Twitter Handle: @mandomandoman
Jaina hit it home, getting buy-in is, in my opinion, the most important part of an email marketers job and the hardest; especially when people have negative opinions on email. Essentially, I present each request or approval as integral to the success of my area of oversight (email marketing) and how that contributes to the success of the over all vision and mission of our organization.
Case in point, I needed additional tools for email testing. As a non-profit organization, we contemplate every cent we spend in an effort to be good stewards of our donor's money. However, my request to my boss started way before I ever needed the additional tools. The set up is that I've created an understanding with my direct supervisor, who oversees all fundraising efforts for our organization, about the importance of email marketing as it is still a new fundraising tool for us. This is a gradual and reoccurring conversation where everyone in upper level management understands how the success of email marketing is directly tied to the success of the organization and that the opposite is true as well. I work hard and intentionally to incorporate email marketing into our fundraising culture. This is done by taking every appropriate opportunity to present the additional income the email program has provided or how email marketing has contributed to the growth of our other marketing channels through multi-channel marketing or the response of our donors to receiving our emails.
When I consider a need I have, the ground work is already laid as they see the importance of my program. My request does bring a cost to it. Now comes in understanding how management thinks. I need to help them see how this additional expenditure brings in more income for us. So when I sit down with my boss, I want to do my best to have them come to that conclusion themselves. That is where their buy-in is the strongest. Again, that starts with their foundational understanding of the program. And as I present the current challenges that this tool solves, she clearly sees the value and potential for the further success of the email marketing program.
I am a full time Email Marketer for a Non-Profit and we use Luminate Online. It's the standard in the Non-profit world but it is far from user friendly. Based on the other comments, it seems this is mostly a personnel issue however, speaking from experience changing things in LO can be a challenge especially if a person does not know how to code. Because of how difficult LO is to use, I tend to build all my emails in Litmus builder. It's much easier there to add things like buttons, use snippets, etc. and then copy and paste the code into LO. All changes and I make after I send a test, I again change in Litmus Builder and copy and past the whole code over to Luminate. Not the most efficient way, but I do it to help me design better emails.
There are a few things that Luminate does that will change your code or add to it. For example if you use the "blank stationary" in LO will add their own unsubscribe link and their own logo at the bottom of your email and wrap your whole template in a table which messes up the responsive nature. So while it may test in Litmus and be perfect, it will not be delivered that way. This may not make sense if you don't live in Luminate but I am glad to help as much as I can.