Streamlining your Agency’s Sign-off Procedure

In our 2013 Email Marketing Industry Census we asked what marketers loved and hated about email. The answers from agencies highlighted “clients”, “planning” and “time”. Clearly ideas to help with client processes are welcome.

Agency responses to: “What do you hate about creating an email campaign?”


Consider this response to an agency approval email:

“Yes! We want to allow the management team see it before we send, but as far as we’re concerned it’s ready to go.”

You receive this, and launch the campaign. A member of the management team spots a mistake. Or they say the quality isn’t up to the right standard. Or that the message itself seems a bit off-brand.

You get the blame for sending the campaign before it had final sign-off, but you got the okay by email from another member of the management team. Well, it definitely looked like an approval. Kind of.

“The email was urgent, why didn’t it go out? We’ve lost ground to our competitors.”

You tried, but you couldn’t get hold of your key contact. They were out of the office until Monday. But you could have spoken to their direct reports, who were empowered to make the decision in your key contact’s absence. Except you didn’t know that.

These issues could have been avoided.

You need a clear, traceable sign-off procedure agreed with your clients.

  1. The client gives you a list of people who can give approval.
  2. You agree how many approvals you need before a campaign is signed-off.
  3. You create your campaign, test it and make sure you’re totally happy with it.
  4. You send a copy of the email with an approval request to your client’s approval list.
  5. Whoever is available from the client’s approval list checks the campaign, they can approve it or reject it.
  6. If they reject it, they send their feedback so you can make the changes and resend for approval.
  7. Once enough approvals are reached the campaign can launch.

No need to call people chasing sign-offs, less chance of errors as there are more checks, and clear accountability at every stage. Ultimately, each campaign is launched, on time, with final approval from the right people.

And this is the process used by the MessageFocus Approval System. It handles the entire process for you, sending emails at each stage to keep everyone informed. Everything is managed and recorded within the system.

Review your sign-off procedures with your clients, and make sure they’re water-tight before something goes wrong.

If your agency needs an email system that can work around you, find out more about MessageFocus.

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