Why you should be using a responsive email framework like MJML

By Triggerfish MarTech on November 19, 2019

MJML is a responsive email framework that allows organisations to design and build responsive email marketing campaigns using a low, simple code-based approach.

Many marketers know that email design and templating can be a dark art. Creating email campaigns that look great on all devices is a tough challenge. It’s not unheard of for marketing teams to spend thousands of dollars building out template packs - often reinventing the magical Outlook responsive wheel every time we want to send an email marketing campaign.

We’ve seen organisations spend upwards of $50,000 handcrafting bespoke email template libraries in HTML. Marketing teams and Email Marketers are then bound by the limitations of that initial template brief. As a result, marketing teams are hamstrung by decisions that they – or their predecessor in many cases – made months or even years ago inside that existing budget, with no ability to change any of those email campaigns on the fly.

Unmanageable email template libraries

Some organisations have achieved harmony, with fully responsive templates in a library used confidently for email campaigns, but the maintenance and upgrade of those slowly becomes unmanageable. The cost to keep on top of different browser trends has become something that most organisations shouldn't be dealing with – because there is another way.

Triggerfish uses the MJML Responsive Email Framework because it allows us to create responsive, what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) templates in the HubSpot, Sitecore and Salesforce platforms. It also gives marketers a series of templates that use a low code-based approach, where non-developers can edit and create new designs on the fly and convert those to those WYSIWYG formats for future use.

How Triggerfish uses MJML differently

Whilst MJML is an open-source technology, it is maintained by a significant number of technology and marketing focused professionals across the world. Triggerfish’s bespoke MJML Converter is the secret sauce. It converts MJML to Sitecore EXM or HubSpot email, and allows organisations to maintain and manage their own email templates with the complex marketing technology systems that they have.

The benefits of this approach are for internal marketing teams, who are now able to ideate, create, edit and manage new designs on a regular basis. They no longer need to worry about converting their designs into WYSIWYG format because any templates that they create can easily be taken over to those technologies. The MJML framework also uses the power of the community to keep up with browser updates, including newer versions of Outlook, Outlook Web Access, OWA, and Gmail.

The MJML process also allows you to work seamlessly with platforms like Email on Acid for email responsive testing. By being able to quickly prototype a new design in MJML and have the system automatically convert that to that ugly responsive inline CSS HTML that we're used to, you can quickly paste that into Email on Acid and test your new ideas across all those different devices. This helps organisations focus on doing different types of email campaigns to different segments, quickly.

Be creative, easily

It also allows you to focus on converting away from the traditional full image-based email marketing. While some, particularly retail, campaigns do look impressive when they're all images, that's not necessarily great for those from an accessibility, screenreading or mobile responsive perspective.

So by being able to quickly create good quality print-like designs, but have them render in HTML and CSS and have those done on the fly without paying developers to build complex and expensive templates, it really does give you the operational agility that you need with your email marketing.

Working with Triggerfish, we can help you create a series of repeatable WYSIWYG templates that will suit your organisation's email marketing needs, by providing the MJML to Sitecore, HubSpot or Salesforce converter system, we can also give you a team to continually adapt and keep those campaigns up to date.


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