What is Online Proofing?

Online proofing is the web-based reconciliation and approval of content in a software tool. Online proofing software, or "voting and approval software," enables marketers to share assets (content such as text, images, sound or movie files, and documents) more easily and obtain feedback or approvals on an asset more quickly. The online proofing platform is an improvement over traditional ad hoc methods such as email, hand-entered corrections in file printouts, or hallway conversations. The main advantage of online proofing over these traditional methods is the centralized feedback, which makes working on projects in a team with multiple people much more effective and accurate.

Most marketing technologies are reserved for larger companies due to their high cost. Online proofing systems, on the other hand, have asserted themselves as the most cost-effective component of MarTech when offered as a standalone tool.

A screenshot showing the comment function in online proofing software

Advantages of online proofing

Stop the flood of emails in your account

Rummaging through the inbox, fiddling with attachments, the endless back and forth during votes - stop the mail chaos in your inbox and reduce the number of project mails by 80%.

Modern feedback management

Break away from email briefings, messy printouts, and other outdated tools. Centralize feedback in a modern review and approval platform with powerful mark-up tools and easy version management.

Real-time collaboration

Share an asset - such as images, videos, websites, media banners, PDFs, audio files, and other content types - and review it with other users on your team in real time. Easily bring reviewers and decision makers together and keep them informed throughout the review process.

A laptop with an overflowing email inbox

Powerful automation and overview

Increase review efficiency by creating process workflows with powerful automation. Track review progress and improve team performance with overview and analysis features.

What is the potential of online proofing?

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By using online proofing, you save 10 hours a week. For an average marketing department, this would be about 145 hours per week. You achieve this mainly through better feedback management, clearer proofing instructions and the use of only one modern proofing tool.
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Play media content 56% faster. You get the greatest efficiency gains by centralizing the work, automating the approval process, and integrating project management software. Both of these issues should be addressed by a good online proofing tool.
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Work together in a team on a project with the highest efficiency. A high degree of individuality in the process settings means that all the needs of a team can be met. Load a file or asset into the tool, control who gets the project for review and when, and quickly share important points live in the project. The whole thing either in the private function or publicly.
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Simplifies compliance with internal audits. Centralized work and documentation of all processes gives complete transparency during audits. All comments, change requests and approvals are clearly assigned to a project and easily retrievable in one place.

Features that a good tool must bring!

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Intuitive comment tools

Feedback made easy: Adding correction instructions with proven markup tools for drawings, text annotations, measurements, and more should be simple and quick for a layperson to use.
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Everything in one place

The project and all associated feedback and decisions (also called approval) should be available centrally in one place. This is an extremely important component in terms of complete documentation.
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Simple version management

To prevent confusion about the current version, all versions should be bundled. Once a new proof version is added, the system should be able to lock old versions. This ensures that everyone is working with the latest file.

Reminder function

Forgetting is human, so a reminder can be very helpful to speed up the review process. The system's automatic sending of reminders is a feature that should not be underestimated in order to complete projects within the specified timing.
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Support for all media types

To avoid being forced to switch between tools, all common file types of document, image, video and audio formats should be supported.
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Highest safety standards

Data storage on European data centers with SOC2 certification, secure guest login and crowdstrike protection for your data is an absolute must.
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Status overview

With an overview of your projects and the respective review progress, it is easier to deploy resources where they are most needed. For efficient management of your projects!
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Automatic version comparison

Good online proofing solutions work with so-called auto-compare functions. This means that version differences in design, color, image and text versions are automatically marked down to the pixel so that nothing slips through.
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Web based application

Whether laptop, cell phone or tablet - the online proofing software tool should enable all team members to collaborate from any device. With web-based solutions, users simply log in via the web browser - without additional installations.
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Real-time collaboration

In the development process, one often works through one step after the other (waterfall principle). However, if the feedback of several users involved is required in a coordination phase, the tool should enable simultaneous work on the file.
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Workflow automation

Modern tools use previously defined triggers such as time targets or events in the projects. Once defined, the progress of the projects can be automatically advanced with occurrence or achievement.

We support you in digitizing your reconciliation and approval processes

We don't see ourselves as a salesperson for a specific software solution. Instead, we want to use our years of experience in online proofing to help you digitize your approval processes or put existing solutions and their functionality to the test.

Whether you want to have translations checked by a market or a blueprint approved by product management and the legal department, it doesn't matter to us. We analyze your approval processes and transfer them to the world of online proofing.
Onboarding sessions help us to enter into dialog and gain a common understanding of the possibilities, as well as to get to know your coordination and approval processes. We translate what we have learned into digital process templates that can be used in a later implementation of online proofing software.

Even after the introduction of an online proofing solution, we accompany you as a reliable contact partner and stand by your side.

A screenshot from an online proofing software, on which two versions are compared by means of pixel matching

Our conclusion

In addition to the main benefits of an online proofing solution mentioned above, it is also important to consider the impact of the status quo. If inefficient processes go unnoticed, they can continue to bring consequential costs. Thus, it is important to not only focus on one tool, but also to scrutinize the feedback and review processes themselves.

Online proofing has been called "the fastest win in marketing technology," primarily because of its ease of implementation and low training requirements. However, the long-term, tangible benefits for companies and users far outweigh the short-term effects. Online proofing tools significantly increase the efficiency of reconciliation and approval processes and provide less frustration when working on approval processes with multiple stakeholders.

Interested? I look forward to your questions and exciting conversations about online proofing!

Daniel Heinz
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Our contact person for innovation management: Christian Vogl