Business leaflets are an economic way of reaching a new customer base, but they vary wildly in their impact. How can you write one of the winners?
In the digital printing age, business leaflets are easy to design and produce. They are cheap to create and simple to distribute. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. Whilst a good leaflet can have a tremendous effect in attracting new customers, bad ones will barely be read before they go in the bin. What separates the two – and how can your leaflets rise above the competition?
Collect other leaflets
Before you put down a single word, find a bunch of other leaflets and decide what makes them work or otherwise. Typically, readers take just a few seconds before they resolve to keep a leaflet of throw it out, so don’t over-analyse them at this stage. Just go on instinct.
Once you’ve got a pile of winning leaflets and a pile of discards, take a little more time to try to figure out why each made it into the respective pile. It shouldn’t take long to come up with a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for your own leaflets. By avoiding the mistakes that other leaflets have made, you already stand a good chance of rising above the competition.
Simple, effective leaflet design
You will probably find that the best business leaflets are fairly simply designed. They might be unusual or quirky, they might be humorous, but they are probably not ornate or elaborate. They will be clearly laid-out and easy to read. Some leaflets make the mistake of trying to cram in as much text as possible in an effort to inform the reader about all kinds of details about the product or service in question. This is a mistake. Potential customers don’t want to be deluged with information they have to wade through to get to the most relevant bits. A good leaflet strips out the unnecessary detail and reduces your business to a few clear and pithy phrases. If the reader wants more, they can get in touch with you to find it (on which point: make sure you include all the necessary contact details).
Images can add a lot to a leaflet, since they can potentially say much more than several paragraphs of text. If you include photos or pictures, though, make sure they are relevant – rather than just pretty. The reader shouldn’t be left wondering what the image has to do with your company. Also make sure they don’t distract the reader from the text in one way or another.
Offer an answer
Your leaflet shouldn’t just list the most relevant information about your company, no matter how succinctly. It should be directly related to the customer’s needs. The purpose of your leaflet is not to ‘sell’ your business by telling the reader all about it. It is to identify with your potential customer’s needs, and offer them a way to meet them. That’s the only reason they will read your leaflet: not because you are a great writer and have provided them with fascinating copy, but because something you say is of relevance to them. State what your business does, by all means, but make sure it is in the context of a problem or need that has to be met. Don’t expect the reader to join the dots themselves just because you present them with a solution.
Lastly, make sure your leaflet includes not only contact details but a reason to use them, or a call to action. This could be a special offer, or simply a reminder of the problem they have to solve and a prompt to use your company: ‘For a free quote, call before January 31st on…’
This article was supplied by Printed.com, suppliers of unbeatable quality digital printing, and a shortlisted company for this years industry leading Print Week Environmental Company of the Year 2011 award.