Creating your next newsletter should only take minutes, not hours. The best program templates allow you to implement tokens and easily create more scalable, dynamic content.
This is the Etumos approach to Program Templates and the tokens that make them work.
Ever run into the problem where creating new email casts or landing pages feels like you’re recreating the wheel every time, spending hours iterating on subject lines and font sizes that are wasting time and not adding value?
Creating new programs is a tedious process, often requiring the creation of a unique landing page, follow-up email, and thank you page (not to mention the time spent editing and testing). This type of technical workflow unfortunately lacks structure and organization, and is therefore impossible to scale. The solution? Fully tokenized program templates in Marketo.
Nearly every program that you create in your marketing automation instance (Content, Online Advertising, Email Blast, Lead Nurture Cast, List Purchase, etc.) has the ability to be tokenized, templatized, and cloned. Today, when we want to get an asset out the door, we simply clone a program template based on the channel we need, edit tokens on the top level, and all of the changes are populated instantly. We can publish responsive landing pages while saving hours with each new campaign.
4 Program Templates that should be in every marketing instance
Everyone working in marketing automation should have a fiery hatred of doing redundant work. Our recommended alternative to the hell that is redundancy? Program Templates.
Program Templates significantly reduce the time required to publish campaigns, automatically assign marketing program attribution, and reduce overall errors in creating marketing programs. Creating program templates with consistent landing pages, thank you pages, and fulfillment emails help to expedite program creation as well as ensuring that progression statuses are tracked accurately. (Note also that programs are synced with CRM campaigns, and marketing attribution can be run through CRM reports.)
There are 4 ideal program templates that should be implemented in every marketing automation instance. When set up correctly, each template is cloneable, tokenized, and has the ability to maximize your reporting.
1. Canonical Content Program Template: For every asset, white paper, and every other piece of evergreen content in your system, create a Content Program Template, complete with a tokenized landing page, a tokenized thank-you page, and a tokenized fulfillment email. Remember that having a different program for each piece of content will allow you to easily measure marketing attribution and have immediate auto-response for prospects’ user experience.
2. Email Campaign Program Template: Another cloneable program that maximizes ad-hoc email campaign execution, reporting and tracking. This process increases efficiency and decreases the margin of error for email campaigns.
3. List Acquisition Program Template: Marketo program template that speeds campaign production up significantly while reducing errors and having immediate time-saving benefits for a marketing operations team.
4. Webinar Program Template (or Event Program Template): Any marketer who has created a webinar campaign can attest the the painstaking hours spent modifying emails, editing invites, and testing each landing page. It’s an endless waste of time that marketing automation was meant to solve. The solution? Automate it. Webinar program templates are an operational piece of the Etumos framework that include invites, email reminders, and a synchronization with the necessary 3rd party event application (e.g., GoToWebinar) for attendee reporting. Being both cloneable and tokenized, this program increases efficiency by shortening the overall time spent on each webinar.
The makings of a Program Template
One of the benefits of program templates are the token placeholders, meant to speed campaign production up significantly while reducing errors at the same time. They use tokens for content whenever possible and have immediate time-saving benefits for a marketing operations team.
For those unfamiliar, tokens are variables for dynamic content that reference the content specific to each individual campaign. Tokens are how you bring in all of your content—pictures, buttons, value propositions, titles, links, text… all of it can be entered in with a few simple “copy-pastas” and as little adjustment as possible.
In the past, creating a program would involve 45 minutes of nudging elements left and right by single pixels to get everything perfect—not to mention the additional hours of painstakingly re-organizing and re-testing all of the necessary content.
Enter tokens, which still bring in all of the content (pictures, buttons, value propositions, titles, links, and text) except with tokens! You simply clone from your program template, edit tokens on the program, and all of the changes are populated instantly. We can publish an asset or launch a follow-up engagement program while saving hours with each new program.
At Etumos, we streamline content creation within a program by tokenizing everything, and so should everyone. (And we mean everyone). When we make a new program, we simply clone from a template program and change the token values. All of this done in less than 15 minutes. To put this in perspective: it takes longer to make grits than it does to completely clone, tokenize and finalize a new program template.*
*Source: My Cousin Vinny – Twentieth Century Fox, 1992
The Magical Building Blocks of Program Templates (i.e., Tokens!)
Program tokens cascade. They can be inherited and overwritten. Have you ever had to go through yearly updating of the copyright year? Re-visiting and re-labeling everything with “2016”? Well with tokens, you can save two days of busy work—plop that year into a Universal token.
There are generally three levels of tokens used in the Etumos Framework:
- “Universal” level (on the top-most containing folder)
- “Folder” level (on any folder below “Universal”)
- “Content” level (specific to the program)
You can turn your programs into miniature content management systems through program tokens like this. First step is to make a “Universal” folder in your Marketing Activities section. Put tokens in there that you’ll use everywhere. Here’s a screenshot example of what we use on the Universal level:
Next, move onto program tokens! Here’s a screenshot of an email campaign template, one that fits in with our engagement programs:
Emails are a fun way to use tokens, because emails don’t actually have to reside within the program itself. They can be housed in the Design Studio and a flow step sending an email within the program means that the non-local email will have local program tokens. (Best use? Universal Fulfillment Email.)
There are a lot of nuances to tokens, and if you’re looking into the intricacies and the technical considerations, then dive into the details over on our previous blog about tokens.
The final word on Program Templates (and where to learn more)
The beauty of tokenized, cloneable program templates is that we can eliminate the bottleneck altogether—now an account manager can make a new campaign with appropriate landing pages, thank you pages, and email responses, just by changing tokens.
No HTML/web design/web development skills necessary after the original setup.
Too frequently, marketers invest large amounts of energy building out their marketing automation programs, only to find that their programs were lacking structure and organization from the start, making them impossible to scale. A clean and organized instance allows you to reach task completion with as little time, energy, and money as possible.
Creating program templates and utilizing a token structure will allow you to more effectively execute your marketing. Send email blasts in minutes, not hours.
Want to see program templates in action? It’s easiest to see them demos, which were luckily recorded during my session from Marketo Summit 2015: Architecting a Scalable and Robust Marketo Instance!