Category - Uncategorized

Infographic: Who’s Who at the 2016 Marketo Summit

This year’s Marketo Summit features over 100+ LaunchPoint Partners who will be showcasing their latest solutions and services to help the modern day Marketo marketer.

It can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you navigate the expo hall like a pro and find the partner that can help you.

Who else is excited for Vegas?!

Knak-Summit-Infographic-04.25.16

 

5 Exciting New Things About Knak.

At Knak, we’re always trying to make Marketers lives easier by making it simple to create beautiful email and landing pages.

Having created thousands of templates for over 25% of Marketo’s customers, we’ve received some amazing feedback from our fans. We released Knak at the 2015 Marketo Summit and have been working behind the scenes to make Knak even better.

Today, we’re excited to announce some enhancements to our app, which is only the beginning of a much bigger vision of Knak. Simple, made simpler.

So, here are 5 exciting new things about Knak:

1. Connect directly to Marketo

One thing we always talk about at Knak, is never having to look at HTML code again. Now, this wasn’t entirely true with the first version of Knak, since you did have to copy and paste the final HTML code from Knak into Marketo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 8.56.16 PM

Now, with our brand new Marketo integration, you can push a button and your brand new Knak template gets synced to Marketo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.00.28 PM

It’s so fast, you should probably wear a helmet.

Super-fast-helmet

2. Save template settings to your profile

Our initial release of Knak stored template settings in a cookie on your browser. This worked okay if you always used the same computer, but that wasn’t always the case. Now, you can save all your company details to your profile under the ‘My Knaks’ section. This is the foundation of an even bigger feature that we’ll be releasing shortly…

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.02.27 PM copy

3. See all the templates you’ve ever customized

Our template library showed you all available templates. But, if you wanted to see all the templates you’ve already customized, you can now see all of those in the new ‘My Templates’ section. This allows for easy editing, or syncing to Marketo.

Mytemplatesv2

4. Help yourself!

Billing, your account, invoices, used to be things that you had to contact us about. This is now available in a self-service portal available. If you need to add a new credit card, upgrade your account, or change the name of the person using the account, this can all be done from the new account settings page.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.26.52 PM

5. A glimpse into the future

Taking a spin through the new Knak should give you a bit of an idea of where we’re headed next. We started Knak with 1 goal – to make Marketo email and landing pages simple. And this release stays true to that vision.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

How to Create a Net Promoter Score Program in Marketo

Customers are the lifeblood of every company, yet many businesses don’t know if their customers love them or hate them. We’re about to show you how you can create a best-in-class Net Promoter Score program in Marketo that will find your champions and detractors alike.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an amazing way to determine customer loyalty. Bain & Company made this simple 1 question survey famous. You can read more about it here, but essentially it shows you your customers who are promoters (you want a lot of these) passives, and detractors (you want as few of these as possible).

Here’s how to create a Net Promoter Score program in Marketo… and in typical Knak fashion you’ll be able to do it all yourself, without the need of a developer or designer.

  1. Setup your Program
    We created a new channel for NPS score, so that we can use program statuses to view the overall opinions of our customers on knak. We defined program success to be 9’s and 10’s since those are what are considered to be ‘promoters’.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.21.02 PM
  2. Create new fields to capture NPS Score & NPS Comments
    VERY Important Note:
    Your NPS Score field, MUST be an integer field. Your NPS Comments field should be a text field. If you want these fields to appear in your CRM, you should make them there first and wait for them to sync over. We would also recommend you map them from the lead to the contact so that there is never any loss of data.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.25.45 PM
  3. Create your Form
    You want to add your NPS Comments field, and make sure it is a ‘Text Area’ field type. Remove the label and make the label width ’10’. Add the email address field, and make it hidden. Then you want to add your NPS Score field. Make that a hidden field and ensure that the Parameter name is ‘npsscore’. ****VERY important****Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.22.50 PM
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.27.37 PM
  4. Create your Email Template
    We just added a pretty awesome NPS email called ‘Dartmouth’ that you can bring from Knak into Marketo. Check this one off your list.
    desktop_1014x766
  5. Create your Landing Page Template
    Yep, we have this one covered too. This landing page template is called ‘LaFlamme’ and its available in our landing page library now. It also includes a fancy javascript library that allows people to change their score on their confirmation page.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.30.06 PM
  6. Update your Email
    For each score in the email, 1-10, update the link to your landing page, with a URL parameter structured exactly like this: ?npsscore=
    Here is a screenshot of what it should look like:
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.33.07 PM
  7. Send it out!
    Send out your NPS email and make sure that you follow-up on everyone’s feedback, good or bad! If it’s good, try and get them to promote your company on social networks if its bad, follow-up and show them some love.
  8. Bonus: Use advanced form settings to send people to custom thank you pages depending on their score. If they are a promoter, ask them to write a review on the thank you page. If they are a detractor, get them to schedule a follow-up meeting with you through a calendar tool like Calendly.

