A good leaflet can bring an excellent return on investment, when well targeted. A poor one is just another way of throwing away money. How can you make yours work for you?
Leaflet writing is a difficult skill to master, and there are many pitfalls to avoid. A well-designed and written leaflet can be extremely effective, especially when it is sent to a carefully-researched and receptive demographic. The good news is that leaflet printing is cheap and easy, and you can have high-quality leaflets produced very quickly thanks to digital print companies. The bad news is that a poor leaflet will end up in the bin and represents marketing budget wasted.
Research your content and design
Start by learning from others’ mistakes. You will have seen hundreds or thousands of leaflets in various publications and pushed through your door. Some of these will be outstanding, most mediocre and a few terrible. These should form the basis of your own research: you need to know what works, and the best way to do that is to ask what works for you and others around you.
Keep it simple
You will probably be drawn to the most simple and clear leaflets – not the ones that cram in more information than they need to, or that have cluttered layouts. These are the ones that are easiest to read, and consequently communicate what they need to with great efficiency. However, this represents a problem too: it means that you need to write really pithy, impactful text of your own, distilling the nature of your business into just a few highly relevant sentences and images.
Put the best first
You need to engage people straight away. Don’t think that potential customers will read all of your leaflet just because it is short: it’s not short enough to guarantee that. Most people will give your leaflet just a few seconds before passing judgement on it. That means your headline and opening sentences have to be your best. They have to grip your reader, immediately resonating with them. Another reason to put your best material at the top of the page: leaflets are often displayed in racks, such that only the top third or so is visible. Don’t give customers a reason to pass yours over for another one that does the job better.
Answer their question
The purpose of your leaflet is not to tell people about your business. It sounds counter-intuitive, but most people won’t care. What they do care about is their own problems. Your leaflet therefore needs to pitch your business in terms that will be of interest. This will generally entail putting yourself in their shoes, asking yourself what problem they might have that you can help with. Perhaps the service you offer saves them time, or money, or perhaps it provides peace of mind. Your business is only of relevance to the extent that it serves that purpose – otherwise, why would they get in touch at all?
Call to action
End your leaflet with a prompt to get in touch. It may seem trivial, but that extra nudge is what can often make the difference. Don’t assume that people will call or email just because they have the information they need at their disposal: every little encouragement helps.