CEO and co-founder of Chamaileon, Roland, started his professional career as an email marketer in 2008. Emails back then were mostly hand-coded, so Roland had to work closely with front-end developers to create and update email templates.

Roland, however, was first and foremost a marketer. He was not fluent in HTML. This led to multiple rendering issues, especially in Outlook emails. He and his team used to go through a series of rendering tests yet emails were always broken.

Back and forth with developers was inevitable: finding email issues, going back to the devs, asking them to fix the issues, doing more tests, and so on…

The back and forth process, what is called the Review and approval process, was basically a series of endless email threads with multiple receivers: the email devs, the legal department, the product team… The edit requests would come in from these various stakeholders via email, and the marketing team would go back to the dev team to update the email content and design. This loop would last for days and sometimes even weeks on end.

14 years later, you would think that the email production process would have evolved in most companies. But according to a recent study conducted by Litmus, 58% of email teams need 2 or more weeks to complete a single email.
But why is this still the case today? The problem is that most email teams have put in place a defective creation process.

In this article, we will go through the main differences between the traditional email creation workflow used by multiple companies to this day and the centralized email creation workflow, which is guaranteed to save your time and increase your team’s productivity.

The classic email creation workflow

Most email teams start with the email design phase: the company’s graphic designer builds the email design in a tool like Photoshop, Figma, Sketch…

This step would take anywhere from 1 to 2 days, sometimes even longer depending on the designer’s workload and efficiency.

The designer would also use Lorem Ipsum text and placeholder images, an important detail that will come back to haunt the email team in the following steps.

The marketers then work on the email content on a content tool like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or even a collaborative tool like Notion. This process takes up to 2 days depending on how many assets are available for the content team.

During the content creation phase, marketers will suggest edit requests for the designer. This is inevitable due to a number of reasons:

  1. The email copy length doesn’t match the length of the Lorem Ipsum text used in the email design.
  2. The email layout should be changed to better illustrate the email message (for example, three columns instead of two to present essential product features).

Then, the marketing team collects feedback from managers and other stakeholders via email threads or messaging tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

This review process gets stretched even more as the number of stakeholders increases. After collecting feedback, the marketing and design teams go back and forth again to implement the requested edits… Back to another design/content round.

After one day of HTML coding, there is usually another review round where all the stakeholders check the email to see if it’s broken in any way.

The team then uses a tool like Litmus or Email on Acid to test the code output.

If the email is broken and generally, the first version of the coded email is, the coding phase could last up to 3 days or more.

This is due to many factors like non-mobile-responsive design or incompatibility of the design with brand guidelines.

Now that we have completed all the email rendering tests, we proceed with a final review round to check that everything is in order. And at this point, we are already well into 10 days of the email production process.

In the end:

  • One single email could take up to three weeks to produce.
  • Multiple tools are used to produce one single email: design tool, content management tool, coding tool, rendering tool, communication tool…

There is a way to do it faster and better simply by switching to a centralized email creation workflow that includes real-time collaboration.

This method will easily reduce the time spent on email creation from 10 days to only 2 days or less! We believe that if you switch to the real-time collaboration approach and to no-code email workflows, your team will have 80% more free time that they can dedicate to creative work (improving email messaging, scheduling other campaigns, tracking performance…) and only 20% of their time will be spent on the back and forth between different actors and it will be a less painful process for all stakeholders.

The centralized email creation workflow

The centralized email creation workflow, as its name suggests, relies on only one tool where you and your team can produce HTML emails in a matter of minutes.

The centralized email platform is a no-code email builder that allows any team member to create an HTML email, without any coding skills.

Meaning that the email is built block by block by email marketers instead of hand-coded by email developers.

All the different email creation steps you would find in the classic workflow are now hosted on a single platform: email copy, design, review, approval, and quality assurance all happen on a single, centralized tool, to which different team members have access. Everybody is on the same page throughout the whole process.

In the following section, we will explain how you can leverage the power of centralized email creation for your future campaigns.

Set up your account

Start by creating your company workspace. This is the virtual space where you will be organizing and creating your email templates.

Whether you are a marketing agency with multiple clients, a franchise with localized branches, or an in-house marketing team, you can set up the workspace structure that works for you:

  • Marketing agency: you can create a folder for each client. Each main folder will have sub-folders for different campaigns.
  • Franchise: you can create a folder for each branch. Each main folder will have sub-folders for different campaigns.
  • In-house marketing team: you can create a folder for each campaign and sub-folders for email variations.

