Our Approval Process
We have implemented strict approval processes to keep client projects moving along at a good pace. Please understand: The purpose of this protocol is to avoid multiple last-minute changes/additions to copy and/or design. We manage all of our projects via Basecamp, a cloud-based project management tool that you must use in order to communicate with us. This keeps all project information in one place accessible to anyone who has been invited and is available from any Internet connected device.
Strategic Marketing uses a FIRST DRAFT, SECOND DRAFT, FINAL DRAFT process for copy approval, as follows:
We will provide you with a First Draft of the COPY ONLY (ie, no design) of the marketing piece (websites, brochures, postcards, etc.).
The copy will be sent to you via an email from Basecamp (our cloud-based project management tool) with a subject line that clearly states FIRST DRAFT and ACTION REQUIRED.
Upon receipt, you will be asked to carefully review it and reply to the email with one of the following declarations:
- MULLIGAN: In the event that the copy is not close to what you are wanting (rare: only about 10% of the time), we will start over again. A phone conference with the Senior Copywriter and his/her supervisor will be arranged to discuss the conceptual problems, and an alternate FIRST DRAFT will be created.
- APPROVED AS IS: Fairly uncommon on first drafts; if you APPROVE the draft AS IS, the draft will be considered FINAL and no further versions will be sent to you, and no further changes may be made without charge (see below).
- APPROVED WITH MARKED EDITS: Provide your edits in writing in the email; we will then make the requested edits and provide you with a SECOND DRAFT. This is our preferred method of receiving edits so that there is a written record.
- CLOSE, BUT CONVERSATION REQUIRED: You feel that the copy and concepts are on point, but you need to discuss changes with your copywriter before approving.
You should edit and approve all copy within 2 to 3 business days of receipt to keep your project on track.
Upon receipt of your edits, your Senior Copywriter will make the noted changes and present you with a Second Draft.
You will receive in an email via Basecamp (our cloud-based project management tool) with a subject line that clearly states SECOND DRAFT and ACTION REQUIRED. Please reply with one of the following:
- APPROVED AS IS: This is fairly common on 2nd drafts; in the event you approve the 2nd draft, it will be considered FINAL and no FINAL DRAFT (per below) will be presented to you. No further changes may be made by you without charges. Be very careful in your editing!
- APPROVED WITH MARKED EDITS: Any last minute changes (grammar, typos, etc.) should be noted and emailed back to your Senior Copywriter.
Your Senior Copywriter will make the requested changes, if any, on the Second Draft and email you an updated FINAL DRAFT.
This will be sent to you in an email via Basecamp (our cloud-based project management tool) with a subject line that clearly states FINAL DRAFT and ACTION REQUIRED and will ask for written APPROVAL, via reply email:
- APPROVED AS IS: Most common; this version should be perfect
- APPROVED WITH MARKED EDITS: Minor typos, etc. should be the only changes.
Once you have APPROVED the Final Draft, any additional copy changes will require a fee of $55 per hour to be paid before the changes will be made.
The same process of a First Draft, Second Draft, and Final Draft will be used to ensure that the design meets your approval. You will be working with your Design Coordinator to edit and approve the various versions of the document. After the Final Draft, any additional changes requested by you will be made with a fee of $55 per hour.
This process is not in place to nickel & dime you for extra money. Our experience shows that without a strict sign-off approval process, some clients will perpetually “find things to change” and send MANY, MANY revision requests to us. This unnecessarily adds cost and extends the time it takes to complete projects, leading to frustration for everyone. Remember, we are creating your marketing in PARTNERSHIP with you; we expect you to be as thorough in reviewing your copy and design as we are in creating it. Thank you for understanding.