Good luck! It can sometimes be a little scary to ask your customers for their feedback, but the reality is it’s much better knowing about it… good or bad.

 

Animated emails, explained.

Animation is a great way to capture your viewer’s attention.

Everyone out there has a study about how many marketing messages people see per day. We’re not sure what the exact number is… but it’s a lot.

So to cut through adding an animation can help.

What do you need to do? It’s actually easier than you may think. Animated GIFs.

GIF is a type of image file that is unique in the sense that it can have many frames within one file. What this means is that you are able to achieve a video-like effect, without needing to use a video file. This also means it is supposed in both email and landing pages and consumed by pretty much everyone.

Adding an animation to your Marketo email or landing page is exactly the same as uploading any other image file to an asset. Simply upload it to your Marketo image library, and insert it like you normally would.

One thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep the file size down. The smaller the email, the quicker it loads. Maximum file size we would recommend for an animated GIF is 2mb’s. Less is more in this case.

Another thing is that people don’t want, is to have a seizure due to your crazy animated GIF, so keep it nice and subtle. That will go a long way. People pretty much ignore flashy things now, so subtlety is your friend.

This:

Animated-TT-header

Not this:

seizure_warning__flashing_rainbow_gif_by_crud41-d57hbli

 

And with that, hopefully you’re not on the floor. I need to sign off because I may have a seizure.

Your ‘Responsive’ Emails, actually aren’t.

Yeah yeah, we all know now. 50% of your emails are opened on mobile. Yadda yadda yadda. It’s getting old.

Even though a lot of marketers have adopted ‘responsive’ emails, most of them are not actually responsive… about 50% of the time.

giphy

Why? Well most developers code their emails using media queries. This is a CSS technique that resizes the content according to the size of recipient’s screen. The problem is that neither Gmail OR Outlook support media queries.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.21.43 AM

That’s a whole lot of ‘No’, no?

So, what do you do? Well, there is a solution. It’s called the fluid hybrid development method. And, it allows email developers to achieve responsive email without the use of media queries.

The best emails are coded using the fluid hybrid method. This method enables Marketers to ensure that their emails will look good regardless of the device they are being viewed on.

If you are a technical person and you would like to learn more about the fluid hybrid method, we would encourage you to read ‘Creating a Future-Proof Responsive Email Without Media Queries’ a blog post by Nicole Merlin, one of the creators of this type of email development and a good friend of Knak’s.

Nicole outlines the steps required to code using this method, in gory detail. If you don’t know HTML/CSS, be warned, this will be like reading a foreign language.

We asked Nicole to break how she accomplishes responsive design without media queries in layman’s terms, and this is what she told us:

“I’d say that fluid-hybrid is essentially a way of reverse-engineering emails to be responsive. They are made up of lots of stackable blocks that are held in place by a larger outer wrapper. As soon as that outer wrapper gets narrower, as when viewed on a small screen, the blocks start stacking… I think that’s probably the simplest way to describe it without getting technical.”

Simple, right? Well – bottom line, you need your emails to be developed with the fluid hybrid method… unless you don’t care about 50% of the internet.

giphy (1)

Beautiful Typography in Marketo Email and Landing Pages

It’s actually amazing how big of an impact updating your font can be. Steve Jobs was infamously known for being obsessed with fonts, and for good reason, the right font can take something from good to great.