Invite your team members

Once your company account has been set up, you are now free to invite any member involved in the email creation process. From copywriters to managers, anyone can have access to your workspace.

You can limit member access to specific folders if needed:

  • Marketing agency: you can limit the access of certain teams to their specific client folder.
  • Franchise: you can limit the access of certain teams to their specific branch folder.
  • In-house marketing team: you can limit the access of team members to their specific campaign folder.

This access limitation can help you control who can see what in your email creation workspace. But that’s not all. You can also restrict each user’s role: the copywriter, for example, can be restricted to only editing the text and images, and cannot in any way modify the email design elements (font type, size, colors, placements…) and layout.

The user roles available in Chamaileon are the following:

  • Administrator: can view, edit, send test emails, export them, invite and manage members.
  • Editor: can view, edit, send test emails, and is able to lock and unlock blocks.
  • Contributor: can edit, export, and share emails.
  • Viewer: can only view and send test emails.

Build your emails

No-code emails are emails created in drag and drop email builders, like Chamaileon. The user doesn’t need any HTML knowledge to put together an email design.

Simply using the assets available, any person from your team can create a professional-looking email in a matter of minutes.

No code emails allow you to:

  1. Take back control of your email production process: you won’t need to rely on developers to create emails. Take back ownership of your email campaigns and act in complete autonomy. Your designers and marketers can take care of everything from A to Z.
  2. Empower your team members: Using a drag and drop email builder gives your less technical team members the chance to contribute to the email creation process.
  3. Optimize your productivity: thanks to an easy email building process and a centralized collaboration between different actors, your email production cycle becomes 10 times faster. Your team can roll out finished campaigns in a couple of days, which gives you the time to focus on high-value tasks.

Of course, there are some instances where you would still need to go back on hand-coding (for example: sending AMP emails). But most of the commonly used email blocks are easily available in all email builders on the market.

With the no-code email approach, you can create 5 times more emails in the same span of time as the traditional email production process.

Create any email design you have in mind

People usually don’t want to switch from HTML coding to a drag and drop email builder because email builders are too rigid. The possibility to build complex email layouts with multiple columns and nested elements is limited when using no-code builders.

This is true for many of the email builders on the market today, especially the ones built into ESPs.

However, in Chamaileon, we developed a tool that replaces hand-coding 100%. Our objective is to allow marketers to create highly-flexible designs without feeling restricted by the tool.

You can for instance:

  • Add as many columns as you need without any restrictions
  • Nest multiple blocks inside each other while guaranteeing perfect mobile-responsiveness
  • Create overlapping block designs easily
  • Add your brand’s custom fonts, colors, and visual assets
  • Add Gmail promotional cards without any coding

👉 You can discover endless design possibilities using Chamaileon on our Youtube channel.

Collaborate with your team members

Remember those team members you invited to your workspace? You can collaborate with them on the same email at the same time, in real-time.

This means that the email designer, copywriter, and manager can all be logged in to their separate accounts and work on the same email simultaneously.

Changes appear live on the email (just like if you were using Google Docs but for email!).


Preview your emails

After building your email template, you can simply preview it within the editor, without ever having to leave the editor.

In Chamaileon, Litmus and Email on Acid tests are included in our dev process. This means that you don’t need to subscribe to any of these tools in order to check the quality of your emails created in Chamaileon.

We make sure that your emails don’t break: if there is a potential issue in the email layout or responsiveness, it will be visible directly in Chamaileon’s email preview setting.

In fact, customers who use Chamaileon tend to reduce the number of email tests conducted on Litmus and other rendering tools. After a few months, they typically rely 100% on the built-in Chamaileon preview feature.

👉 Learn more about Chamaileon’s code quality on our Compatibility page.

💡You can also preview your emails in Dark Mode – inside the editor!


Get your emails reviewed and approved

Once you are satisfied with your email template, you can share it with your stakeholders (client, manager). Simply generate a shareable link that can be sent to anyone, even if they don’t have a Chamaileon account.

You can also request a review from your stakeholder. Regardless of whether or not they have a Chamaileon account, your client or manager can view the email template, leave comments, request changes, and approve the design. All within the same platform: Chamaileon.


Wrapping up

Thanks to the centralized email creation workflow, you can take advantage of the flexible design capabilities a software like Chamaileon can provide. You can streamline the review process, and thanks to the real-time collaboration, the whole email creation can be done in a day as compared to the two weeks that we mentioned in the beginning. Optimize your email production workflow, minimize repetitive tasks, and centralize all email efforts in one place.