Why “proofing” is so important

in Copywriting - Nonprofit,Direct Mail,Online Fundraising

Can you imagine sending out a direct mail campaign without any way for people to respond? Well I received such a package (I’ll share the details shortly).

The cost of not carefully and repeatedly proofing your work is costly.  And that’s why proofing is so  important.

Build redundancy into your systemHave checklists and several people (including vendors) proof your work.  This applies to email, newsletters, your website, press releases, and everything you publish. 

Again, this deserves careful attention because the odds are we’ve all done it:  Sent something out (print or electronic) and missed a big mistake.

Sometimes it’s a typo. Or it could be how something is printed. Or perhaps a primary element of the package is eliminated. Another possibility is a very confusing order/reply device.

The package I received at my home fits into this last category. I won’t mention the nonprofit organization. I will say it has been around since the late 1800’s and is internationally known. Anyway, I received an invitation to renew my membership for another year.

Problem was that although the letter copy promised it, there was no return envelope provided. Nor was there any information in the package on who to mail my reply card back to – no address or contact information. Therefore I really couldn’t reply without  spending a chunk of effort and extra time researching their website for the needed info.

Oops. Now that was a significant proofing mistake! 

A lot of hard work and revenue can be lost from a snafus like this.  What’s more, it’s scary how easy it is to overlook a mistake.  We see what we expect to see as we review our work.

Again, develop a system with many people proofing that involves some who aren’t at all familiar with the package.