"Communications Audit Methodology"

1 — The client sends me all the promotions they want me to comment on in the critique along with copy briefings. It also helps for me to have response rates and, for e-mail and direct mail, data cards for the lists used, though this is not critical.

2 — I individually review each piece in detail and give a critique showing what works and what could be improved. The focus is usually on increased conversions, clicks, leads, sales, or other response metrics. The goal is to make each piece a more effective direct response promotion while preserving the branding message.

3 — Critiques are commentary and suggestions on the pieces. No copy is written or rewritten under this arrangement. However, to illustrate proposed changes, I will often write rough heads, subject lines, and copy as a guide. This guide is meant to give direction only and is not final copy. If the client wishes me to rewrite a promotion or create a new promotion, this is negotiated as a separate fee.

4 — I then provide a written report that contains both the individual critiques of all the promotions plus an overview highlighting common errors and problems that run throughout the campaign, along with guidelines on how to correct them.

5 — I annotate the copy brief to show the client how to strengthen the direct response elements of their campaign, which serves as a manual they can use to create effective direct marketing promotions going forward.

6 — If the client has questions or wants to discuss my comments and critiques, we arrange a phone conference to do so. This is included at no extra charge in the fee quoted for the audit.