This summary is from a presentation by Wacarra Yeomans, Director of Creative Services at Responsys, and a speaker in the DMA13 Email Marketing Post Conference workshop.


Giving feedback looks easy, but it’s not.  It’s best to assume every word, punctuation mark, color, font and pixel are there for a reason before giving direction.  Respect your designer and creative teams, and assume that they know what they are doing and act purposefully.

This is the foundation for a good working relationship with your creative teams.  Let the team explain creative decisions and ask questions and make suggestions so the writer and designer have a choice.  Trust your team to do the right thing – and remember that they are relying on you to help make sure the work meets the business objectives.  If there are more than a couple of notes, then TALK rather than email.   Always be specific about what isn’t working – and try to differentiate client direction from your personal preference (both are valid, but in different ways).

Giving Copy writing feedback:

  1. Give direction rather than re-writing
  2. Ask questions about word choice
  3. Keep the edits within the copy discipline (when typos happen, it’s a reflection on the writer)
  4. Include examples so the writer can easily understand what you’re looking for.

Giving Design feedback:

  1. Focus on what you are attracted to in the first glance.  Make sure it’s the primary message.
  2. Be specific about what isn’t working
  3. Keep the end user in mind.  How will subscribers interact with this message.
  4. Decide whether your responses are personal preference or business objectives.


  1. Say, “I don’t like that.”  (This is not helpful)
  2. Stand over someone while they make changes unless invited.


  1. Keep the objectives in mind – is this meeting the business needs?
  2. Think about your word choice when giving feedback
  3. Be specific.
  4. Include data.
  5. Involve your creative teams early and often, especially with response data and audience feedback.
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