Dojo: the MailNinja way

2 min read

Dojo noun. A dōjō is a hall or space for immersive learning or meditation. This is traditionally in the field of martial arts, but has been seen increasingly in other fields, such as meditation and software development. The term literally means “place of the Way” in Japanese.

So that is the definition of a dojo, but when MailNinja talks about ‘Dojo’ what do we mean?

Dojo is our own internal project planning tool for email campaign management. It has many layers and is both client facing and for our own internal use. Dojo allows clients to create email briefs, set delivery dates and add content. It also allows clients, to track the progress of emails in production, whereas our internal team can monitor email deployment every step of the way – from concept to creation to scheduling. Dojo gives us complete visibility of our clients and project roadmap.

Dojo calendar view – blurred to protect client data

So why did we create Dojo?

We looked at several platforms and none of them ticked all the boxes, the closest to what we needed was Trello, but even that didn’t quite do what we needed. For instance, we needed the ability to automatically move tasks from column to column, depending on progress, and document test results by the MailNinja team. Dojo also gives account managers the ability to track the number of emails deployed in a given month, if the client’s account is going over their allocation, we can alert them to this, and they can decide if they want to pause a campaign or increase the number of emails for the month.

So, how does Dojo work?

Dojo uses a similar method to Trello and allows us to track progress, and identify the stage  a campaign is at:

Awaiting Content

This is the very first stage, it can just be a placeholder to say an email is needed on a specific date – but with no content it can’t move on to the next stage.

Ideation

At ideation, our creative coordinator starts creating wireframes and coming up with concepts, these are communicated internally and with the client before moving to design.

Design

Our experienced designers turn the agreed wireframe into fully formed designs, that both work on email and communicate the desired message.

Design Checks

The design goes to the client for approval and feedback, from change requests, it may go back to design or move on to coding if approved.

Coding and Building

Our expert developers take the design and turn it into a pixel-perfect, fully responsive HTML coded email. To ensure that the email will work on all platforms we have a series of checks that it must pass, first on a virtual test bench, then on real devices and platforms.

Mailchimp Set Up

After the coding is complete, we put together the pieces of the email: the code, the subject line, preview text and target audience are selected.

If Split Testing is being use, either on design or subject for example, this is the stage where it gets implemented.

Internal Checks

This stage allows for final checks that ensure all the email components work smoothly together and that it’s fully functional and ready for execution.

Final Client Approved

After all the tests have been conducted and our QA checks are complete a final, absolute draft is sent to the client. This gives them the opportunity to see a copy of exactly what their contacts will receive.

Overdue

If at any point an email hasn’t been scheduled/sent and its send date passes, then it will move to this stage to flag up that it is running late.

Scheduled

Once client approval has been approved, our campaign coordinators will schedule your email and it will move to this stage before being archived after final execution.

Dojo task view – blurred to protect client data

In short, Dojo provides us a fully customised way to design, build and track your email campaigns at each stage of the process. This gives us clear insight into every stage of a client’s activity. We know exactly what’s going on, we can document learning, and help us to garner better results for your ongoing email campaigns.

If you have any questions, or need some help, you can call us on 01793 677 511 or you can email us.