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4 Secrets to Help Your DM Creative Team Succeed

July 15, 2009 By Ethan Boldt, Editor-in-Chief, Inside Direct Mail
Recently, in a webinar for Inside Direct Mail entitled 25 Secrets to Help Your Creative Teams Thrive!, a top-level creative team revealed exactly how copywriters, designers and clients can work together successfully and prosper. After all, when every dollar you invest must work harder and go further, getting the best work from your creative team is essential.

In this lively session, veteran copywriter Robert Lerose and veteran designer William Fridrich presented 25 time-tested solutions to make working with creative teams more rewarding for all parties. Lerose and Fridrich laid out a step-by-step program for overcoming obstacles and producing promotions on time, on budget and on message. Lerose has been an independent copywriter for 15 years, and Fridrich was instrumental in inventing the magalog—a breakthrough format that combines the selling power of a direct mail package with the content of a magazine. 

Here are four secrets they unveiled:

1. The most precious thing you can give a copywriter is time.
Hiring a copywriter at the last minute and then expecting him to turn around brilliant, well-conceived copy shortly thereafter is unreasonable, says Lerose. Plus, many of the quality copywriters will be booked! So make sure you hire early and set a reasonable deadline so the work comes in on time and in great shape.

2. The aim of design is clarity and involvement, not fancy-pants visuals.
It's very easy to go overboard with design, especially with the new tools available to designers. But restraint is necessary when the chief motivator is to get the copy read and keep readers involved until they respond, Fridrich asserts.

3. Make your key people available for interviews.
This is an overlooked crucial step in helping a copywriter not only understand the company and product he's writing about, but also in coming up with the right kind of copy, explains Lerose. Often, visiting the site where the product is made and talking to the people involved, such as a magazine and its editorial staff, will eventually produce copy that is accurate, inspired and effective.

4. All changes and corrections should be collected and communicated to the designer at one time.
Depending on how many people have a say in the look and design of a particular mailer, it's essential to first come to a consensus about the necessary revisions before asking the designer to make changes, says Fridrich. This results in a more efficient process and ultimately is a mutually satisfactory result.
 

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