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Emily Nash

By: Emily Nash on January 25th, 2021

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Exploring HighRoad's Template Pak

Email Marketing | member engagement | Member experience | Email Automation

mailto:demo@example.com?Subject=HighRoad Solutions - interesting article

Here’s perhaps the understatement of the century—sometimes email templates can be fussy. Who's with me on this?

I think it's fair to say that, regardless of the platform, as marketers we've all peeled back the HTML veil to try and retrofit and/or augment our templates.  We know what we want for our organization and our brand. We also know that sometimes technology just doesn't bend that way.

Understanding that time spent on marketing strategy versus template rewiring is always a better bet, we've created what we call the "Template Pak" for one of the leading email automation platforms we offer, Adestra.

If you're a HighRoad client on Adestra, you now have a tool that can help you  design modern looking emails with minimal time and energy. The template, which should already be sitting in your instance, takes a modular approach to help you build modern, effective, deliverable emails right within your workspace.

It wasn't built in a vacuum
So, let’s take a step back—why Template Pak? How could it help your association?
After studying the best in brand newsletters and email templates, and beta testing with associations, the Pak is customizable to fit your needs and reach your audience in new ways. 

Simply put—we know what works. We’ve done the research, we’ve asked the questions, and we’ve gone through countless rounds of testing. We're familiar with the work you do everyday, from production, to branding, to testing. Most importantly, we know the pressures you experience from leadership , program managers, and ultimately, your board.

It's mindful of your many hats
Let’s start with the creation of the email itself. For most organizations, the production cycle for a single email (from brainstorm to send) is more than seven days. That’s an entire week you could be spending one email, and it’s likely longer if you have a large team. Much of that time is spent defining your audience and goals, collecting and refining assets, determining the right CTA, and running drafts through reviews and approvals. We certainly aren’t advocating for putting your email program on autopilot and sending carbon copies of the same email template every time with a new subject line. What we are proposing is a modular approach to elevate your communications strategy.
Think of modules as the building blocks of your email. These could include your logo and banner image, an event spotlight, a product feature, informational articles, and more. By establishing a consistent yet dynamic experience, modular email design can increase efficiency, readability, and deliverability. 
It's DNA is best-of-breed
The Pak is designed with industry trends in mind. Here are some fundamental principles that anchor it's design:
  • Break up text with hierarchy, images, and buttons: Text-heavy or text-only emails simply don’t drive outcomes or create engagement compared to their dynamic counterparts. That’s why you’ll find your modular template includes suggested headers, correctly-sized image spaces, and buttons to drive action. 

  • Focus on outcomes: Sure, you want your emails to look great and stay on brand. But if they’re not driving toward your desired outcomes, what purpose do they serve? Our Pak will guide you toward linking content that continues the engagement outside of the email itself and drives results.
  • Design for mobile: E-newsletters originated as exactly that, a digital version of a print newsletter. However, your email design should not replicate a layout you’d use for a print piece. The template we’ve created renders correctly across all major email clients and device sizes, and it’s optimized for mobile viewing. 
Optimizing your Template Pak:
If you're an Adestra client and you're already intrigued by the endless possibilities of the Pak, here are some helpful tips to help you maximize your use of the tool:
  • Layer in your brand’s style: In addition to the template you’ll find in your workspace, you’ll also receive a custom style sheet to layer on top of your Template Pak. So not only can you tailor the modules to fit your needs, you’ll be able to automatically map your brand guidelines and style. 
  • Clone, customize & repurpose: Our goal is for the Template Pak to encompass all of the modules you may need across the different types of emails that you send. For example, you may need most of the elements in one form or another in your monthly newsletter email, but for a more specific email, maybe you only need two or three elements. The suggested best practice is to clone the template, customize the modules to fit your need for that particular communication, and then reuse it time and time again, replacing the actual content with what’s current.
  • Give it a shot: If you’re on the fence about implementing Template Pak, we’d recommend giving it a try with one of your lower-performing emails, or with an email campaign you’d like to change. You can even use the template as an A/B test to compare the modular approach to the approach you’ve used in the past. 

Ultimately, the goal of the Pak is to offer associations a comprehensive, modular framework that makes it easy for associations to create and send visually appealing emails that convert. But, in the end, it's just one more layer of functionality fueling the robust email marketing engine that is Adestra. 

To learn more about Adestra, the leading email automation platform for associations, schedule some time with us

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About Emily Nash

With a unique background in start-ups-to-studios, and consulting-to-corporate settings, Emily specializes in solving for unknowns, pioneering new services, and collaborating with marketers and strategists. In her community, she served on the board of American Institute for Graphic Arts as their Communications Director to help promote networking and mentorship opportunities for area designers and creatives. She’s also a co-producer for Rethink Association, a podcast for associations.