How to Streamline the Email Compilation Process Like a Pro
Incorporated into every email is a brand, a voice, and a mission. These elements create the foundation for an effective message, but the essence is the content — the stories.
Whether they’re crafting a quick weekly update, a monthly newsletter, or a full-fledged campaign, chances are there are multiple people at your organization who are writing copy or providing input.
How many people contribute to your emails?
How many sets of eyes need to review a mailing before it’s published?
How do you keep everyone on the same page?!
I work closely with several clients who have multiple contributors, editors, or stakeholders. So, what’s the secret to staying organized? How do you compile content, manage edits and revisions, attain final sign-off, and keep everyone involved happy with the finished product?
Here are some helpful hints from your email marketing peers.
I like your style.
Before you even think about building an email, your marketing team should have a thorough and comprehensive style guide. Branding and consistency are so important these days, and your emails should be no exception.
A style guide should include things like logo, colors, fonts, icons, etc. Circulate a copy to everyone at your organization, and it will quickly become a favorite resource.
Too many cooks?
Not always a bad thing! You might think that the more people who get involved, the more stressful or problematic your mailing process may become, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Great content is often the product of several minds working together; the more you can collaborate and bounce ideas off each other, the better chance you have at reaching a broader audience.
What makes this work well is when everyone involved has a defined and purposeful role.
Christian Lopez and his team at the Society of Interventional Radiology have figured out what works for them. Christian acts as a project manager and liaison between content and code developers and Informz.
“I am the sixth party in our process, yet I think things are faster and more reliable with me involved.”
Because Christian and I understand each other’s roles, we’re able to communicate quickly and concisely. Christian knows when he can come to me, and when he might have to go back to his developers.
Easy as 1-2-3.
Cindy Cumings, Cumings Communications, uses these 3 steps to streamline the compilation process:
- Clearly communicate deadlines and submission requirements. Provide a template for submissions that includes things like word count, hyperlink placement, and graphic placeholders.
- Setup an auto-reminder to all contributors 7-10 days before content is due.
- Any content submitted that does not meet the required format should be returned to the content submitter for modifications (even though it’s tempting to just “fix it” for them!).
By the time Cindy delivers content to me for email production, the compilation process is complete!
Our friends at EDUCAUSE have a highly distributed workforce in 17 states and four time zones.
“Creating monthly newsletter content with my colleagues became much easier when we switched to online collaborative editing tools (we use Google docs and spreadsheets within our enterprise account). As our research team confirms release dates for their publications we plan out content features for each month, and then iterate on content asynchronously,” explained Lisa Gesner, Marketing Manager at EDUCAUSE.
“When I’m ready to begin production, I simply share the URL with my Informz liaison. Because we also use the Informz Reviewer Tool, my colleagues have become accustomed to working in apps instead of email, and we’ve completely eliminated version control mistakes that come from sharing documents back and forth among a group.”
As always, we’re here to help however we can! Hopefully hearing from yours peers sparks some new ideas, or offers reassurance that you’re on the right track.
Check back for more collaborative concepts, or email us with any questions!