5 Ways to Improve Your Email Campaign Proofing Process
How would you rate your current email campaign proofing process? Is it easy to get all stakeholders to review and approve your email marketing campaigns? Do your campaigns go out on time without any stress or frustration? If you work for an agency, are your clients always completely happy with the process?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then you need to improve your email campaign proofing process because it’s wasting time and money for your company and for your clients.
Research from IDC found that companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year due to inefficiencies. However, research from McKinsey & Co. revealed that companies can save 10-15% of operational costs by using an automation tool to streamline processes.
The data shows inefficiency costs real money. This includes the inefficiencies in your email campaign proofing process. As McKinsey & Co.’s researchers discovered, you can use a solution like ProofJump to automate and streamline the entire proofing and approval process in order to save time and money.
But that’s not all. You also need to invest time and effort into developing proofing workflows that actually work. With that said, following are five ways to improve your email campaign proofing process not only by using the right solution to streamline workflows but also by developing repeatable and reliable workflows.
RELATED READING: Use ProofJump for Faster Email Marketing QA and Approvals
1. Remove Steps that Don’t Add Value
Document all of the steps in your current review process. Is every step truly necessary? Probably not. In fact, the longer you’ve been using a process, the more likely it has become bloated with unnecessary steps. Your goal is to remove all steps that don’t add measurable value to the process.
For example, while it might seem like a nice idea to add everyone you can think of to the list of email campaign reviewers, doing so overloads the process with unnecessary variables and steps. To improve efficiency and outcomes, trim down the list of reviewers to the “must include” people only.
The reality is that every process has waste. This is a fundamental principle of lean manufacturing and lean Six Sigma, which focus highly on maximizing efficiencies while minimizing costs. Your goal is to remove all of the fluff, waste, and non-essentials from your process. You’ll get better results and everyone will be happier when you do.
RELATED READING: 5 Tips to Streamline Your Email Campaign Process
2. Identify Causes and Effects
Think about what is causing problems with your current proofing process. What are the bottlenecks that consistently cause delays in your proofing process or cause you to miss deadlines?
Process improvement professionals look for variations between cycles to determine what causes unexpected results. You can do the same thing by reviewing your proofing process between campaigns. Variations that are present on a regular basis and cause negative effects must be improved.
In the email proofing process, these variations can include the people or tasks that commonly cause delays or problems – anything that puts the success of a campaign at risk.
Once you identify problematic variations, you can take steps to reduce the variations. Doing so will improve efficiencies, save time, and save money. For example, if collecting all of the reviewers’ comments on an email campaign into a single document in order to make necessary changes takes hours for each version, then that’s a variation that happens on a regular basis, causes negative effects, and needs to be addressed.
RELATED READING: 5 Causes of Missed Email Campaign Deadlines and How an Email Proofing System Can Fix Them
3. Calculate the Costs of Rework
How much does it really cost to change the layout of an email campaign in the third draft? How much do three rounds of revisions cost compared to two rounds? How much does it cost to delay a campaign so just one more person can take a look at it?
The truth is each revision and each delay costs time and money. Yes, even changing a color in an email message takes time, and depending on where and how that color is used, it could take a lot of time. Of course, time equals money.
To improve your email campaign proofing process, you need a formal written process, so you can put a dollar amount to every revision. Using cost-benefit analyses, set thresholds to guide the team on the types of changes that will be made and the types that will not be made throughout the entire process.
RELATED READING: The Real Cost of Inefficient Email Proofing and Approvals
4. Systematize Approvals
If your review process changes for each email campaign, then you’ll continually waste time, cause confusion, and drive yourself crazy. To optimize efficiency, you need a repeatable, reliable process, and that means your entire review and approval process should be systemized.
Think of it this way – if your proofing process isn’t systematized, then you won’t be able to identify bottlenecks, determine the cause and effect of delays, spot problems that lead to wasted time and money, and so on. If the process changes all the time, you won’t be able to streamline and improve.
Start by documenting your proofing process step by step. The goal is to write a process that anyone can follow – with or without your verbal and visual instruction – and they can follow it again and again. Use your proofing and approvals solution to automate, streamline, and track tasks throughout the process, and include these workflows in your process document.
RELATED READING: 10 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in Email QA Software
5. Secure Leadership Buy-in
It’s imperative that you gain leadership buy-in and support for your email proofing and approval process. Unfortunately, even the best systems can experience problems, and you’ll need leaders to step in and ensure all team members adhere to the documented process.
Of course, this is easier to enforce with employees than clients and other external stakeholders, but with leadership buy-in, you can create client estimates, contracts, and so on that set expectations and protect the process.
For example, your client project contracts could include language that says only two revisions are included in the price and additional revisions will incur separate fees. You can also include language about delays caused by the client or other potential problems.
The key is to protect your company from the added costs that come when stakeholders don’t adhere to the email proofing process. You need leadership buy-in to do it.
RELATED READING: How to Build a Business Case for an Email Campaign Approvals Solution
Key Takeaways about Improving Your Email Campaign Proofing Process
To improve your email campaign proofing process, you need to remove steps that don’t add value, identify common problems and their effects, calculate the true costs of rework, and create a systemized proofing process that is reliable and repeatable. If you accomplish these steps and gain buy-in and support from your leadership team, you’ll save time, money, and frustration every time an email campaign needs to be proofed and approved.
Ready to improve your email campaign proofing and approval process with ProofJump, a solution built specifically for the job? Schedule a demo to see ProofJump in action.