free-form or guided. Both of them take you to the template code editor.
Am I just not finding how to build these templates in an easier way? Or is this really how Marketo rolls (you need to 1) be a coder or 2) hire a coder or 3) pay a third party?
One thing that can take a bit of wrapping your head around if you've worked in other platforms (Hubspot, to highlight one in particular), is that templates function slightly differently in Marketo. For me, it is something I really really like about Marketo.
Yes, working in the template requires developer knowledge, but working in the email editor generally doesn't - unlike a lot of other platforms, Marketo's email editor does allow dragging and dropping of modules (as long as you're working from a template that was built using the syntax to support it, like all the OOB templates are). Biggest plus of this for me is that it allows you to have one "master" template instead of a dozen different ones. As someone who does code, I found platforms like Hubspot enormously frustrating in this regard. In Marketo, I can have one "master" template with dozens of modules, and those modules can be included, excluded, ordered and duplicated however I want within hundreds of emails - with no need to code within those emails. Personally I find it so much more flexible and efficient.
So: yes, you can move modules in the email editor without needing to know how to code. If you can't do this, your email template needs syntax added to support this.
For landing page templates, yes working in the template is the same regardless of whether you choose free form or guided. It's editing landing pages built on that template that is a different experience. Free-form is more of a drag and drop editing experience (personally I don't like using it as I find it too flexible, I'm not sure how others on community feel), guided requires text areas etc to be included in the template (though they're still editable in the landing page editor). I prefer guided as I find it easier to ensure brand consistency and responsive use, though it doesn't allow for the same drag and drop reordering (however many of us will use module hide/show toggles as a bit of a work around here).
Most users do find that they eventually need a developer or a third party to create the perfect templates for their needs (and there are plenty of fairly affordable third parties with comprehensive knowledge of Marketo's syntax). I would recommend that you start off in the email and landing page editors working from the OOB range of templates and play around with the options available within the asset editors themselves to get a feel for how it works. OOB email templates can be selected on the first screen when you create a new email, and you can download some landing page templates to import into your instance here: Guided Landing Page Templates - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation.
Long but hope that helps a bit
See, that's part of my frustration, because my templates don't have the syntax required, which means I'd have to code that inside the template to be able to use the editor and drag and drop modules. I understand why you, as someone who codes, finds it better and more flexible, but for me it's very frustrating.
Part of the problem for me is also the fact that you have to make the templates be responsive, in other platforms, because I used their templates, I just had to click a button to make it responsive, and in Marketo I think I have to also code to make it responsive, otherwise it doesn't stack modules.
What is OOB (sorry, I'm still kind of new to this in Marketo). I'll definitely look into the link you sent and try to use these guided landing pages.
The lack of the required syntax is absolutely going to be the #1 issue for you, I can totally appreciate how frustrating the experience would be without it. But Marketo's email syntax is really powerful when used well. I second what's been mentioned by others here - the dirty secret of drag and drop editors is that they aren't really responsive. Accessing the code is the best way to be able to ensure your email looks great for all users and not just on your own screen. I strongly recommend investing in a tool like Litmus or Email on Acid on this front as it will help you ensure your email doesn't just look good on Apple Mail on Mac, but also works across versions of outlook, gmail, android, iphone... the list goes on. I'm not aware of any drag and drop, no coding required solution that is capable of spitting out an email that renders truly responsively.
OOB = Out of the Box
The long and short of it is that marketo does have most of the functionality that you're looking for, but you do require a developer/third party that knows how to unlock these powers by coding correctly, or will need to use the OOB templates to start with.
If you're interested in third party developer options, have never worked with either but have heard a lot of good things about the quality, speed and cost of Email Monks and Knak.io
Thanks Grace for the recommendations. I would also like to throw in another company that did an excellent job of design a customizable email template with many different layouts and is fully responsive - The Pedowitz Group, a Marketo Partner - https://www.pedowitzgroup.com/
One of our Support Engineers wrote some nice documentation on guided templates that might help you feel more at home with them.
There might be some confusions here because the term "email template" does not mean the same thing in all MAP products.
In Marketo, unlike other products, an email template does not contain real text nor real images, only place holders and all the graphical contexte (fonts and font size, colors, etc...). Creating those requires coding.
Using these, you can create emails with content in template programs. For instance a template event. this can be done in the WYSIWYG editor. Then you can clone template programs for actual scenarios (for instance an actual event) and edit the assets of this event in a WYSIWYG editor. The same applies to Landing pages. This 3 step mechanism makes in fact Marketo superior to all other products on the Market, because when you clone the program, you not only clone all the assets and workflows it contains but also all the links between these asset. This is a huge time saver.
Thank you for replying! I understand and really appreciate how programs work and the fact that you can clone them and it brings along all the program-related assets with it. I understand the terminology confusion, I was referring to email templates and landing page templates.
We do have a drag and drop landing page functionality: Create a Free-Form Landing Page - Marketo Docs - Product Documentation