Proofreading Direct Mail

Proofreading Direct Mail


How important is correct grammar and spelling in a direct mail piece?  Would you want to receive a direct mail piece that has spelling errors in it from a university or a non-profit organization?  If you are not a regular donor of an organization, a grammar or spelling error often can be the first impression you have of an organization.  We all know how important first impressions can be when forming a relationship.  For some, seeing a grammar or spelling mistake can seem like the dreaded sound of nails on a chalkboard.  Therefore correct grammar and spelling is very important in a direct mail piece (or any other marketing).


When mailing with Integram, part of our services include proofreading.  “Eagle-Eye Kristi” – that’s what we call our Graphics Manager who proofreads each and every component of a direct mail campaign we print and mail.  Kristi has been with Integram for over 25 years and has caught numerous (too many to count) spelling and grammar mistakes in letters, replies, etc.  Our clients know her by name and appreciate her attention to detail – down to the commas and periods in sentences.


I sat down with Kristi to get an understanding of the common grammar/spelling mistakes she often finds:


Then vs Than:  Remember than is used when referencing comparisons; then is used when referencing something relating to time.

Lead vs Led:   Although they are pronounced the same, led is the past tense of lead.

It’s vs Its:  It’s is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”.  Its is used to reference or belong to something.

You’re vs Your:  You’re is the contraction of “you are”.  Your is referencing possession of something.

Repeating words like “and and” or “of of”:  Don’t do it.


Other common mistakes include:

Having the wrong day of the week in the letter.  Art we receive says “Respond by Monday, October 9th”.  During proofreading, we check and realize October 9th is a Wednesday.

In January/February, we often find an incorrect year on the letter.  Also, February is often mis-spelled as Febuary.

The letter does not have a signature block and thereby ends abruptly.

Misspelling a person’s name – spelling it one way at the beginning of the letter, but spelling it another way at the end of the letter.

Using a period instead of a question mark at the end of a question.


These are some of the mistakes Kristi routinely finds during her proofing.  Kristi estimates she finds some sort of spelling or grammar mistake in 1 out of 5 direct mail packages we print and produce.  Each and every time, our client is grateful for our proofreading service.


Share with me the spelling/grammar mistakes you have found in your direct mail packages by commenting below.  For each comment, you will be entered to win a $20 Starbucks gift card.






2 thoughts on “Proofreading Direct Mail

  1. Dori Donnell

    We work with Haiti and so names are easily misspelled all the time. It is not bad unless the girl you wrote the story about notices it before you do. Lesson learned.

  2. Dori Donnell

    In a major mail-out to sustained donors I left a hyphen out of the phone number. So it started right 281-201 2043. Thankfully, I saw it before it went to print and they were able to fix it. It was minutes before print.

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