You’re ready to produce new online and print collateral – maybe a brochure, postcard, or an email campaign. But are you really ready? Before asking a designer to ‘design some collateral’, think about these seven points:

Start From the End
Have you priced out design, production, printing and distribution costs? The costs of fulfillment can determine your budget for reprints or new future brochures or postcards. What size card fits your content? How will your brochure be distributed? Is your mailing list ready to go?

Lock Your Branding in Place
Is your branding in good shape? Your logo, colors, fonts and messaging and style guidelines should all be predetermined before you begin.

Content Before Design
Is your content in draft form? Marketing collateral cannot be designed in a vacuum; online and print design is dependent on specific content. Get your message and content in shape before moving to the design phase.

All the Pretty Pictures
What images do you have in mind? It’s illegal to use online images without permission; make sure your budget includes funds for purchasing images.

Frequency: Once is Never Enough
How often will you publish your newsletter, email a campaign, air a podcast, or mail a postcard? Once or twice is not enough to make an impact; never underestimate the importance of frequency in delivery.

Hello Market – Are You Out There?
Have you grown your mail list organically? It’s illegal to blast your email campaign to purchased lists; most email apps will disallow it. Grow your list through networking both IRL and online.

Something’s Gotta Give
What will you offer recipients who respond – a link to an informative video or white paper? A subscription to your newsletter? Reward them for expressing interest.

Being ready in marketing takes planning – to gain the most from your efforts and prevent costly mistakes.