Writing a strong business leaflet is as much an art as a science.
There are many common mistakes to avoid, and a few principles you should bear in mind.
A well-executed leaflet campaign can bring an excellent return on investment, but too many business leaflets are badly written and fail to make a real difference. One of the problems is that leaflet printing is so cheap and easy that anyone can run off several thousand and send them out via the Royal Mail or plaster them around town. The phenomenon of digital printing has made leaflets so ubiquitous that it has devalued the currency; people’s tolerance of reading new flyers has dropped, so that you really have to make an impact to succeed with your campaign.
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1. Avoid common mistakes
People realize that their leaflets have to make an impact on their audiences, and they go about this in various ways. Unfortunately, many of these are actually counter-productive. The good news for you is that if you can avoid similar mistakes, your flyers stand a chance of rising above the rest and being retained for future use.
You can get a sense of what works and what doesn’t by picking up a few examples of leaflets you find around you – in public spaces, in magazines, or delivered to your house. Bear in mind that most people will form a judgement within just a few seconds of starting to read a leaflet. That is all you have to hook their attention, and all you should take in your own research. Make two piles – one of good flyers and one of bad flyers based solely on first impressions – and then come back to them to work out what makes them successful or otherwise.
2. Leave them wanting more
Content is key, but there are ways to present your information. Your business leaflet is the equivalent of a movie trailer: it should not tell the customer everything, just enough to encourage them to take the next step. Too many leaflets cram in text in an attempt to include all they can. This is unnecessary, and can lead to a busy and chaotic feel. Simpler, cleaner leaflets are easier to read and more engaging. Similarly, style is important.
Quirky and unusual is fine, so long as it serves a purpose, but elaborate or ornate presentation is generally a distraction. The same goes of images. A picture says much more than words, and thanks to digital printing it is now a cheap matter to produce colour images on your flyers. However, it must be a relevant image that brings something specific to the leaflet – not just a pretty but irrelevant design or photo.
3. Think like the customer
Many leaflets aim to instruct potential customers all about their business. This is a mistake. Customers are busy and have no real interest in your company, even if you have spent many years lovingly building it up. Their interest extends so far as it is of use to them. Instead of discussing you, then, think about what the reader’s needs are. If your business offers a product or service, find a way of asking a question that resonates with the customer’s needs. ‘Too busy to create the garden you would love to enjoy?’ says far more than simply cataloguing a list of services and leaving the reader to make the link for themselves.
4. Include what you need – but no more
Business leaflet writing is a real art, since it requires you to reduce your whole company to a few pithy sentences that describe its essence. Too much information is off-putting: readers don’t want to wade through unnecessary text. At the same time, though, make sure you include everything you need to, such as contact details. This balance is why writing a successful business leaflet is harder than it seems – but also why a good flyer can be a real asset.
Have you ever received a business leaflet in the mail that really caught your attention?
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