Marketers spend an average of 3.9 hours in the review and approval process for every email message they send. The majority of that time is wasted by stakeholders trying to find the most recent versions of messages, commenting on the wrong versions, and being confused about the entire process. Deadlines are missed, executives or clients are angry, and your job could be in jeopardy.
Fortunately, email QA software makes the entire email review and approval process easier, faster, and more cost-effective. When you reduce the amount of time it takes from email conception to delivery, your business’ bottom-line (and your peace-of-mind) will benefit. You’ll send more messages in less time and with fewer mistakes than you thought possible!
Email QA software can be a game changer for your business, but not all email QA software tools are equal. You need to do your due diligence and find the software that delivers the features you need to be successful. An email QA software is much more than a proofing tool and requires more thought and research to choose the best option for your business.
Review the 10 questions to ask before you invest in email QA software below so you don’t make a costly investment mistake.
1. Does your email QA software accommodate my email workflow?
Many email marketers have to jump through hoops to do QA. They might take screenshots, save PDFs, share a ‘view in web’ link from an Excel spreadsheet, or use Google Docs. It’s a time-consuming and confusing process for everyone involved.
The solution is to use an email QA software like Campaign Workhub that makes your email workflow simpler and more efficient. You just send a test message directly from your email marketing tool to your special Campaign Workhub address, and Campaign Workhub captures mobile and desktop screenshots that are ready for stakeholders to review. Unlike traditional screenshots, reviewers can test the links from within the message because the email is actually hosted, not just rendered on the screen.
2. Does your software offer automatic proof labeling and version control?
How often do stakeholders provide comments on the wrong version of an email campaign? How often do they contact you (or another team member) asking which version they should be reviewing? For most marketers, that happens much too often.
When you use Campaign Workhub proofs are labeled automatically ensuring that reviewers are always looking at the right version. It’s so simple but will save your company so much time.
3. Can all reviewers provide annotated comments?
It’s essential that every reviewer can add their own annotated comments directly into the email message being reviewed. Sidebar comments are great, but if reviewers can’t “write” directly on the email message, there will be confusion about what they’re asking or recommending.
In addition, comments need to be easy to follow, so everyone on the team knows why changes were made. This information needs to be quick to find, because people won’t dig for it. When they have transparent access to previous comments and conversations, you’ll save a lot of time because you’ll no longer have to continually catch people up on decisions that were already made.
4. Are updates and notifications done in real time?
When changes are made or new versions are ready for review, all team members should receive updates and notifications in real-time. A critical part of optimizing productivity is to keep the review process moving forward, and real-time notifications help to keep people actively on task. In other words, real-time updates and notifications help to ensure everyone meets their deadlines, which means your email campaigns are more likely to go out on time and within budget.
5. What do stakeholders have to do to review my email messages? What if they don’t work for my company?
It should be extremely easy for all stakeholders to review your email campaigns. Lengthy, confusing account creation and login processes cause a lot of problems. Choose an email QA software that doesn’t require a lot of steps or passwords for team members to do their jobs – even if they don’t work for your company.
For example, with Campaign Workhub, reviewers don’t need an account at all. Instead, they receive an email with a review link. They visit the URL and have instant access to the Campaign Workhub review and approval tools where they can comment on the message, read other stakeholders’ comments, approve it, and more.
6. Can my team accurately review messages with advanced segmentation and dynamic content?
If your company is involved in sophisticated email marketing with advanced segmentation and dynamic content (or you will be in the future), then you absolutely need an email QA software that is capable of allowing your stakeholders to review these messages easily and accurately. The keywords here are easily and accurately.
Many email QA software tools claim to allow you to review dynamic content and advanced segmentation campaigns, but you won’t have easy access to all elements of the messages. Campaign Workhub is the only email QA software that gives you complete reviewing control of dynamic content and segmentation to ensure no messages go out with embarrassing (or possibly offensive) mistakes.
7. Does your software provide side-by-side reviews?
It’s so much easier to review email messages when you can put them next to each other and quickly identify the differences. With that in mind, you need an email QA software that provides side-by-side reviews, so you and your team members can effectively provide comments and approvals on different message versions, dynamic content, and so on.
8. Is your software compatible with my email marketing tool?
An email QA software isn’t very useful if it doesn’t work with your email marketing tool. In other words, if you can’t correctly view your messages in the email QA software, it’s of no use to you.
The good news is there is an email QA tool that works with every email marketing tool – Campaign Workhub. Since you simply send a test message for your campaign from your email marketing tool to a special Campaign Workhub address to begin the review process, you can use any email marketing tool you want. Campaign Workhub will always work for you!
9. Can I archive my messages, comments, and approvals?
It seems like every marketer has at least one story of an executive or client coming back to them months after a project ended asking who approved a specific change or how an element ended up in the final message or material that customers saw. Shuffling through folders and old email messages is a nightmare in this situation. However, if you choose an email QA software that archives everything for you, finding this kind of information is simple.
Look for an email QA software that automatically archives your email campaigns. Campaign Workhub does this and doesn’t count archived campaigns toward your subscription, so your costs stay down.
10. Can I use your software to review images as well as messages created with my email marketing tool? What fields and formats can be reviewed?
You need an email QA software that supports your review and approval process across your entire workflow. That means you need a tool that enables your stakeholders to review and comment on early stage visual mockups as well as coded email messages. You also need to be able to review fields like the preheader text, the sender’s name, and the subject line as well as how your message will look on desktops and mobile devices.
Ideally, your email QA software will allow you to upload an image or a zip file with HTML and images. You should also be able to send a test message directly from your email marketing tool, and you should be able to review the preheader text, subject line, sender’s name, and mobile and desktop views for every version of your messages. Again, choose a tool like Campaign Workhub that lets you do it all.
Choosing the Best Email QA Software
Campaign Workhub delivers all of the features discussed above and more, so you can confidently complete the entire review and approval process for your email campaigns. The best part is you can get it all at an affordable price! Contact us for a free demo today or sign up for a free 21-day trial.