Make Awesome Email

How email is made: the process

Different teams and organisations have different ways to make email. You might use different tools to do it. Depending on how many people are involved, how complex your marketing is, and what resources you have – this could take hours, days or even weeks.

Broadly, this is what happens:

  1. Brief/Planning

    Work out what you want to say and who to. What type of customers are you talking to? Can you use your sending tool to make a list of these using data you already know (for example, “people who have purchased at least once in the last 3 months”).

  2. Copywriting & Content

    Write the message, and pick out any content you want to add (such as product shots, links to places on your website, discount codes, external links)

  3. Design

    If you have a design team resource, they might design a flat visual in Photoshop or similar. You might also use other tools like a WYSIWYG editor, where you’re manipulating some pre-built building blocks.

  4. HTML

    If you have a developer resource, they might take a visual design from Photoshop and built it into HTML. If they’re doing that, be aware that HTML for email is different to HTML for the web. If you’re using a WYSIWYG editor, this step might already be done — your sending tool will give you the HTML (though be aware that sometimes, this can be bloated or have other support issues)

  5. Setting up on your sending tool

    You’ll need to add your final HTML code to your sending tool, add things like personalisation, tell the tool which segment or audience gets which version of your content, and a few other things.

  6. Send

    This is the scary bit! But you can make it less scary by being prepared. We’ll talk about this later on in more detail.

  7. Analyse

    In email, as a baseline, you’ll be able to track who opened, who clicked, and what they clicked. You might also have extra things like conversion tracking, which build up a picture of all the messages someone has received and what led them to whichever goal you want them to hit. (Spoiler: sometimes marketers are too busy to pay much attention to this, but it’s invaluable for guiding future work)

Getting sign off

One tip on approvals — If you’re working with multiple people, you might want to clarify with them where they’re comfortable giving approval. For example, getting things like content agreed early on helps you avoid mistakes and extra work later on.

Doing this all a bit better

This process can have pitfalls that can lead to mistakes or lots of time being wasted — for example, if content is created independently of the design (often into Word documents or spreadsheets), it often doesn’t work as well in context.

Likewise, creating new design and HTML for each email campaign can lead to lots of repetitive, similar work. So some brands and teams move towards having a modular template (we call them Email Design Systems) that have all the building blocks your brand needs. This means emails can be designed and coded once, and the work reused over and over. The freed-up resource is then free to make things even better on top.

We built Taxi for Email to help organisations make email in a better way. The Taxi process helps your team unlock these efficiencies, and helps systematically remove ways things can go wrong — making the job of making email quicker, whilst also helping you do things to a better quality.