We all know the preconceived notion around automation – you “set and forget.” It replaces human labor entirely and simply runs in the background. In the perfect world, human input is only needed in the event of an error.
For many businesses, this is exactly what they need. Yet, there are still times where automation requires consistent user input in order to ultimately extend human capabilities at scale. It’s these scenarios that require dynamic solutions which more resemble a hybrid between automation and internal-facing “products” – solutions that continually respond to human inputs throughout the process, not just at inception.
These are the solutions that not only fulfill the task of automating tedious, repetitive, and manual labor, they also provide conveniences that enable human creativity and performance. The value of this effort is greater than the simple efficiency gains that automation provides.
Below, we’ll dive into one of these scenarios and examine how the Perkuto team guided Newsela in solving one of their toughest challenges with the help of Workato.
Educational content powerhouse Newsela is a thriving startup that provides thought-provoking content for teachers. In their own words, Newsela’s core mission is to provide “meaningful classroom learning for every student.” By providing instructional content that is equal parts effective and engaging, Newsela empowers every student to improve their reading skills across the US and in more than 150 countries.
Newsela gathers authentic content from the leaders in publishing, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, and transforms this into classroom-ready learning materials. In 2015, Newsela introduced a daily email that would bring fresh, relevant content to teachers’ inboxes. The key objective was to drive engagement to their platform by sharing a sample of its product.
When Newsela first launched this initiative, their team coded a custom connector between their content management system (CMS) and email sending provider (ESP). Although the custom connector initially met business requirements, their business needs evolved over the years. With several components tied together in one script, this process did not account for human review nor asset QA. With engineering resources mandatory to make changes, the initial connector was not able to adapt as their business grew.
As the popularity of their daily email grew, so did their daily platform traffic. Yet, the rigidity of the original build meant the marketing team was unable to understand the granular user engagement and was not able to make the necessary revisions.
In short, Newsela developed automation that was successful in delivering content to teachers’ inboxes and drove substantial teacher traffic to their site, but once they outgrew their original custom connector, they were unable to take ownership of what needed to change.
In 2020, Newsela made the decision to invest deeper in their daily email by selecting Workato as their tool of choice, the leading integration-led automation platform. As a Workato partner, Perkuto was quick to step in and assist Newsela in the design and implementation of a modular solution that would be fully owned and maintained by Newsela’s marketing department.
Perkuto quickly got to work building a lean yet scalable process with the intention of reducing the effort required from the Newsela team. Another component of the solution was to fill in functionality gaps from the original solution. The main requirements were content, flexibility, scalability, A/B testing, and the ability to easily preview emails and centralize outgoing emails in Marketo.
Newsela already had a successful product – all they needed was improvement to the functionality that would allow for flexibility and scalability. By utilizing Workato, Newsela now has the ability to select content intentionally, send on-demand and scheduled previews, and A/B test email parameters, all for the first time.
Not to mention, Workato also enabled Newsela to functionalize a large multi-team process into unit tasks. The modularity of each element means that when logic needs to be updated, it’s completed in one place.
Workato empowers creativity by seamlessly blending human input with automated action. The flexible framework allows Newsela to start their V2 with an email that is dynamic, highly variable, automated, and most importantly, owned by their team.
Accelerate Your Growth Through Workato
At Perkuto, we understand the complex nature of Workato and how to best utilize dynamic functions to best serve our clients. Let Perkuto’s team of Workato experts help you design a roadmap towards a more efficient and united workflow. Learn more about our Workato services.
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