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Online Ad Proofing for the Uninitiated

February 10, 2020 | Productivity

As an advertising agency, building successful campaigns are your bread and butter, but getting approval for everything isn’t easy. There are a lot of parts to ad creative: the copy, size, overall message, the images and graphics and, most importantly, the call to action and contact info. Each of these parts is integral to a successful ad campaign, and, certainly, your clients want all of the aspects to be the best that they can be. During the ad proofing process, that care can lead to a very in-depth and time-consuming course. This is only compounded when your proofing process is out-of-date and hindering the entire system. 

Luckily, with the business world the way it is today, there are lots of ways to improve your ad proofing process, and one of them is upgrading to a proofing software. Software such as Ashore can help you build a straightforward and effective proofing system that gets you approvals faster with better feedback throughout. First you need to consider first are your goals for the process and what features will help achieve them.

What Are Your Ad Proofing Goals?

Depending on your current ad proofing process, you may be prioritizing different goals when thinking about improving or moving to an entirely new system. Your company may desire a more organized process or a quicker decision, or even more quality feedback than you’re currently receiving. There are features that can help with each of those goals. 

An Organized Process

Proof Archive

While not part of the active sending and receiving process, the convenience of a well-organized proof archive cannot be understated. You can easily stay on top of all proofs sent out by your team, which is especially helpful when someone takes a vacation. You can use filters to find the proofs that have been approved (and need to be implemented) or not approved, in which case a new revision is in order. If your team needs more personalized storage, you can make use of tags to sort proofs by campaign, company or whatever floats your boat. 

Email Tracking

Nothing throws your ad proofing process into disarray like realizing you “sent” the email to the customer a week ago and it never actually sent. You can head off that terrible realization with Ashore’s handy email tracking, you can see the status of every email right there on the proof timeline – whether it failed to send, sent, and even that it was opened. Now you know the truth when your client says they “haven’t even opened the email yet”. 

As well, the proof timeline also provides a copy of each email that you send. Helpful for when you need to see exactly what was said. 


Keeping everyone on your team up to date takes too much time and energy, especially when new comments are popping up every few minutes and you’re busy with other projects as well. With emails, you can BCC people to keep them up-to-date on the email chain. With Ashore, you can do the same thing. Add other users to your workflow under a BCC and they’ll receive the same updates that you do, saving you time and effort. 

Better Feedback

Stacked Versions

If your approvers remember what version one looked like and what they said, please share your secrets. Unfortunately, we as a species can be a bit lazy, and looking for our comments and the version files through our emails is just too much work. This leads to comments such as “Did we change this color?” “What if we moved this to the left corner?” (where it was last version). Ashore’s stacked versions make it easy for your approvers to flip back and forth from old to new and see what comments they left previously, cutting down on the redundant comments and helping you get workable feedback on the current version.

Contextualized Comments

Having your comments out in the ether, or just in an email, unconnected to the image of the proof, leaves you playing a complicated matching game. Thankfully, moving your ad proofing to a software built for such things, like Ashore, helps consolidate comments and files and eliminates the need to match comments to locations. Ashore’s contextualized comments are placed directly on the image of the proof, either as a plain comment, box, or arrow to illustrate exactly what your reviewer is referring to, removing the guesswork from the process.

Quick Decisions

Automated Reminders

An ad campaign is probably a high priority for your reviewers, but that doesn’t mean it easily remains at the top of their mental checklist. Other tasks build up and pile on until the deadline for the campaign passes and your reviewer hasn’t looked once. Automated reminders keep the proof at the top of your approvers’ minds. You can customize the days and times that they receive reminders to better hack their productivity and catch them in a slow moment. The reminders stop once a decision is made, just one more reason for a quick decision.


Waiting for your reviewer to check their email may not be an option, and sometimes figuring out what to say in the email to convey urgency is just too much on top of your already busy plate. Link-sharing has the immediacy (and ease) of being right in front of your reviewer’s face, whether you’ve dropped it in Slack, Google Hangouts or over text. With fewer steps to get to the proof itself, your reviewers have even less of a reason not to review.

The Biggest Goal: Approval

If only there was that one specific feature that guaranteed approval. Instead, it’s all the other features that come together to create an ad proofing process that helps you get approval faster. With Ashore and all of its features, you’re able to customize and find the workflow that works best for you, with insights into the average number of revisions and reminders before approval. 

The best thing: all of these features are part of our free account, so you can check them out by signing up today.

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