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7 min read

A risk assessment matrix for you to mitigate all your email marketing risks

If you are launching your business, you should consider doing a risk assessment matrix. Even when you are doing a new task, one of the questions that you should ask is, “What could go wrong?”. In the modern digital world, a lot of online tools exist that help and automate building the forecasts and planning your new business – such as IdeaBuddy, for example – but in many cases, it’s still good to do this manually. A risk assessment matrix is a tool that was developed to analyze risk. Yes, we can use data to analyze risks. By doing so, any organization can detect and prioritize different risks. They do this by estimating the probability of occurrence.

Have you ever experienced this case?

As an experienced fashion email marketer, you know how it feels to enter a market with new opportunities: constantly trying new tactics while deciding what’s working for your business. After 2 months of constant implementation of your email campaigns, you notice a difference in consumers' buying patterns and decide to look deeper into it.
However, when you start segregating your audience, you notice that there is no clarity on when changes are final. Furthermore, some campaigns could be skipped over and not updated by mistake, which may pose a critical threat to your email marketing campaign.
Therefore, you need firm strategies on how to mitigate the potential risks for your email marketing campaigns.

What is the essence of the risk assessment matrix?

A risk assessment is “a process to identify potential hazards and analyze what could happen if a hazard occurs” (Ready.gov). Its aim is to help you uncover risks your organization could encounter.
Knowing potential hazards makes it easier to either reduce the harm they cause or (ideally) prevent incidents completely, rather than deal with the consequences afterward.
This systematic process can uncover glaring risks of fraud, gaps in security, or threats to staff well-being before it’s too late. It can also mean the difference between a new project, policy, or process being successful or failing. One catastrophic risk that goes unnoticed could put an immediate stop to any project or event.
Risk assessments cost time and money to conduct. So why should you bother? The benefits of a risk assessment far outweigh any inconvenience because they can help you avoid incidents, fines, lawsuits, and negative media attention.
Benefits of risk assessments include:
  • Money saved: Picking up the pieces after a cyberattack, break-in, fire, or act of workplace violence is stressful and can cost thousands of dollars; a risk assessment costs far less.
  • Fewer lawsuits: By preventing incidents, you won’t have to deal with injured or disgruntled employees seeking legal action.
  • Lower risk of non-compliance: Eliminate risks above and beyond compliance requirements to avoid penalties from regulatory bodies.
  • Safe, happy employees: When employees see you’re making their safety and well-being a top priority, they’ll likely want to stick around, which leads to another benefit ...
  • Lower turnover rate
  • Positive organizational reputation: Customers and clients want to do business with companies that operate safely, ethically, and fairly.

How to make & use the risk assessment matrix to address your changes?

If you want to do your own risk assessment matrix, you can start by defining the scope of work. Depending on what you are trying to improve, you need to identify different areas of risk. Choose your objective and make sure it is clear as possible.

Step 1: Identify Hazards

Identify Hazards -risk assessment matrix In order to start, you want to go for as many risks as you can. The idea behind this is to get different views. A brainstorming session could be of help. The list that you get is going to be the foundation of the risk assessment matrix. Connected with your scope, the list needs to be long and detailed. It can include anything from theft to burns, and even pollution. It is really important that you think about all potential risks for any new project you are working on. You can also think about what happens when you identify them. But not to worry, we will discuss that soon enough.

Step 2: Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis - risk assessment matrix The risk analysis is not something to take lightly. There are certain steps that you need to follow in order to do effective management of risks. When an organization has pitched all the right risks, the next step is going to carefully evaluate them. A risk assessment matrix focuses a lot of chances and consequences as the main focus. But depending on the organization, we are talking about you can encounter terms like “vulnerability” or “speed of onset”.

Step 3: Determining Risk Impact

Determining Risk Impact - risk assessment matrix Any risk assessment matrix means that you will need to check probabilities and consequences of risk events that might happen. The results of such assessments are used to make a top of risks in order to find the most important ones, as well as less critical ones. In a risk chart, you can see exactly how both high-risk and low-risk factors are shown. The impact of a successful attack can be split into two types: “technical impact” and the “business impact”.

Step 4: Prioritize the risks

When you will see a risk assessment matrix, you will be able to compare different levels of risk. It can include any internal rules or policies. One thing that should be noted is that the risk assessment process can be an ongoing evolution. A matrix needs to change at the same time as changes that appear in your company. If it is done one time per year, emerging risks could go unnoticed or even undetected.

How do you use it?

When the risk assessment process is complete, you can start to take data into the matrix. Any risk assessment matrix uses two axes, one that measures the likelihood, and the other one that measures the consequence result.

Likelihood: the probability of a risk

Likelihood: the probability of a risk-risk assessment matrix Depending on the likelihood of the occurrence of the risk, the risk can be classified under these categories:
  • A risk that is almost guaranteed to show up during the execution of the project. Any risk that is more than 85% likely to cause problems is going to fall under this category.
  • Risks that have a 60%-80% chance to occur can be grouped as likely.
  • Risks that have a 50/50 probability of occurrence are named occasional.
  • Seldom are the risks that have a low probability of occurrence.
  • Unlikely are the risks that have almost no probability of occurring.

Consequences: the severity of the impact or the extent of damage caused by the risk

Consequences risk assessment matrix The consequences of risk can be ranked into five categories. These are based on how severe the damage can get.
  • Risks that can cause a negligible amount of damage are called insignificant.
  • Risks that have a small potential for negative effects are called minor.
  • Risks that do not impose a great threat but are yet sizable damage can be classified as moderate.
  • Risks that have substantial negative effects and are going to impact in a serious way the success of a project is called critical.
  • Risks that come from human error or the environment. Other causes can be procedural deficiencies or major system loss. This will require the closing of the operation and is called catastrophic.
Knowing what elements a risk assessment matrix has is important. This is going to help you and your organization manage risk effectively and reduce workplace incidents. The risk assessment matrix is a document that has to be updated and maintained with curiosity. Risks are evolving and the matrix should do the same. There are certain events that are going to trigger the need for a refresh. One could be like establishing an enterprise risk management program.

All in all

In conclusion, a risk assessment matrix is only going to do good things for you and your organization. Whether this is the first time you are doing it, or you are experienced, you can check the information above and already have some ideas regarding what you need to do. Do not forget that without it you can potentially create a lot of havoc in your company, causing a loss in productivity and time. You will want to study it carefully and see if you can do it independently.

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