4 Ways to Make Designers and Email Marketers Work Better Together

Are your email marketers and designers always at war? Bridge the divide with these four simple changes.
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It’s no secret that the difference between a designer’s vision and an email marketer’s output can be worlds apart.

Don’t get me wrong, email marketers want their emails to look fantastic, but they’re also juggling a range of priorities regarding KPIs, key messaging, and CTAs.

Sometimes it’s easier for them to cut some design corners to ensure the email is blasted out on schedule and under budget.

Thankfully, we’ve come up with four ways to help designers and email marketers work more cohesively together, balancing creative desires with KPIs and timelines.

1. Boosting transparency

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HubSpot spoke to marketers and designers about the root of their problems and came up with some damning results.

According to the 2017 survey, less than 30% of marketers say designers are anticipating problems and following a transparent process. However, 39% of designers say it’s difficult to estimate the scope of projects in the first place.

This miscommunication and misunderstanding can be addressed by boosting transparency, on both sides.

Designers can lay out their processes (including the budget considerations, and what would incur a rise in fees) and ensure communication is clear and proactive throughout the design process.

On the other side of the coin, email marketers can better communicate the scope of the project in the briefing process (including all pertinent details and areas where they feel there might be scope creep or delays), giving designers a better overall view and an understanding of where they stand.

2. Improving the briefing process

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Speaking of briefing, most issues arise because of miscommunications during the briefing process or a lack of detail in the original brief.

HubSpot found that less than 40% of marketers say designers do a good job of either following the creative brief or asking questions to understand it better.

Additionally, only 18% of designers believe that marketers do a good job of sticking to their own brief.

Clearly, both sides feel that the other isn’t pulling their weight, so what can be done to address this?

Email marketers can take the time to develop briefs with the designers in mind, considering what elements they’ll need to know, the budget constraints they’ll have to stick to, and the potential problem areas.

By putting themselves in the brogues of the designers, the brief should do a better job of identifying important issues and roadblocks.

On the designers’ side, they should hold the email marketers to account. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask a bunch of questions and clarify anything that seems unclear or vague. The extra time they spend now will save both sides a whole lot of time down the track.

3. No more creepin’

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Once the briefing process is new and improved, both email marketers and designers are responsible for ensuring there’s no scope creep.

Setting strict guidelines and project boundaries is the first step, and that can be established during the briefing process.

During the design phase, email marketers need to be mindful of scope creep and understand the time and money cost this means for designers.

According to HubSpot, 24% of designers say that marketers don’t stay within the initial scope well.

On the other hand, designers also need to carefully follow the brief’s instructions and ensure they don’t creep outside the scope either.

Designers need to understand that email marketers have a deeper understanding of the project’s and brand’s needs, and should follow their guidelines accordingly.

4. Implementing consistent and clear feedback

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Less than 30% of designers think that marketers are good at giving feedback on either a clear, timely, or consistent basis.

Given this poor review, what can email marketers do to change this?

First, email marketers should consolidate all feedback and make sure that no stakeholders are contradicting each other.

There’s nothing more annoying than getting feedback that’s disjointed, contradictory, and in a bunch of different places. Feedback should always be consolidated, we can’t stress this enough.

Additionally, stick to the feedback deadlines that were agreed on. Email marketers expect designers to deliver their work on time, and it goes both ways.

Remember, each side of this arrangement has to play their part, and email marketers have to be able to rely on designers to deliver on-brand, consistent work.

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