Is your company experiencing any of the signs that you need a better email marketing review process? If you’re still asking people to proof your campaigns in their email inboxes – where you send a test campaign via email to each approver so they can reply via email with changes or approvals – then you need a better process.
The reality is proofing emails in your inbox is a bad idea. For large companies or agencies that send hundreds of email campaigns in a month, the proofing process often takes longer than the time it takes to design the message, write the copy, and create it in your email marketing tool.
The time lost during the proofing process is the result of a list of avoidable factors. As an email marketer, you’d be better off spending time A/B testing content or subject lines and analyzing the results of your email campaigns rather than tracking down disconnected email replies from reviewers.
The truth is when you spend less time sifting through replies, you’ll have more time to spend on initiatives that are critical to meeting lead generation and conversion goals.
Top Problems with Proofing Email Campaigns in Your Inbox
According to research by McKinsey, employees waste 28% of their time each work week reading and responding to email messages. And that’s just one of the ways inefficient email review process costs businesses!
Rather than adding to that wasted time, you should remove the broken email marketing proofing process from inboxes. Following are some of the top problems you’ll encounter when you review emails in your inbox – all of which can be avoided.
Time is Wasted without Real-Time Versioning and Proofing
Proofing an email marketing campaign in your inbox is actually the worst place to do it. It’s cumbersome to track change requests via a deluge of email. Imagine someone reviews a draft you sent and responds to your message, but they do so to an earlier version – after you already made updates and sent a new draft. Now, their time has been wasted and so has yours.
This exact scenario happens all the time. When you have multiple versions already emailed to your proofing team, stakeholders end up requesting edits on prior versions of your campaign proof. Sometimes when you’re waiting for everyone to respond with changes or requests, you could see a new edit arrive in your inbox, and you may not be sure if you already made the change or not. That edit may even contradict a change request from someone else. The result is more wasted time for everyone.
Another common challenge is that multiple stakeholders reply simultaneously with conflicting comments. For example, you might get feedback from one individual stating that the expiration date for the coupon your email campaign is promoting should be included in the message. Let’s say you have one individual stating that it should expire in 30 days, and another says it should expire in 45 days. Now, you have to spend time confirming which expiration date is right. Again, more time is wasted because you’re using an inefficient and siloed email marketing proofing process.
Delays, Work, and Time Increase without Automation, Transparency, and Collaboration
When you ask stakeholders to proofread and approve campaigns in their inboxes, there are no clear or automated notifications or due date reminders. Proofing by email doesn’t allow you to track multiple approval levels. In addition, you can’t set up and send automated notifications to individuals when a new version is ready for proofing or to tell them their approval is required to advance the entire proofing process.
There’s also no transparency or collaboration for everyone involved. No one knows what changes and corrections were requested, by whom, and why except you – the person who collects all of the feedback from many email messages.
For example, you have changes coming in from various stakeholders, some even outside of the marketing department and company. By not allowing everyone to see suggested edits and the resulting changes you make to the campaign, you may end up with multiple people alerting you to a glaring error you made – one that you already knew about and fixed. If your email proofing process was transparent, that wouldn’t happen, and no one would have to waste their time telling you to change things that were already revised.
Deadlines are Missed When Key Stakeholders Don’t Get Your Test Emails
Some of your test emails end up in someone’s spam folder. It happens to every email marketer for a variety of reasons, and it can delay your entire campaign review process and delivery.
For example, let’s say your proofing team includes employees at your company and an external consultant who is leading the team. Your test email may just end up in the spam folder of the consultant guiding your marketing team, which will delay your email send by yet another day.
What if that email campaign was a promotion offering a special discount for an upcoming holiday? A late approval – even one day late – could negatively impact the success of the entire project and investment.
Confusion and Errors Increase When Dynamic Content, Desktop, and Mobile Versions Can’t Be Viewed in One Place
When you ask people to review and proof email campaigns in their own email inboxes, they won’t be able to view the mobile and desktop versions at the same time. This may seem like it’s not a big deal, but it adds time to the proofing process for every stakeholder. You may even have key stakeholders who are traveling and are only able to view and approve the campaign on their mobile device.
For your review process to be thorough, reviewers need to be able to quickly and easily review all versions of your message. This includes the mobile and desktop versions of your message as well as all versions using dynamic content.
The fewer steps people have to take to review each version, the quicker the entire proofing process will be and the more accurate your final campaigns will be when you send them.
The Solution is a Collaborative Review and Approval Solution
Instead of trying to manage version control chaos in your inbox, ProofJump takes the review and approval process out of email inboxes and puts it into a single, collaborative, and transparent solution.
ProofJump allows all stakeholders to be on the same page reviewing the most recent version of your email campaign. As a result, there’s no confusion for anyone about whether the version they’re viewing is the latest and the greatest. If someone wants to look at a previous version, they can.
With ProofJump, all reviewers can see comments and changes in real time, which is extremely helpful when multiple approvals are needed from within or outside the marketing team or your company. Because reviewers can explain the need for a change and everyone can view their comments, much of the back and forth is eliminated.
When your email marketing team can save significant time using a more effective campaign proofing process, they can invest more time into improving campaign elements and strategies that will lead to more email opens, clicks, and conversions in the future. This is where the magic happens for ProofJump users.
Key Takeaways about Why Proofing Emails in Your Inbox is a Bad Idea
Proofing email marketing campaigns in email inboxes is inefficient, frustrating, and a significant source of errors, wasted time, and delivery delays. Instead, use a collaborative solution built specifically for the job – ProofJump. Schedule a demo and see for yourself how it can solve your email proofing and approvals problems.
Originally published 7/15/21. Updated 4/11/23.