19 December 2023

Case study: How Exclaimer creates stunning emails in minutes instead of spending hours

Alina Samulska-Kholina
Alina Samulska-Kholina Copywriter at Stripo
Table of contents
  1. About Exclaimer and its email marketing strategy
  2. Problem: Spending hours preparing an email from a template and an unpredictable result
  3. Solution: Why choose Stripo
  4. Results: Saving 90% of the time and 50% increase in overall engagement 
  5. Plans and new challenges
About Exclaimer and its email marketing strategy

We saw this review on LinkedIn and were interested in learning more about using the Stripo editor.

Compare this to our previous struggles with Pardot’s built-in email builder, which pretty much required a full-on coder. We spent hours untangling buggy code and endless rounds of testing, making “perfect” emails almost impossible to achieve with our resources.

But thanks to Stripo, we now create stunning emails in minutes, all with an insanely reasonable price tag. Using Stripo, combined with Exclaimer’s recent (and very beautiful!) rebrand, has shown incredible results, with improved click rates across all audiences. And we’re just getting started!

Stefanie Mainstone

Stefanie Mainstone,

Head of CRM at Exclaimer.

We were interested in how exactly Stripo helps speed up the creation of emails while making them beautiful and easy to export, why SaaS projects choose us, and how they work with us. After all, email marketers often have a problem with built-in editors in ESPs — they do not allow you to make a good design without knowledge of the code, and what you did in the editor is not always sent correctly.

About Exclaimer and its email marketing strategy

Exclaimer is the market leader in email signature management solutions, empowering businesses to unlock the potential of email as a key digital advertising channel while increasing efficiency through automated management. With its award-winning tools, organizations can seamlessly deliver consistent branding, promote marketing campaigns and company news, gather customer feedback, and more.

Since it was founded in 2001, Exclaimer has grown from three entrepreneurs to a global SaaS business with 200+ employees. Over 60,000 organizations use Exclaimer for their email signature solutions. Its diverse customer base includes Sony, Mattel, Bank of America, NBC, the Government of Canada, and the BBC.

We are in the business of email, so when we do email marketing, we have to practice what we preach. Delivering world-class email marketing journeys supports our position as a category leader.

Stefanie Mainstone

Stefanie Mainstone,

Head of CRM at Exclaimer.

Exclaimer’s email marketing strategy

Exclaimer sends tailored newsletters to prospects, customers, partners, and internal staff — so the content ranges between audiences. The main purpose of all the newsletters is to keep the Exclaimer community engaged and up-to-date with new resources, news, and events.

It sends the following types of email campaigns:

  • a mixture of automated email programs for things like “Free Trial”;
  • regularly scheduled newsletters for prospects, clients, and partners;
  • emails for ad hoc campaigns and events that are developed by several teams throughout the year.

They segment emails by location, interests, and behaviors and, on average, send around one email a fortnight to each of the subscribers. 

Problem: Spending hours preparing an email from a template and an unpredictable result

Over the past year, Exclaimer’s marketing team has grown to include over 30 people. Email marketing is handled by two CRM managers who work closely with designers and copywriters. However, it is the CRM managers who have complete control over this marketing channel and are ultimately responsible for email quality and channel success.

The CRM team was using Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) for email marketing but faced two serious limitations:

1. Editing pre-made templates in Pardot required hours of coding and testing the results

In January 2023, before implementing Stripo, they used the built-in Pardot editor to create emails. They had several coded templates that they could use to make the necessary changes when preparing new emails.

Cloning and editing HTML templates over time means:

  • low flexibility and bugs that pop up and become more and more difficult to fix;
  • sometimes just making basic changes to the HTML isn’t enough, but a CRM manager can’t write and code a whole email from scratch.

Because of this, it took hours of work to prepare each email, make edits, and render testing emails before they were satisfied enough to send them — and even then, they weren’t perfect across all recipient platforms.

2. The need to redesign emails and add new fonts after rebranding

In June 2023, Exclaimer underwent rebranding, one of the components of which was new fonts. The trouble they had in getting fonts and fallback fonts to work in the email code was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So, they started looking into drag-n-drop email editors that they could integrate into the workflow.

They have two very specific brand fonts, and they work well on Apple devices but not on Outlook, unless the recipient happens to have these rare fonts on their machine already. The brand fallback fonts are Google fonts, which, again, don’t always work on everyone’s machines. Then, they have fallback web-safe fonts, which are not in the email safe list, so in total, they have four fonts in the process, which they want to render as best as possible. 

Without good knowledge of HTML, it is hard to get this to work — and the fonts usually end up in Times New Roman for serif and Arial for sans serif, but even this is inconsistent. This applied particularly when they were required to style text, such as bolding. Emails looked messy, with a mixture of fonts and strengths.

