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Using printed flyers to promote your business

in Advertising,Business Ideas,Featured

In the right circumstances, printed flyers can be an excellent way to attract new customers. The trick is designing a really outstanding flyer, and then distributing it to the right people.

When to use flyers
There are many different forms of advertising, and they tend to work best for different demographics and groups of people. TV and radio commercials, for example, go out to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, but it is unlikely that the message will be relevant to more than a small proportion of them. In that respect, these are indiscriminate and relatively inefficient media. Other forms of advertising, such as a direct mail campaign, focus on a small number of people, but the list is composed of people who are far more likely to respond positively. The idea with any marketing strategy is to maximise your return on investment.

A flyer campaign is not well suited for very large numbers of people (as is the case with TV or radio). They are best in situations where you can tailor their content to a particular section of the population, because of the way they are distributed – typically to households in a particular geographic area, or by mail to the readership of a relevant publication. So, a flyer campaign would be a good way to advertise a local family-friendly restaurant or a garden maintenance service, because you can distribute them to the houses in the local area and it should have a broad appeal to a cross-section of the population. A similar strategy would not work for a specialist business, such as ice-skating supplies. However, paying to have these flyers included with relevant sports magazine would likely be successful.

Design a great flyer
Digital printing makes producing flyers remarkably easy. Unfortunately, creating a really killer flyer is a lot harder. There are a lot of mediocre flyers around, which raises the stakes even higher: yours has to stand out from the competition.

Start by using other people’s mistakes to your advantage. Gather a number of flyers and decide whether each is successful or unsuccessful. Don’t spend too long on it – most people will only glance at a flyer for a few seconds before passing judgment, yours included. When you have two piles of good and bad flyers, spend a little longer trying to understand what makes them succeed or fail. These insights can be the basis of your own design.

Flyer text should be simple and succinct. You are aiming to distil the nature of your business or service down to a few pithy sentences. Your potential customers don’t want to spend any more time than they have to reading it, even for something as short as a flyer, so make every word count. Be particularly careful about the first third of the flyer, since this may be all that people see if it is displayed in a rack with others. Come up with a strong headline, and make sure it resonates with your intended audience. You are not trying to tell them all about your business – readers don’t really care about that. You are answering a question, offering them a solution to a problem. You need to think from your readers’ perspective, not your own.

Use images, by all means – a picture can be far more descriptive than several paragraphs of text. But make sure that they are relevant, and do not distract from your message. Don’t be tempted to use an attractive image just to fill space, or because that’s what your competitors have done: it’s a wasted opportunity. The picture should always add to your appeal by showcasing your business. Finally, proofread the flyer obsessively, since even minor mistakes give the impression that you are careless.

Distribute your flyer to the right people
Once you have created a really compelling flyer, you just need to make sure it goes to the right places. As stated, this means targeting specific groups who are most likely to respond to your pitch. These might be people who live in a certain geographic area, it might be readers who subscribe to a specific publication, or it might be those who visit a given place. It all depends on your business, but the aim is always the same: maximise your return on investment.

In practice, you may use a combination of methods – distribute to local households, display in relevant venues, perhaps even hand out to passers-by for some businesses. You should also make sure your other marketing is up to speed. If you’ve taken the time to create a really strong flyer but not maintained your website, enthusiastic customers may be disappointed when they follow up by visiting it. Flyers are great for reaching some groups of people, but not others. Consider complementing this strategy with other forms of advertising, both on- and off-line.

A flyer campaign can be an excellent way to attract new customers for the right business. However, you should make sure that your flyer is well designed so as to make the maximum impact on your readers, and distribute it to people who are most likely to respond.

This article was supplied by flyer printing, suppliers of high quality digital printing and members of the Direct Marketing Association.

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