• Simon Remington

A creative checklist for your mail piece

1) Do the layout and design reinforce the product / company positioning? 2) Does the layout make it easy for the customer to respond? 3) Do copy, layout and design work together to tell the story of the offer and its benefits? 4) Is response information easy to find in large, bold type (phone number, web address, street address, fax number, etc.)? 5) If a letter is used, does the letter look like a letter with serif type, indented paragraphs, etc.? 6) Are key benefits or offer elements highlighted in violators, such as bursts and corner cuts? 7) Is the typeface selection easy to read? 8) Is the type size appropriate for the targeted audience? 9) If reversed-out type is used, is it easily read and scanned? 10) If the type is printed over a background colour, photograph or design, is the type easily read and scanned? 11) Are colour and other design elements used to draw the reader’s attention to major benefits and key selling points – instead of just “looking pretty?”. 12) Do photos have captions? 13) Do photos include a human element whenever possible? 14) Are product photos easy to understand? 15) Do product photos illustrate key benefits? 16) Do photos and illustrations use bulleted call-out when appropriate to explain benefits? 17) Are elements of the offer shown in photos or illustrations?

18) Does the copy have an appropriate and effective “voice” that speaks with authority? 19) Does your copy help differentiate you from your competition? 20) Is the focus on benefits, not features?

21) Does your copy sell / promote your entire offer instead of just your product or service? 22) Do photos have benefit captions? 23) Does the copy focus on the reader – not the company / marketer. 24) Are words, sentences and paragraphs short and easy to read? 25) Is long copy broken up into scannable pieces using subheads, bullets and sidebar stories. 26) If a letter is included, does it have a strong, benefit oriented P.S? 27) Does the copy maximise the benefits provided by the format? Example: Postcards are a fast, easy read, so copy should be brief and make a strong benefit statement. 28) How well do the copy, layout and design work together to generate results? 29) Is there a strong call to action in more than one place? 30) If the piece being critiqued is a direct response ad, does the ad include a coupon, as well as other response options (phone, fax, Web address, email)?

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