You Want the Appeal Out by When?
From disk to mail
Four weeks later, it’s time to print the direct mail appeal. Gina Kneib, senior vice president of production at DMW Worldwide, offers the following tips for in-house and agency-production managers:
* Avoid corrections at the proof stage. It’s better to take time for a complete review of all components with all appropriate parties prior to disk release. Proof review should then be limited to as few people as possible. Having too many people involved with proof approval can slow down the process. Additionally, changes made at the proof stage are costly in terms of time and money.
* If appropriate, have proofs sent to multiple contacts simultaneously, but always have proofs returned to a single point of contact to compile corrections before sending them back to the printer.
* Send a previously printed sample to the printer for color match, even if you plan to attend the press check. By giving the printer something to target up front, you could avoid hours of adjustments on press.
* If a previously printed sample doesn’t exist, request an ink draw down on the specified paper stock to avoid surprises and wasting time while on press.
* When jet printing envelopes, get the envelope blanks manufactured as soon as the window position is determined.
* When working with data, make sure there are data audits at intervals during the processing. If there’s a problem, it often can be resolved simply, quickly and with fewer people involved.
After a project mails, most domestic fundraisers allow for at least four to eight weeks for revenue to flow into a lockbox. So if your fiscal year ends on June 30, you should have your campaign planned and almost ready to mail by now.
Tom Hurley is president of the not-for-profit division of DMW, a full-service, direct-response advertising agency with offices in Wayne, Pa.; Plymouth, Mass.; and St. Louis. You can reach him at 774.773.1200; or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.