Designers should be used for only the most difficult parts of the email - with the most room for creativity.
Taylor Engstrom
Taylor Engstrom
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True design is NOT overall layout - leave that to the marketer.

Creative teams are great at delivering specific assets such as a hero image or product shots, but the change you need to make is that those assets should fit in pre-defined areas in the email.

How to Optimize Your Designers

Unleash your designer’s creativity (and their time) by stripping their workflow of having to design sections of the email that don’t need design - such as text sections, the company header, the footer, and others.

The designer shouldn’t be laying out the entire email in Photoshop or Illustrator.

That’s overkill and creates a bottleneck.

What designers should do in their creation process:

Create a SLA, basically an agreement between you and the designer.

If you submit a request, they should  get back to you what you need by a certain amount of time.

It’ll be much easier for them because you are giving them the specs of the deliverable.

For example, 

“I need a hero image that is 600 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall. In it should be a group of people meeting or working together.”

 And then they can deliver that within the SLA timeframe.

They don’t need to think about and lay out the whole campaign, and figure out colors and fonts for the whole email, because that was already set upfront.

Once you have those in place, establish another SLA for changes.

Be rigid and specific with this SLA.

Something like:

“Comments need to be made within 4 hours of the proof being sent.”

This one is always tough for executives and leadership to get behind as they don’t like to have to adhere to timelines.

But if you can frame the SLA rules in the context of what it enables you to do (produce more, sell more, uplevel the program, drive value), that’s usually the best way to do it because that’s their language.

Worst case, implement a trial month or few weeks when you ‘try out’ the SLA so people can see and feel how it will work firsthand.

Most folks are usually more open to a trial if they don’t have to fully commit to a change in how they work right off the bat.

As you can see, optimizing your designers doesn’t involve additional technologies to learn or specific design tactics to employ.

In terms of optimizing their creativity, simplifying their role and deliverables enables huge gains for the email creation process as a whole.

Thanks for reading!