You get letters? Of
course you do!
They say: "Why do you
advertise a red parka, when your telephone lady tells me you only
They say: "You promised
I'd get my canoe in two weeks, but it still isn't here!"
They say: "I was
supposed to get a free American flag with my order, but all I got
was an American flag button!"
They say: "Your catalog
promised me a discounted rate, but you charged me more even though
I made your deadline for ordering."
Most problems like these
can be avoided if your catalog or promotion mailing is
triple-checked before going to press. And one of the best ways to
triple-check is to copyread.
Copyreading, a word we
borrow from newspaper journalists, is not proofreading -- commonly
defined as checking for spelling and punctuation errors. Rather,
copyreading means checking for factual errors and documentation of
If you sell toothpaste
for dinosaurs and your copy says that a tyrannosaurus has 55
teeth, your readers would know that you don't know your business.
Why? Because a
tyrannosaurus has 65 teeth.
It's the brontosaurus
that has 55 teeth.
Seriousness! Make any error that's recognized by a prospective
customer and he's likely to pitch your pitch!
Marketers would do well
to copyread page proofs at these levels of management before
should copyread to be certain that overzealous copywriters haven't
promised more than can be delivered. This also is the fulfillment
manager's opportunity to double-check all shipping data, company
policies on returns, and all the basics, such as: have we allowed
enough room for a customer to fill in the blanks?
need to copyread diligently regarding sizes, colors, quantities and
accessories. At this stage, the product manager also wants to check
inventories for each item in the catalog.
should copyread offer statements, looking for the most intriguing
propositions, scanning to see if various items can also be presented
in kits, libraries, collections, or complete ensembles.
should copyread to be sure that all wording dovetails with the
company's desired image and that the overall look of the catalog
doesn't deter from that impression.
should copyread to be sure that solid copy appeals are made to known
facts about targeted lists for each catalog drop.
need to copyread as a final check or fine-tuning before printing.
Note that I'm suggesting copyreading from page proofs, or ink-jet
color prints, or color
laser prints which should be as complete as possible after all
proofreading corrections have been made. This is so each copyreader
has the total "feel" of each page and each spread before him. You
cannot do a thorough, proper copyreading job if you only have
segments of pages to work with.
And, after all your copyreading is done, you'll need another
round of proofreading. In fact, you could proofread 17,000 times and
still unearth a typo�but it�s more important to get your mail in the
mail than it is to create a perfect mailing!