There is often a lot of confusion from Marketers in terms of what is possible when it comes to changing your fonts from the ‘standard’ fonts that Marketo provides in the WYSIWYG editor.

We’ll give you a little background on fonts and how they actually work to help explain it better.

When you buy a computer, there is actually a bunch of font files saved on your operating system. When you read something in your email or on the web, the fonts are shown to you through properly by referencing those saved font files on your machine.

Here is a list of default fonts that are installed on PCs and Macs. The files in the middle are what are found universally regardless of the brand:

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.27.05 PM

As web browsers progressed, browsers started being able to download the font file on the fly, and then reference that file to show you the font in real-time. This is what enables you to see so many different fonts when you go from one website to the next.

So, to answer the original question, it is absolutely possible to customize your font in Marketo landing pages. When it comes to emails, because of varying support from different email clients, it’s a bit more complicated.

There are several font providers out there. Here are the most popular ones:

  • Google Font
  • Adobe TypeKit
  • Cloud.typography
  • Webtype
  • Fonts.com

Now, if you have a font that is not from a web provider listed above, don’t worry. You can still use it on your Marketo landing pages. You just need to upload that font file so that it is available for your visitors browser to download it and then convert the text to represent that font file for the viewer.

When we talk about fonts in email, about 50% of email clients now support web fonts:

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.26.56 PM

If you use Adobe Typekit, you’re out of luck (at least when it comes to using it in an email). Even though this is a ‘web font’ it is loaded through javascript, which is not supported in email clients. So you’re left with Google, font.com and webtype. There are more than enough options for you to find a very similar font to your brand font and go from there.

Now, since not ALL clients support web fonts, you’ll need a fallback font so that everyone can at least read your email. This is done in the code.

Bottom line: you should use web fonts as it will make your emails and landing pages much more beautiful, and even though not everyone will receive the identical experience, the people who cannot view web fonts won’t have a ‘bad’ experience, it just won’t be as good as the others.

Pablo Escobar: Email Kingpin?

Netflix just released their latest show, Narcos, and it’s receiving rave reviews. But before anyone was watching (or should I say, reading) the story of Pablo Escobar, they launched a pretty epic email campaign to get people excited about this new show.

Here is a video of the email:

Their use of animated GIFs in the email to achieve the movie-like effect is very impressive. Even more impressive is they manage to keep the file size down while having pretty impressive resolution and effects.

For those of you interested in getting more into animation in your emails, all it takes is to replace the typical JPG or PNG images you are using with a GIF file. GIFs are able to contain many images in one, which plays through and achieves the animated look that you can see in the Narcos email.

The biggest thing to be aware of is the size of your email. Although connections are faster than ever, people’s attention spans are also shorter than ever, so you’re email needs to load almost instantly to keep people’s attention. A general rule of thumb is to keep your animated GIF under 2 megabytes.

Knak templates fully support the use of animated GIFs anywhere that we have an image placeholder in our templates. Simply update the image URL like you would for any other image in the Marketo editor, and you’re off to the races!

Just don’t tell Pablo we let his secret out of the bag…

 

2015 Litmus Email Design Conference: Day 2 Takeaways

Day #2 and we’re back at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center to learn more about making totally awesome emails.

The day gets kicked off with a very analytical session from Matt Laudato from Constant Contact. Big data condensed down to give marketers some insights into what works best in email. Number of CTAs, where to place hyperlinks, when to send emails and the optimal email layout were presented. These are great tips to squeeze out that last little bit of performance from your email, but make sure you start with great content, design and development first.

