Questions to Ask the Agency Building Your Marketo Templates

We have been building responsive Marketo templates for over 4 years now, and have seen a lot of shoddy work along the way. Many people who claim to be experts at Marketo or responsive design and development. So, we wanted to put this list together to help clients find someone who actually knows what the heck they are doing.

Fluid Hybrid
If you are doing emails, you need to make sure whoever is coding them knows the fluid hybrid method of coding. Why is this important? To understand that you need to understand media queries. Media queries are a web development technique that looks at the size of screen and makes the content according to the size of the screen. However, neither Outlook and Gmail support media queries!!! That means if your email is coded using media queries you are losing out on a massive part of your audience that will not see your email properly! So, fluid hybrid is a method that was actually invented by our lead email developer Nicole Merlin. It uses tables as opposed to media queries for responsive design, and as a result, EVERYONE gets to see your emails how you intend your audience to see them.

Built for Marketo
You would be appalled at the amount of times we have come into a job where some other agency has botched the job and the ‘templates’ are not coded to be editable at all within Marketo’s editors. This is the issue of getting agencies who are not specialized in Marketo to build your templates. They may not necessarily know Marketo and therefore they don’t know how Marketers want to use Marketo’s editors to make their assets. We’ve even seen full ‘templates’ that are just HTML within the Marketo interface… completely useless. So, when selecting an agency, make sure they know Marketo, the variables, the types of templates (guided vs free-form) or (email editor v2.0 vs. v1.0). If they don’t know the types, they don’t know what they’re doing.

You should not trust that your agency is testing your templates for you – you should ask for public links to Litmus that shows exactly how your templates look across all email clients and devices. Unfortunately, many agencies are not honest, or are just unaware of what their templates will look like across different clients and devices. We provide all of our clients with public Litmus tests that show exactly what the templates look like… everywhere.

Where are they supported
You should know going into the project where your templates are going to be supported. This goes for both emails and landing pages. If you have specific clients or browsers that you want your agency to accommodate for, you should be communicating this to them in advance. If the agency is good, they should be able to make the templates work regardless of the client or browser. There may be an additional cost involved, and certain limitations depending on your page design and the client or browser you want to support, but if they know what they are doing they should be able to communicate all your options to you. This is a document we share with all our clients that explains by default what clients/devices we support.

Setup in Your Instance
There will come a time to get your templates into Marketo. This is a critical step since custom fonts will need to be hooked up, images will need to be uploaded and linked in your instance, and everything should be tested to make sure it works. Your agency should be provided with a limited access login to go into your system and take care of these steps for you. It will save you time and make sure its working properly.

I think those are the main points. I’ll continue to come back and add to this list as I think of more things you can ask. Hope that helps!