I'm actually working on this right now!
I started a new position as a web designer/developer at a small business contractor for state government. Our creative team consists of 3 designers who work with a team of 4 project managers. I'm the only one with a graphic design/marketing/email/social media background, so when one of our clients expressed interest in building an email newsletter template I was only too happy to jump on board.
Our contract stipulates that we use a particular platform (name redacted), so I learned how to navigate and manage the client's account and worked with our marketing manager/project manager to set up email assets. The platform has several drawbacks that makes it difficult to work with and produce nice emails in a quick turnaround time; half the time I had to email their support team so that they could write additional code so that my code would work - it added days to the process. The clients that do use the platform loathe it.
A couple months ago we hit a "perfect storm" of opportunity. A group of clients had requested a media hub that would be responsible for all incoming and outgoing communications, including email, text, voice notifications, that had an admin user interface. We said that we could build one in house, but that opened up the possibility of finding an ESP that worked better - not just with our proposed platform, but as a standalone product - and was much cheaper. It also helped that the contract with the current platform was up for renewal, and they were raising their prices for the same package deal.
I took the initiative to research potential ESPs that would work using a short list of requirements, based on the project demands given by the clients. I narrowed down a list of 5-6 and made my recommendation to the CEO/President and Vice President. Since then, I've been unofficially "owning" this project and leading the team, collaborating with people mentioned previously and our CIO.
We've got several other big ticket projects to get through the pipeline first, but I hope we can start development on this project later this year. With any luck, I might be able to submit a Litmus Live speaker proposal next year!
Ok, I'm circling back and resurrecting this discussion, but with a small update.
My client is still without an ESP, but I've had discussions with our company CEO about setting up our own agency-level ESP so we can offer services to clients through us, rather than refer them to open their own account.
Right now Campaign Monitor is at the top of my list based on their features available at an agency level (white label option). However, my CEO has brought an alternative called SendGrid to the table to compare.
Has anyone used this ESP? Any feedback? Pros/Cons? Platform comparison? Anything I can bring to the discussion would be great.
I'm late to my own party, but this example is fantastic! I was looking at a more traditional design, which is a single image and the "doors" are hidden in the image, rather than a grid view like a calendar. But you could easily build out a design like that using your interactive framework.
Ah! That sounds great! The chat rep I spoke with couldn't clarify.
I'm still in the initial stage of discussion with the client about how they want to proceed, but if we do settle on a Constant Contact alternative, I will get in touch with you regarding a template design. Thanks!
Well shoot. As nice and easy as this platform looks to edit, it is not capable of template creation right now. In other words, I'm not able to code an HTML template that can be reused and edited per individual campaigns. That's a feature I'll need for this client, so it looks like MailChimp or CampaignMonitor is still my best option at the moment.