A business case explains the reasons for undertaking a project or task. It’s usually tied in to the bottom line – how the project will help an organization achieve its underlying goals. A business case justifies the expenditure of resources and capital, showing how the project meets specific business needs.
A business case can be a lengthy and highly formal document, or it can be a simple short memo or a verbal presentation.
Why make a business case?
A full business case provides managers with the information for deciding whether a project should be initiated. The project team also can use the business case to measure success as the project progresses and monitor the process to ensure that promised benefits/features are being delivered.
Business cases for email marketers
Business cases are very common in email marketing. A financial officer and the management team require due diligence – they must know the reasoning behind selecting a certain email marketing software. A business case might be presented to explain why the email marketing function should be in-house or outsourced, budget for a particular email campaign, infrastructure expenses, automation of event-driven campaigns, or costs associated with gathering extra profile information or email addresses.
Information included in a formal business case
(depending on information available and size of project)
- Reference – project background
- Value proposition – expected business benefits, cost and ROI scenarios
- Focus – options considered, with reasons for favoring one, and scope of the project
- Gap analysis – the risks involved with not doing the project
- Deliverables – outcomes and benefits
- Expected costs – workload and required resources
In some cases it’s the email vendor, email marketing agency or other stakeholder group – not the internal project leader – who writes the business case. Approaches to business decisions might also include a pilot project, trial versions of email tools or a proof of concept.