A tool for sending emails through an automated workflow, saving time and budget
The SEO Email Compiler application (SEOEC) was built for the SEO Team with the capability of generating and sending mass emails to customers through an automated workflow pulling live data from a customer database. With direct control and oversight by SEO administrators, the tool could automatically gather a pool of accounts meeting pre-defined criteria, populate customer data into a custom email template, and then send the email to the customer address on file.
- User Experience
- Visual Design
- User Research
- User Testing
- Information Architecture
- Front-end Engineering
- Full-stack Development
- Project Management
Automate mass-email campaigns to remove the burden of associates manually authoring and sending hundreds of monthly emails
My team was approached by the SEO Team about developing an application to simplify and possibly automate their mass-email sending process. Under their existing process, every SEO Analyst was responsible for maintaining direct contact with their client accounts and sending monthly emails detailing their SEO product performance, account goals and objectives, and action items.
As each Analyst managed between 25-50 accounts, the effort required to create such emails was quite rigorous. In order to acquire the necessary information for the email they needed to pull performance metrics from connected reports and account data from SalesForce, combining it into the email for sending. With each individual email taking anywhere between 1-3 hours to assemble, the Analysts were only able to create and send an average of 5 emails per day, often requiring a full work week or longer to send emails for all of their accounts.
Collectively, SEO Analysts were spending hundreds of hours on monthly emails alone, which detracted from their ability to focus on other core responsibilities such as actual website maintenance and SEO optimization. The SEO Team leaders wanted to innovate their processes in order to save the time and budget expenses that were being bottlenecked in their manual email process.
A data-driven connected platform capable of generating and sending templated emails to customers
Based on the research gathered from the SEO Team and the scope and requirements defined in our early planning, we developed an application that was capable of pulling customer data and performance metrics from our account data sources to be injected directly into predefined email templates.
Through a content management system built into the application, SEO Team administrators could review the queued emails for each account, verify the injected datapoints, opt accounts in and out for sending, and then run a batched mass-email process that would cycle through accounts and send the generated email to the contacts on file if opted in. Using internal email routing services, emails would be passed to a third party email provider for delivery to customer recipients, with reporting options allowing for tracking, verification, and follow-up.
The core features of the application included:
- Ability to create a new active campaign and add accounts to opt-in for receiving emails
- Ability to import live data from customer accounts, including customer contact emails, performance metrics, goals, objectives, and other relevant data from SalesForce and connected reports
- Ability to opt-out any account to prevent emails with permanent unsubscribe options
- Ability to preview all emails for any account prior to sending
- Draft and Proof stages to allow SEO Analysts to preview and verify appearance of emails prior to final sending to customers
- Ability to customize master email template
- Reporting on success and failure of all emails with drilldown details from email provider
The SEOEC application was a huge milestone for the SEO Team, as it saved them several hundred hours of manual work and several thousands in budget expenses, allowing the SEO Analysts to focus on more important work. The impact of the platform was immediate and significant, with huge leaps in productivity, overall performance, and customer satisfaction, as reported by SEO Team leaders. The success of the application also led to inquiries from other teams wanting similar products, some of which led to actual applications, while others simply served to spread awareness of the work my team and I were doing.