Project management is part art, part science -- and not everyone has the foresight and intuition to sense roadblocks or anticipate every detail ahead of time. As marketers, it's easy to get caught up in the creative concepts, then jump straight to how we will measure success (because after all, our campaigns are sure to succeed).
However, in order to make sure we aren't forgetting to ask those key marketing questions that will help steer the campaign down the right road, there are certain tools and templates that keep us aligned: a project brief is one of them.
The Project Brief
Every good marketer starts with a brief, interviewing key stakeholders and analyzing the entire scope of the project, before executing.
A brief should include your business objective and clearly state how you will measure success. "Awareness" is not an acceptable business objective for email most of the time, so dig deeper, and think about what you are truly hoping to accomplish with the project. You also can't measure "awareness," so you will have a hard time proving the value of the project.
Anticipate your audience
Another key to sending successful email campaigns is anticipating your audience. What challenge are you helping your customers overcome, and how does this audience act? Are there any barriers that might block your road to success? Evaluating these ahead of time allows you to tailor your campaign to fit the audience and their preferences.
Finally, email marketing is complex, and there is a lot of little stuff that goes into a single email: creative design, images, copy, landing pages, link tracking, pixels, lists, exclusion groups, and more. Clearly define what you will need before you start. This will help you establish a realistic timeline that you can execute against.
If you're a marketer and are in need of a template to manage your projects, here is an example brief we use at Business.com to help ensure our email campaigns are comprehensive and result in massive success.