Streamlining email marketing tasks with automated approvals

Streamlining email marketing tasks with automated approvals

Modern marketers use automated email campaigns to improve efficiency when delivering personalized messages. The ever-growing demand for email content creation and management results in quite a lot of tasks from the idea to execution to reporting. Approving certain elements of an email campaign — like the content of the email, the targeting, or the scheduling — is key to ensuring the messages sent are compliant and on brand.

However, these key approval steps are often manual and time consuming. Team members tend to wait on each other’s response for several reasons — unclear process, different communication channels, and lack of communication or transparency.

By embracing automated approvals, the email marketing team takes a step toward increasing the efficiency of their marketing efforts. Once automated, email marketing campaigns move faster through the approval pipeline, reducing the time spent on manual reviews.

The approval process can be transparent and visible

Approval automation does not exist without a clear, structured, and streamlined process. Once well defined, this process serves as ground zero. It empowers marketing teams to send emails adhering to the creative brief, brand guidelines, and regulatory requirements. The process documentation needs to include the different roles and their responsibilities — and the kind of approval rights they have.

Automating the approval process doesn’t mean a lack of written go-aheads. Quite the opposite. It offers complete transparency regarding accountability and responsibility. Once the tagged approver responds to a certain element (workflow, recipients, timing, or content) — regardless of the approval or decline — it leaves a traceable track record.

Automating approvals does not eliminate human oversight

In times of rapidly developing technologies, marketing automation, and generative AI, marketers often fear losing human oversight. Relying on automated systems suggests the sacrifice of the critical element of human judgment, leading to potential errors or omissions in the approval process.

Contrary to these concerns, automating email approvals does not mean the elimination of human oversight. Think of it more like an autopilot function of a plane. You can configure the route, but if an unforeseeable weather condition appears, the captain can always overrule and reroute. Marketers still remain the captain.

From time to time, there are exceptional cases that call for human intervention — whether it is addressing sensitive issues, ensuring compliance with industry regulations, responding to unforeseen circumstances, an article is out of stock, a store needs to close, or a weather change has to be reflected last minute. Emails in the process of approvals can still be declined and stopped from going live. This human touch allows for thoughtful and adaptive decision-making in situations that require personalized attention and expertise.

Different team sizes and industries have different needs

There is always the question if automating approvals makes sense at all. Our experience with various industries and team sizes shows that the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work. Bigger marketing teams always benefit from approval automation as it gets more documented, structured, and traceable. However, some industries like pharma or finance benefit from it regardless of the team size.

The approval of elements does not require a complex implementation

The automated approval process begins when the marketing team creates an email campaign. The content, targeting, and scheduling are all subject to approval, depending on the organization's unique workflow. Team members can be assigned different approval levels, and once they approve, the workflow progresses to the next stage. This means that different elements can be effortlessly assigned to different colleagues and even multiple team members.

Start approval automation slow and scale fast

Gradually starting with approval automation and scaling fast can help your marketing team better adapt to the new process without overwhelming them. It is always helpful to flag pilot campaigns for this new practice which are usually low risk and business as usual campaigns. Make sure all approvers are trained and comfortable with the new process in the beginning and scale once comfortable. The newly established, automated approval flow might need refinements and overviews so make sure you regularly check the effectiveness.

Get started with automated approvals with Adobe Campaign

Considering all the above, these are the four easy steps you can already take with your organization to lay the right foundations for automated approvals:

  1. Establish and document clear approval hierarchies and roles to avoid confusion.
  2. Regularly review approval responsibilities to identify opportunities for optimization.
  3. Start slowly, scale quickly.
  4. Educate stakeholders on the role of approvals.

Adobe Campaign allows you to streamline and automate approval processes so marketing teams can focus on crafting engaging content, nurturing customer relationships, and enhancing the customer experience.

With its user-friendly configuration, setting team members as approvers can be easily done through your Adobe Campaign instance. The actual approving or declining of an element can be done either via email or directly in the console.

Adobe Campaign allows you to not only set up approval flows on a campaign level but also as a standalone task in a workflow allowing you to start small and scale.

If you’d like to learn more about approvals in Adobe Campaign, visit Adobe Experience League.

Nelly Domonkos has been a business consultant for Adobe Campaign and Journey Optimizer for the last eight years. She collaborates with clients to develop business use cases, establish KPIs, and use Adobe tools to drive value from implementation to adoption. She brings a wealth of industry experience to the table, optimizing customer journeys and advising on reporting and analysis to guide strategic decision-making.