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Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

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Guitarrista82
Level 4

Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

Hello Community,

 

A colleague and I were recently discussing emerging email innovations, and he mentioned the use of "email microsites". An article I read describes this as rather than introducing a static message, the email is more dynamic, allowing consumers to watch videos, view image carousels, browse product assortments and make product purchases without leaving the inbox.

An example of this is the image from an email below. It's interactive and serves as basically an image carousel. 

bqemail.gif

I'm curious if anyone has created this type of email using Marketo's Design Studio, and, if so, what was your approach? Was it effective? Did you learn anything?

 

Thank you,

 

LK

 

 

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Dave_Roberts
Level 10

Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

I'll be the first to raise my hand here and say this isn't something I would consider doing until there are some major changes in the email inbox universe. I think it's great to be pushing at the very edges of the technology, but there are some substantial barriers to something like this working for "most inboxes today".  We're certainly moving in that direction but most of the stuff that's out there now is REALLY dependent and too often that gets kind of "covered up" by all the excitement about "doing the thing" in an email.

 

Here's a clip from Litmus about the market support for html5 and css3 which, in my humble opinion, are still not "safe" (50%) for the mainstream channels of email:

https://www.litmus.com/blog/a-bulletproof-guide-to-using-html5-and-css3-in-email/


While support certainly isn’t universal, many of the leading email clients support HTML5 and CSS3. In fact, about 50% of the total market and 3 out of the top 5 email clients support them. Support may be even bigger for your particular audience.

 ... as far as I know, baseball batting averages (.333) are about the only thing that would be remarkable if it worked 50% of the time -- that's the stuff of coin flips.

 

If you've got a very specific audience in mind and you are sure they all use an inbox which supports html5 and css3 this might be something worth looking at -- but even then, you're dealing with a fraction of the functionality that you'd get by making a single compelling CTA and sending the user to a website. Demographics might also play a role in this depending on how the trends in email continue (or don't) to play out as user groups change their behaviors into the future -- maybe it'll make more sense for one group (us old timers who still remember email marketing) and maybe less for another (the new kids on the block).

 

From my POV, the more important piece to consider here is not "what happens when it works" (folks are delighted by the novel experience and clickity-click away) but rather "what happens when it doesn't". If you've ever gotten a really poorly delivered invite to an event or wanted to click a link but it didn't work you'll realize that the cost of thing not working is often more in terms of brand reputation and trust than the cost of delivering the bleeding edge experience in the inbox.

 

Another important consideration is that inbox scanners are getting better and better and "reading" email code and something like this (from a codebase perspective) is sure to sound the alarms to be flagged as "clearly a marketing email" (think Gmail's Promotions tab, but everywhere) because of the variety of techniques you'd need to use to achieve something like this (assuming it works in their inbox in the first place).

 

Overall, I really like the ideas that are laid out in the these articles, they're very forward-thinking and an email microsite sounds like it'd be a great addition to the email toolbox in the right situation. If I had to put a dollar down on it though, I'd bet this wouldn't be a thing (more than a yearly fad) anytime within the next 3-4 years -- and I'd pay a dollar to be wrong about it! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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4 REPLIES 4
Dave_Roberts
Level 10

Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

I'll be the first to raise my hand here and say this isn't something I would consider doing until there are some major changes in the email inbox universe. I think it's great to be pushing at the very edges of the technology, but there are some substantial barriers to something like this working for "most inboxes today".  We're certainly moving in that direction but most of the stuff that's out there now is REALLY dependent and too often that gets kind of "covered up" by all the excitement about "doing the thing" in an email.

 

Here's a clip from Litmus about the market support for html5 and css3 which, in my humble opinion, are still not "safe" (50%) for the mainstream channels of email:

https://www.litmus.com/blog/a-bulletproof-guide-to-using-html5-and-css3-in-email/


While support certainly isn’t universal, many of the leading email clients support HTML5 and CSS3. In fact, about 50% of the total market and 3 out of the top 5 email clients support them. Support may be even bigger for your particular audience.

 ... as far as I know, baseball batting averages (.333) are about the only thing that would be remarkable if it worked 50% of the time -- that's the stuff of coin flips.

 

If you've got a very specific audience in mind and you are sure they all use an inbox which supports html5 and css3 this might be something worth looking at -- but even then, you're dealing with a fraction of the functionality that you'd get by making a single compelling CTA and sending the user to a website. Demographics might also play a role in this depending on how the trends in email continue (or don't) to play out as user groups change their behaviors into the future -- maybe it'll make more sense for one group (us old timers who still remember email marketing) and maybe less for another (the new kids on the block).

 

From my POV, the more important piece to consider here is not "what happens when it works" (folks are delighted by the novel experience and clickity-click away) but rather "what happens when it doesn't". If you've ever gotten a really poorly delivered invite to an event or wanted to click a link but it didn't work you'll realize that the cost of thing not working is often more in terms of brand reputation and trust than the cost of delivering the bleeding edge experience in the inbox.

 

Another important consideration is that inbox scanners are getting better and better and "reading" email code and something like this (from a codebase perspective) is sure to sound the alarms to be flagged as "clearly a marketing email" (think Gmail's Promotions tab, but everywhere) because of the variety of techniques you'd need to use to achieve something like this (assuming it works in their inbox in the first place).

 

Overall, I really like the ideas that are laid out in the these articles, they're very forward-thinking and an email microsite sounds like it'd be a great addition to the email toolbox in the right situation. If I had to put a dollar down on it though, I'd bet this wouldn't be a thing (more than a yearly fad) anytime within the next 3-4 years -- and I'd pay a dollar to be wrong about it! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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Guitarrista82
Level 4

Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

Hi Dave,

 

Thank you for your feedback.

 

You provided some really great insight and perspective on why/why not to do this type of email.

 

I agree that the concern of what happens if the email doesn't work is important to consider. It definitely seems like this is more of a novelty than an effort that would produce results with real value. And it sounds like the effort to do something like this could far outweigh the benefits.

Dave_Roberts
Level 10

Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

Also, FWIW -- I don't think there's any kind of limitation about what you can do "in email" and what you can "in Marketo in an email" . The "Marketo" part of it is just an additional syntax to build the editable areas and such, but anything that would work "in email" (anywhere) should be able to be shipped from Marketo (as far as I've seen anyway).

Phillip_Wild
Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Has anyone built a "microsite email" in Marketo?

Agree, and this is important to note.

 

Can you build this with a Marketo templated email using only the editor? No. Can you build it by creating your own template and uploading the code? Absolutely.

 

Is it worth it? I agree with you @Dave_Roberts , probably not. For an entity such as Litmus (someone with a vested interest in being on the cutting edge due to their brand) it's worth playing around with. But the time to build this stuff is enormous, it's not really something that given you efficiencies since you are unlikely to do it often, and it's doubtful consumers even find it useful.