The client approval process can be smooth and simple, but sometimes it can be a nightmare. It can be a very tedious process with various stages of approval and sometimes require numerous sets of eyes before the final sign off.
Hours of valuable work time can get lost in the process. Without a formal approval procedure, there is higher risk of miscommunication and error.
In order to avoid these unnecessary risks, you should work with your clients to come up with a formal approval process that is most effective for both parties.
Start With a Centralized Location
Using email or Slack to manage approvals can slow down production, and can even end up hurting client relationships. Emails and slacks can get lost, and verbal messages do not always get passed along.
Without a centralized location, it’s easy to forget who has seen what, and what has been approved for posting.
Shared Google drives are a perfect way to centralize documents and collaborate with clients. This way, once the doc is uploaded into the drive, the client can share with whoever needs to review the content for approval.
Creating an Approval Document
When it comes to creating a shared approval doc template, set it up so that it is easily digestible. It should be clear at a glance what is in review and awaiting approval.
Assume that the senior level point of contact that you need approval from does not have the time to dig through what is pending and what is already approved.
The key to having a successful client approval doc is simplicity and clarity regarding what needs to be reviewed. Having additional columns and labels helps eliminate confusion and gives the client the opportunity to provide feedback, if needed.
This way, all changes can be documented in a centralized location so that there is no miscommunication in the back and forth.
Not every approval doc and process will be the same. The format of the approval doc can vary, depending on your client’s needs. Regardless of format, these documents all serve the same purpose: making it easy for the client to review and sign off on.
Below are some essentials to include to provide an effective approval process for clients:
- Include a “Status” column that clearly states which stage in the approval process the content is in. Adding a drop down window makes it easier for the client to label the status and also provides standard verbiage so there is no confusion.
- It is important to include a “Comments” column for the client to provide feedback. This is typically the area where miscommunications arise. One-off comments/feedback via email or Slack do not always include all team members. Having this centralized document for ALL team members involved guarantees that everyone is on the same page and that nobody is left in the dark.
- Provide a “Date” column to clearly document when the content was proposed, when comments were made, and when the content was approved. This time stamp helps with organization and creates a running timeline of all efforts.
- Lastly, include “Links” to any assets that are relevant to the content. Especially if you are proposing ads for social platforms, having a link to the creative along with the copy makes it so the client doesn’t have to dig around for the assets that you are referring to.
By establishing an effective ad approval process, you will be able to save hours of valuable time and minimize errors stemming from miscommunications. Working in client services, the key is to make their job as easy as possible. Having a centralized approval doc helps make the approval process simple, yet effective.
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