The Real Cost of Inefficient Email Proofing and Approvals – ProofJump Blog
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The Real Cost of Inefficient Email Proofing and Approvals

Inefficiencies cost your business money, and data proves it. Did you know 52% of companies often miss deadlines because of approval delays, collaboration bottlenecks, and “general chaos” in content production processes? That’s more than one out of every two companies!

Considering how much a business typically invests in marketing, this statistic should be highly alarming to senior executives.

The data comes from Kapost and Gleanster’s notable report, The $958M Marketing Problem, which quantifies the cost of inefficiency in content production processes. According to the research, the top reasons deadlines are missed are:

  • Approval delays: 92%
  • Communication issues between stakeholders: 82%
  • Inconsistent tasks for each type of content: 40%
  • General chaos: 40%
  • Lack of a centralized calendar: 36%
  • Fragmented technologies: 36%

The repercussions of these inefficiencies are much more significant than you might think. Researchers found that marketing cycle times are 240% slower on average, and $0.25 of every dollar spent is wasted on inefficiencies – adding up to an estimated $958M each year in excessive spend for mid-to-large B2B US companies alone.

But that’s not all. Research from the McKinsey Global Institute found that employees waste 19% of the average workweek tracking down and gathering necessary information and 14% on internal communication and collaboration. Add another 28% spent reading and responding to email messages, and the average worker has just 39% (about one-third) of their workweek available to do everything else.

Based on those statistics, McKinsey says businesses could recoup this lost time and the revenue that goes with it by improving collaboration, communication, and productivity. Considering market research firm IDC found that companies lose 20-30% of potential revenue every year due to inefficiencies, it seems McKinsey’s recommendations are correct.

5 Ways Email Marketers Can Improve Efficiency and Lower Costs

Every email marketing review and approval process includes inefficiencies until you take the time and make the effort to streamline the system. The first step is to identify what’s causing the inefficiencies, and then, you can find solutions to improve productivity and ultimately, revenue. Fortunately, improving an inefficient email proofing and approval process is something you can fix quickly and affordably. Following are five ways to do it:

1. Use the Best System for the Job

How are you proofing and approving email marketing campaigns today? Are you using the right tools for the job? Is the process as automated and consistent as possible? Are communications centralized? Do all stakeholders know what to do and when? Are deadlines met?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, then you need a better system for email proofing and approvals. And if you’re still using a spreadsheet for tracking and email inboxes for proofing, then you need a better system.

A “make do” solution costs you time and money. Instead, you need to invest in an email proofing and approval solution that was built for that specific purpose, like ProofJump.

Bottom-line, you can invest a small amount in the right proofing solution today and save money in the long-run. In fact, you’ll come out on top because your employees will have more time to work on other revenue-generating opportunities.

2. Improve Communication

Communications need to be centralized and transparent or the email proofing and approval process will be filled with delays. Messages could go out with errors, and you could end up not only losing money but also creating a negative perception of your brand among consumers who receive the wrong messages and offers.

The reality is when reviewers work in silos, things will be missed. Mistakes will be made, and delays will become the accepted norm. Don’t let that happen! Instead, use an email proofing and approval solution to bring all communications together in one place where everyone sees what’s happening in real-time. There will be no more confusion or frustration and far fewer mistakes and delays will be made.

3. Reduce Bottlenecks

To reduce inefficiencies in your email proofing system, you first need to quantify the bottlenecks across the entire process? To do this, have each employee involved in the review process track the amount of time they spend on email reviews and approvals for your next campaign. At the end of the campaign, analyze how much time they spend tracking down messages and feedback, synthesizing comments, following up on missing feedback, and so on.

Once you have the information gathered, multiply each employee’s hourly salary by the number of hours spent on the review and approval process. Add up all of the numbers for each of your employees, and you’ll see how much your business spent on what should actually be a very simple, streamlined, and inexpensive process.

Again, if your employees aren’t using the right processes and technology, there will be bottlenecks. Time is money, so if you want to save all of that lost time and money, invest in the right email proofing and approval solution.

4. Eliminate Rework and Duplicate Processes

When feedback isn’t centralized and collaboration and communications are fragmented and happen in silos, mistakes will be made, and there will be gaps that lead to rework. No business wants its employees to have to do rework or duplicate any processes that should have been completed correctly the first time. That time and money should not be wasted every time an email campaign needs to be reviewed.

The best way to improve your processes is to ensure employees don’t have to shift between different modes of communication or sources of information. Reviewers should have the most current information available to them at their fingertips whenever they need it.

If every stakeholder doesn’t have this real-time access, then their productivity will tank and the likelihood for rework will increase. A single email proofing and approval tool solves this problem by keeping everyone on the same page at all times.

5. Improve Accountability

Not only do reviewers need to know what tasks each stakeholder is responsible for so they’re held accountable to meet deadlines, but so do executives. Without access to data, executives won’t have accurate information to analyze return on investment (ROI). The true cost of email marketing can’t be calculated if all costs aren’t included.

When the technology you use for email proofing and approvals provides you with adequate data, you can quickly identify tasks that caused delays and how the overall ROI of each campaign was affected by those delays. Without that knowledge, there is no way to work to improve any inefficiencies and boost ROI in the future.

RELATED READING: How to Build an Executive Business Case for an Email Proofing and Approval Solution

Key Takeaways about the Costs of Inefficient Email Proofing and Approvals

To reduce the cost of inefficient email proofing and approvals, you need to invest in standardized workflow and approval technology, use centralized assets and content, and leverage automation tools. In addition, your business has to commit to prioritize efficiency as an ongoing measurement of success that can be tracked and quantified based on cycle time, volume, and specific milestone deadlines as key metrics.

Productivity skyrockets when people have access to the right tools to get their jobs done. An email proofing and approval tool, like ProofJump, will improve your employees’ productivity significantly and reduce email review inefficiencies, so you can get more messages to market faster than ever.

Schedule a demo to see how ProofJump can help your business improve email proofing and approval efficiency, save money, and get better results.

Originally published 1/4/21. Updated 5/5/23.

Image by Dirk Wouters from Pixabay