Hey! Does anyone have any suggestions on the best method of conducting an email approval system within Marketo or internally? What are your teams' processes?
With Marketo you are limited to setting permissions and roles accordingly and then sending sample emails and then coordinating all the feedback that comes in through all the emails.
We have developed a platform to streamline and centralize the entire email creation process including approvals. I've just sent you a DM, but happy to provide a demo of it to you if you're interested.
For some reason, I don't see a DM. Did it go through? I'm curious to see your process. We're thinking about just using our internal project management system.
Hey Raquel Babb,
Similarly to Pierce, I've used a combination of user permissions and external documentation tools. Restricting user permissions as to who can approve assets or activate smart campaigns isn't always necessary, it really depends on your user base - if they're well trained and understand processes, then you probably can skip this.
So far as approval, I've always just maintained a very clear process of documentation (I'm a fan of Confluence, but really any centrally accessible system will do), where screenshots, email testing checklists and smart campaign details are all clearly outlined with a table at the bottom of the page where all individuals required for sign off are tagged, able to leave comments and feedback, and timestamp their approval.
It will really depend on your business, but in my experience, handling sign off in a single shared page rather than over email makes the collating of feedback more straightforward, and as long as you have a clearly defined & consistent process, you shouldn't have any issues.
I think your approval process internally really depends on the size of your team, responsibilities surrounding the team members and your business. We have a small team, so the email approval process is a very simplistic approach for us. More often that not, I'm writing a lot of our email communications, create content for landing pages and so forth. So my manager and i set up the following process:
1). Create a project in basecamp & tasks for each email/landing page and assign the task to myself. What I love about basecamp is how easy it is to duplicate projects/tasks, and the assignment system. I can set a personal due date, and once I've finished the task, I can change the due date & assign it to a team member for them to follow up with. It gives you the option to also send them an email notification of changes & comments on your tasks, so they're always in the loop.
2). Once I've finished creating the content, I'll send a test to myself including a web link. I'll copy that web link into my basecamp task and post it into the comment section of the basecamp task, reassign the task to my manager, extend the due date by a week, and then he can easily check the email set up. For web page previews of draft emails you don't see the subject line & to/from/reply-tos which have been set, so I always mention these in the comment of the basecamp task.
3). Next to this, all newly created emails & landing pages remain in draft versions until I've received approval by my manager.
4). We've also started to document our processes inside and surrounding marketo to help overcome mis-communications.
As mentioned, as a small team we only need a simple approach - so not sure if this is as useful for you.
If you want to set up a quick and dirty approval process, you can do so utilizing an excel spreadsheet.
You set up a spreadsheet in a common location with a few basic columns: email name, link to email in Market, send date & send #(s), approved by
Here's your quick process:
Step 1: The creator logs the email name, link, send date and the send #(s) into the spreadsheet. (this is done ONLY after the email is completed AND tested by the creator.) and sends an email to the approver requesting that the email and program are reviewed.
Step 2: The approver checks the email and all related campaigns/programs, puts their initials in the excel spreadsheet and replies to the creator that she is good to go.
BTW, if your team is small, the approver can really be anyone else on the team, other than the creator. Sometimes all it takes is a second set of eyes to uncover any issues before it goes out the door.
Once you have this basic process down; you can elaborate, add software (like basecamp) and so on...
iterate. iterate. iterate.
Hi Raquel, to echo what others have already said, the size of your team is a big factor in the review process.
Our team isn't using any additional software outside of Marketo for email review processes. We do use a project management tool that allows for us to track the progress of the projects, but we include 'review/approval as a step in our marketing operations team's process.
Simply put, the marketing ops person working on the request sends a sample email for 'review/approval' to the requester (testing things like CTA links, reviewing the sender info, subject line, email copy, etc.). Once we receive an email back from the requester with approval, we approve the asset in Marketo and schedule. It's worked well for our team!
Hope that helps!