Outsource Solutions: Lettershops
At this point, you’re ready for copy proofs, which let you look at the text copy you’ll be using on your variable messaging components. Copy proofs are used to make sure the message to be personalized is correct—with no bad text wraps or paragraph breaks, etc., Konkel explains. It’s dummy copy, however, because the information is not yet positioned on the final stock.
For the ultimate in data verification, Konkel suggests live copy proofs. As their name implies, these forms pull data from your file to generate proofs on the stock that will be used. Live copy proofs should be created on the stock used in your campaign, she stresses, especially if the templates will contain any pre-printed text or graphics. You want to make sure the personalized information does not cover any of the pre-printed sections and that the font selected for personalized text meshes with the rest of the design.
You also want to make sure the format of the lasering looks good, says Bodle, who checks for widowed text and bad line breaks.
Once you’re satisfied that the individual forms will print correctly, you need to verify the insertion order and assembly of your campaign.
A pre-insertion proof, says Konkel, is a dummy of the carrier and all inside mailing components that the marketer reviews for insertion order, postage to be used, accuracy of keycodes and any other mailing details.
For marketers who want a more representative version of their campaign, sample package proofs are mock-ups that show placement of all personalization and addressing. These mock-ups also are known as John Q proofs, Konkel explains, since they use fictional data.
For mailers who prefer fact to fiction, live proofs are the ultimate in mailing proofs. Using data straight from the processing file, says Konkel, they also are the hardest proofs for a lettershop to generate since they involve setting up the job, pulling a few records out of the production stream, re-setting the job and sending the samples to the client for sign-off.