Then, Fabio Carneiro from MailChimp presented what was in our opinion the biggest takeaway from Day #2. Marketers need to focus on satisfying all recipients, not only those who’s email clients/devices support media queries. Historically, it has not been possible to create ‘responsive’ emails for clients that do not support media queries, namely Gmail and Outlook. However, using a new development method called Spongy (or fluid hybrid) it is now possible to create ‘responsive’ emails without media queries. Fabio actually said it was ‘impossible’ to create responsive emails for Gmail, but what he showed in his demo looked pretty responsive to us! This is how all of MailChimp’s templates are coded and will be how all Knak’s email templates are coded as well. More information about this development method can be found here: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creating-a-future-proof-responsive-email-without-media-queries–cms-23919

Mike Nelson from Really Good Emails, showed us just that. He runs a blog called reallygoodemails.com, a place to go to get inspiration for your next email campaign. Basically Matt shows off the best emails in the universe (that he’s received in his inbox). He ran through some of the best emails he’s seen over the last little while featuring the likes of – Litmus, Shopify and others. 2 out of 5 from our recent blog post on ‘5 Companies that Send Awesome Emails‘ – not bad!

Ryan Merrill from Food52 talked about the use of templates! A subject that is near and dear to our hearts. Ryan was struggling with people with limited experience with HTML and CSS who needed to produce their emails. As a result he was spending hours and hours of his day troubleshooting messy and broken HTML code. Finally he got tired of it and built his own template tool. Marketers still need to go into the HTML, but with building blocks Ryan created, it made it much easier for them to crank out all the emails they needed to.

The day wrapped up with a panel session featuring some of the speakers from the conference. It was a good way to wrap up the day and the conference. What a blur! It went by so fast. We definitely want to give a shout out to Litmus for hosting an amazing event. We will definitely be coming back next year!

2015 Litmus Email Design Conference: Day 1 Takeaways

Boston is the site of the annual Litmus Email Design Conference and the epicenter of the self-proclaimed email design and development ‘geeks’. The Seaport center plays host to a sold-out conference of hundreds of excited developers & marketers who are eager to learn the newest tips and tricks.

The mood is casual, with several ‘f’ bombs being dropped in the keynote. Animated GIFs referencing Back to the Future and Stepbrothers makeup the majority of the PowerPoint backgrounds. There is no talk whatsoever of what Litmus is doing with their product (you can checkout the booth for that), just engaging, funny and seriously informative content.

The main takeaway of the keynote was that email developers should be proud of what they do. The stigma seems to be that developing for email is looked down upon by web developers. This is mainly because of the many restrictions caused by needing to serve up content to a plethora of email clients and mobile devices. Email developers need to be creative to get around the many limitations and learn to ‘MacGyver’ their code.

Each email client has its own set of challenges and a common theme for the day was that Gmail is a pain in the butt. Gmail does not support media queries, for example, which is a key development technique to achieve responsive email design. Apple mail on the other hand seems to be the complete opposite. Supporting web fonts and the ability to make emails interactive.

There was so much good content from today, but we tried to boil it down to some key takeaways from day #1:

Interactive email is going to change the game

Mark Robbins from Rebelmail gave a mind blowing presentation on what is possible using CSS hacks in email to get into some serious uncharted territory. He showed one example where the recipient of an email was able to modify their shopping cart, change the color of a shirt, and actually check out, all from within the email. Other things like being able to scroll through several hero banners was also displayed. We’re definitely thinking scrolling through images would be a nice feature to include in the Knak templates.

Web font support in email

Let’s face it, web fonts just look much better than standard HTML fonts. The problem historically was that not all browsers supported these fonts. Now, with some clever coding, its possible to achieve the best of both worlds. This means that we can provide some beautiful fonts to the majority of the audience, and still have some decent fallback fonts for everyone else.

Templates

In one presentation by Plow and Hearth, they talked about how the use of templates has enabled a very small marketing team to be able to send out 60+ emails per week. What was once actually an impossible task, was being done in the first day of the work-week thanks to their responsive templates.

Email Development is Hard

There are some ‘household names’ when it comes to the email development community. These individuals have been practicing their craft of email development for years. Think of it as someone who makes tailored suits. The same handcrafting, bespoke work is done by email developers in email development. So much time and effort needs to be made so that the email is simply perfect, across devices and clients and ‘fits’ each person perfectly.

We’re looking forward to day #2. Now, time to party!