…and how our clients avoid them and save thousands
Finally we can confront Sin #7:
Direct Mail Sin #7
Proof sign-offs taken too casually
Every job that we receive with electronic files requires some kind of manipulation or adjustment prior to mailing. RGB to CMYK, resizing, recropping, data merging, font replacement etc…
When your project requires a final signoff we hope that you take this opportunity seriously!
By the time it gets to this stage you have seen it many many times. Take a moment and read every line of your offer and confirm that everything is exactly the way it should be. This is your final opportunity to adjust dates, copy or data before your clients or prospects see the piece.
This is also the moment in time when the mistakes slide though and become major issues when the customers start calling.
We know that you are probably tired of reading at this point but you need to try to read the piece like it was your very first time looking at it. Study the text, confirm the data, dates, phone numbers, call-to-actions and all other components.
Common errors found at this point:
* Right date/wrong day (is it really a Thursday on that date?)
* Brand colors off
* Wrong or missing telephone numbers
* Newest art changes not sent (were we sent the most recent version of artwork?)
* Wrong offers, or error in disclaimers
* Spelling errors/typos
We know this is cumbersome but it also one of the unavoidable steps. We highly recommend you let someone else look at it and sign off with you. This identifies more errors and changes the dynamic if something is missed.
On a personal note, it doesn’t leave you standing alone as responsible for errors if more people on the team miss the same detail. If many people missed it than it must not have been obvious. If only one person signs off it is easy for everyone to just point at you and steer clear of responsibility. This is human nature.
Either way, the signoff process and authorization for us to proceed is your decision only. We will not proceed without it and we are responsible to print and mail it exactly as the proof you signed off on.
Added Note about all 7 Deadly Sins of Direct Mail:
Allow the time needed for the quality and price you desire. This time gives you the breathing room needed to be flexible if things you plan go wrong. No human process or timing is perfect, however much you try!
You cannot be consistently successful when you are expecting everyone involved to “jump from miracle to miracle”! You’ll save money in the end by not paying for rushed and fixed jobs. Being rushed always creates additional errors as you skip details to meet timeframes.
Our most successful customers have learned to work backwards from deadlines, successfully creating a smooth process from start to finish.