How smoothly does your email review process usually go? We all know how effective email marketing is, but for many agencies and brands, getting email campaigns out the door can be extremely stressful and confusing for the simple reason that their review and approval process isn’t working.
If you don’t fix the problems in your current process, the results could be disastrous for your business. Without an effective email review and approval process, you could:
- Waste time
- Experience significant stress that’s bad for your health
- End up with unhappy clients and customers
- Miss hitting your goals or even get fired
- Lose money through wasted time, clients and customers leaving, and word spreading that you and your team can’t get the job done
Fortunately, there are some common red flags that pop up when it’s time to improve the email review and approval process. If you’re experiencing any of the five signs discussed below, it’s time for you to find a better process so you can avoid those negative results.
1. You’re Confused
Who made that change? Why did that paragraph get deleted? Where are the changes I requested in the last version?
Do any of these questions sound familiar?
If you have a team of people internally and/or externally who need to review and approve your email campaigns, then things can get very confusing.
For example, when messages are emailed to each stakeholder for review, there is no way to see other people’s comments and changes. How do the team members know when and why changes are made?
A lack of collaboration causes review and approval confusion. Here’s how to solve the problem:
Whenever you bring together people with different agendas and opinions, you need to provide a way for them to collaborate transparently and in real-time. This is particularly true in the email review and approval process where so much is subjective.
The email review and approval process can only be clear, streamlined, and effective when everyone is able to see everything that’s happening and understand it in the same place and the same way. Even integrated tools like email, Google Docs, Slack, and Asana create a disjointed, nonlinear, and confusing review and approval process. The solution is to use a single tool for the entire review and approval process rather than multiple tools – preferably a tool that was built specifically for email marketing review and approvals.
2. Your Emails are Sent with Errors
When a number of stakeholders are reviewing email campaigns, the chances that messages are sent with errors in them gores up. Why? Because any time there are a lot of cooks, there are bound to be mistakes in the kitchen.
Errors often happen because people are reviewing different versions of the same email message. You’re reviewing the most recent version (#5), but someone else is looking at version #2, and another person is reviewing version #4. You need an easy way to always be certain everyone is reviewing the most recent version of every campaign or a significant amount of time will be wasted and mistakes will happen.
In addition, when you use advanced personalization, segmentation, and dynamic content in your email campaigns, there is a greater chance for errors. While these tactics will increase your email marketing results, if there are any mistakes in the final messages that go out to recipients and people get the wrong content, the damage to a brand’s existing relationship with consumers can be far-reaching.
A lack of centralization causes errors. Here’s how to solve the problem:
Until you can bring all of the parts and pieces or your email review and approval process together (including email versions, segmentation criteria, dynamic content variables, and stakeholders), it will be nearly impossible to eliminate all errors 100% of the time. Using a tool that centralizes the entire process will eliminate these problems for you.
3. Your Emails are Sent Late
Last minute changes, waiting for that one stakeholder to review the message, and the continual back and forth of the email review process that takes up so much time on a daily basis are three of the biggest reasons email campaigns go out late.
When there is no process in place to streamline approvals for email marketing campaigns, it can get extremely time-consuming and susceptible to delays, which makes it very difficult to hit deadlines.
For example, consider your current email review process. If your company is like most, you probably use email to send new message versions to stakeholders. It takes a few days to get feedback, and then, someone has to consolidate all of that feedback.
Some people send feedback via email or Slack. Some jot down notes on a piece of paper and drop them off to you. Others call you to leave a voice mail with their comments, and some people stop by your office or cubicle and tell you their thoughts in passing.
Next, you make the requested changes and send the new version to everyone via email for their review and approval. The process repeats again and again until every stakeholder approves the same version. There are so many ways this scenario can go wrong in terms of errors slipping through.
Disorganization causes email marketing campaigns to go out late. Here’s how to solve the problem:
You need an organized process to ensure everyone is reviewing the same versions at the same time, and you need an easy way for everyone to review personalization and dynamic content or there will be errors. Centralized collaboration is critical to meeting your deadlines.
4. You Don’t Know What Anyone Else is Doing
Do all of the stakeholders who want to provide feedback and approval on your email campaigns get together every time a new version is available for review to discuss and finalize the messages? Probably not.
In most companies, people operate in silos during the review and approval process for email marketing campaigns. They review and respond without discussing their comments with anyone else. As a result, when the next version goes out to the team for approval, questions are raised, conflicts occur, and the process takes even longer.
The developers don’t talk to the designers. The designers don’t talk to the writers. The writers don’t talk to the email marketing manager. When people don’t talk to each other every step of the way, you’ll lose time.
From the first image mockup of an email campaign to the final coded message, team members need to be able to communicate with each other. This includes all stakeholders.
Poor communication causes you and other stakeholders to not know what anyone else is doing. Here’s how to solve the problem:
Everyone needs to know what’s happening throughout the entire review and approval process or questions and concerns will keep popping up. This increases your stress level, wastes time, and could cause you to miss the mailing date. Transparent communication is essential!
5. Things are Not Getting Done
In many companies, there are a lot of people involved in the email review and approval process. How often does someone drop the ball, which causes other team members to scramble in an effort to make up that lost time? Do messages go out late because you’re waiting on that one person’s approval again?
The truth is unless there is a formal review and approval system in place that sets roles, responsibilities, and expectations, there will be people who don’t prioritize the process or the deadlines associated with it. A formal system creates accountability, but it must be used and promoted at the leadership level so everyone knows they have to use it, too.
A lack of a documented email review and approval system causes things to not get done. Here’s how to solve the problem:
By taking the time to document the entire email review process, getting leadership to buy into it and require that everyone follows it, and putting the process into action, team members will start prioritizing deadlines and getting things done. As a result, you should save time, money, and frustration in the future.
How to Improve Your Email Review and Approval Process
The solution to improving your email review and approval process is to develop your system and implement it using a dedicated approval tool like ProofJump that allows you to automate much of the process and replace dozens of manual tasks.
You’ll have a centralized place for collaboration, communication, and organization in the ProofJump platform that is proven to work.
Rather than sending feedback request emails, consolidating comments (from email, voice mail, handwritten notes, conversations, etc.), and trying to make sense of multiple versions of the same message, you’ll send one link to all stakeholders for review and approval.
When they click on the link, they’ll see your email message with all versions clearly marked. They’ll be able to test links and dynamic content, and they’ll be able to add their comments or approval to the correct version. They’ll also see everyone else’s comments and quickly learn why changes were requested.
In other words, ProofJump solves the problems related to email reviews and approvals that are costing your company money, making clients and customers unhappy, raising your stress level, and wasting so much of your time and other stakeholders’ time.
Ready to improve your email review and approval process, contact us to schedule a free demo of ProofJump and see how it can solve your problems.
Originally published 3/25/21. Updated 4/5/22.