From a time in which you and your clients had to email back and forth to give feedback and revisions, we’ve progressed to specialized software that improves the proofing process exceedingly. One of the main improvements: all of your proofs exist one place within the software and not cluttered in amongst your abundance of emails. You can easily find all of your current proofs and check their status and see where they are in the pipeline. The entire life of the proof is viewable, each revision you send and each comment by your approvers. It’s a neat, tidy system that works just fine.
Your average proofing system is worlds better than email, but the future of the online proofing system is worlds better than even that. Your approval software can not only make your approval process more efficient, it can introduce you to features you didn’t know you needed. Ashore is sailing ahead of all the rest with some current and upcoming features.
The Future of Proofing
In the future, all of the features of an online proofing system should lead to the same general goals: improve your time management through automation and customization your processes. Your approval process may already be giving you reach these goals, but maybe they’re not. Regardless, the future of proofing will be better.
Information at a Glance
The online proofing system of the future will help you learn more about your proofing process – how many versions you send per proof, the average number of reminders before approval, your approval rate and other insights. These metrics can help you plan out your project timelines more accurately, considering things such as the number of revisions you’re likely to end up creating and the average time for approval.
When you view all of the proofs you’ve sent, you want to be able to see the status of those proofs. Are they approved, not approved, overdue? One way to do this is to list the status next to the proof itself. Ashore, however, is fond of the color-coded system – a quick and easy way to tell the status of your proof, and aesthetically pleasing to boot.
You should also be able to search through your online proofing system for individual proofs or filter for all overdue proofs, for example. Whether you’re sending out 100 projects or 1,000 your system should be helping you sort the workload quickly. If you need to customize your archive organization, tags offer a helpful solution.
Your online proofing system should, above all else, save you time and get approvals. Ideally, you will be able to start your proof along the approval pipeline with confidence that your approvers have received the proof and will be receiving reminders to review and approve. Three big features will save you time in the proofing process: workflows, reminders and templates.
Sending a proof for approval to one person can be complicated enough, but sending to multiple people at once or even sequentially multiplies the difficulty. An online proofing system should provide an automated workflow feature that sends your proof along to the next reviewer after it’s been approved. Even better, a workflow feature should allow you to add your email templates – customizing the emails that each approver will receive.
You probably spend a good portion of the approval process just waiting for feedback or decisions. The ability to set up automated reminders for each approver saves you time and worry. Automated reminders save you time, but you also want them to be customizable and include pertinent information to your company.
Writing an email doesn’t seem like it takes a lot of time, but it can be a hassle when you’re essentially typing out the same thing every time you send a proof. Email templates save you a lot of time. If your online proofing system is going the extra mile, it will also help you provide a more personalized persona to your customers with templates for automated reminders, ‘approved’ emails and anything else the system generates.
You may be using an third-party software for your online approval system, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want your branding to be cohesive. A good system will help you white label so you can present a professional, unified front to your customers. There are a couple of ways that your system can white label.
Your online proofing system undoubtedly has its own logo – it’s a business, too! But when you’re paying to use the system you don’t want your clients seeing the system logo everywhere, you want them seeing yours. Integrating your logo with your proofing system is one of the basic customization features you need.
Those proofs and reminders have to make it to your approvers somehow, and until we can beam information directly to our brains, email will have to do. That means you want all those automated emails being sent out to reflect you and your branding rather than your online proofing system’s. The ability to integrate your email so that emails come from you is a customization feature you can’t overlook.
Maybe your proofing software allows you to whitelabel everything else, but is the URL for your approval screen giving you away? Having a customized subdomain may not be the first thing you’re thinking of when choosing an online proofing system, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
Come Ashore for the Future
Learning more about the statistics of your approval process, saving time and customization are the tenets for the future of online proofing systems. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for a nebulous future – all of these features currently exist or are coming soon to Ashore. Hop aboard and see for yourself.