We looked at about 10 tools overall, met with three, and finally settled on Stripo as it has the greatest flexibility and came highly recommended, not to mention the very reasonable price tag. 

Stefanie Mainstone

Stefanie Mainstone,

Head of CRM at Exclaimer.

Solution: Why choose Stripo

The Exclaimer team picked up Stripo very quickly, as it’s such an intuitive tool to use. Since implementing Stripo, the team has only needed support a couple of times, as the platform works seamlessly. When they’ve asked for support using the live chat function, the issues have always been resolved quickly and effectively. 

How the team works on each email

The CRM team works on emails with the content and design teams, as well as activity owners from across the marketing team and organization. 

Usually, such persons take part in email creation:

  • campaign manager or internal stakeholder (e.g., head of communications); 
  • CRM manager who is responsible for this marketing channel and proofing and catching any mistakes, all of which have been made much easier with the Stripo preview links;
  • content manager;
  • copywriter;
  • designer.

All the projects are a collaborative effort, and they are currently using Asana to manage projects and timelines. Once an activity appears, there’s a kickoff meeting to brief the relevant stakeholders, and then they can get to work. 

Normally, the process of email building looks like this:

  1. There is a briefing with the design and content teams on a project-by-project basis and making recommendations on content and timing. 
  2. The copy and assets are then provided to CRM managers, who turn them into a beautiful email. They said that it had become much easier since they’d had Stripo on board.
  3. Once they’ve built the email, they share this with the activity owner and the copywriter to proofread and review. This has also become much easier with Stripo, as they can easily share preview links to the emails from within Stripo, as well as give access to the proofreaders to add comments and mark up changes.

Results: Saving 90% of the time and 50% increase in overall engagement 

The Exclaimer team noted two key results of work in the Stripo, some favorite features, and shared with us examples of their emails.

Saving 90% of the time on email building

The team spends about 10% of the time building emails compared to what they used to. And the emails render perfectly every time — to a point where they don’t really need to render-test anymore, but they still do, just in case!

It could take a whole day to get an email to a point where it was “good enough,” so send it out. They still weren’t happy, but we had to weigh the time cost against the impact. One day was usually the limit. 

We’d work as much as we could on a master template and then duplicate this as required. I think now getting the master template right, even from scratch in Stripo takes up to 1 hour. So I’d say 8 hours down to less than 1 hour for a base template for a campaign.

Stefanie Mainstone

Stefanie Mainstone,

Head of CRM at Exclaimer.

Increase in overall engagement

Exclaimer implemented Stripo at the same time they went through a rebranding, so the two things went hand in hand to boost overall engagement. They’re getting a higher open rate over time as they build trust with subscribers, and that, combined with the new visual appeal of content, has led to a 50% increase in overall engagement — and they are just getting started!

Stripo’s features that help Exclaimer get these results

When sending marketing emails at volume, they need to be efficient, effective, and beautiful, and Stripo has proven to be an invaluable ally. Here are some of the key reasons to use Stripo to speed up email building:

  1. Drag-n-drop builder: Stripo’s intuitive drag-n-drop builder simplifies the email creation process. It’s user friendly, even for those with basic HTML knowledge.
  2. Edit HTML code: What truly sets Stripo apart is the ability to edit HTML code for individual elements within your email. This is a lifesaver for those moments when you just need a little tweak to their pre-built structures.
  3. Fosters collaboration: Another great feature is easy access for colleagues to view and provide feedback on emails. There is no need for logins — just effortless collaboration. Plus, sharing preview links with anyone is a breeze.
  4. Seamless integration: The icing on the cake is the ability to export emails directly into the CRM system. The result? Emails that render perfectly every time.

Exclaimer’s email examples

When Exclaimer redesigned emails alongside the company rebranding, a Stripo design feature they loved was the “Highlighted text color” options within a button. This feature changes the color of the button’s background and text when the button is rolled over or clicked.

The CRM team has used this feature to add some personality to emails and to align the buttons with the brand color being used within the email. See examples below.

Email example with personalization

(Source: Email by Exclaimer)

One more example:

(Source: Email by Exclaimer)

The brightest moment in working with Stripo

My favorite feature in Stripo is the ability to save modules to reuse in other emails. Once you have a module saved, you simply drag and drop it into another email template when you want to use it. It means the emails look consistent, and there are no errors with spacing or sizing — all things that contribute to building trust with the recipient. It also saves a lot of time, as you only have to do the hard work of building a module once!

Stefanie Mainstone

Stefanie Mainstone,

Head of CRM at Exclaimer.

Plans and new challenges

Exclaimer definitely wants to start making use of some interactive features in Stripo, but so far, the focus has been on re-creating the entire suite of emails while delivering all the new ones, all in Stripo. There were hundreds, but it didn’t take too long, as the editor is so simple to use. Now, it’s time to build on that foundation and keep driving up engagement. 

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