What Makes for a Successful Business Leaflet?

Guest blog postThis article was supplied by Printed.com, suppliers of unbeatable quality digital leaflet printing, and a shortlisted company for this year’s industry leading Print Week Environmental Company of the Year 2011 award.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

Anyone can throw together a business leaflet, but putting together something strong and compelling is a little harder. Here are some top tips for writing something that shines a little brighter than the average leaflet.

Business leaflets are easy to produce and cheap to print, but therein lies their problem. Whilst the best ones catch the eye and can bring a fantastic return on investment, the majority of leaflets are mediocre – poorly designed and written slips of paper that may not even be read before they go in the recycling bin. Given the sheer volume of leaflets that paper the walls of the typical library or get pushed through doors to carpet the average porch, it pays to think a little longer and harder about it than the competition.

Get a sense of what works
Before you write anything, gather a bunch of other companies’ leaflets together and go through them. Give each of them just a few seconds at most – that’s how long people look at a leaflet before passing judgement. Decide on instinct whether you like them or not, and put them into two piles. When you’ve finished, go through the piles again and this time try to work out why some leaflets worked and others didn’t. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a good idea of what to aim for and what mistakes to avoid.

Meet a need
Whilst good design is a big part of getting people to read your leaflet in the first place, that won’t lead to any conversions unless you’re telling the audience something they want to hear. One of the most common mistakes leaflets make is trying to tell potential customers all about the company in question. The problem is that readers don’t want to know any more than they have to. In fact, in this respect your leaflet isn’t about your company at all: it’s about the reader’s needs and problems. Your company is only important in as much as it can answer those needs. Make sure that the information you state on your leaflet looks at things from the customer’s point of view, not yours.

Keep it short
On a similar theme, customers don’t want to read any more than they have to. Because leaflets are typically only two sides of A4, the temptation is often to cram them as full of information as possible so as not to waste any of your precious space. This is a mistake: solid text is unappealing, no matter how interesting – and it’s unnecessary. Part of the skill of leaflet writing is being able to condense what your business can offer into a few short words and phrases that will leave the reader wanting more – and therefore to contact you. Think of a leaflet a little like a trailer for a film. Images are great for this, because they can say so much more than the words you can fit in the same space. Two caveats are to make sure that the images are relevant and meaningful, rather than just pretty, and to make sure that any pictures do not detract from your text. You don’t need to give people any more reasons not to read your leaflet.

How to start a leaflet
The beginning of your leaflet is the most important part. The first few words or pictures have to be eye-catching and engaging, otherwise the rest of the leaflet is unlikely to be read at all. You should bear in mind that if your leaflet is going to be displayed in a rack along with perhaps dozens of others, the top third is all that anyone will see to begin with. If they don’t like what they see, they will simply move on to another one. Therefore that small area has to give potential customers something to pique their curiosity and read on. Choose your content carefully and for maximum effect.

Check again
Lastly, check and double-check your leaflet before it goes to print. Spelling and grammatical errors look unprofessional and careless: not the impression you want to leave with the reader. Make sure the customer has all the details they need to take things further, and give them a ‘call to action’ or reminder to contact you at the end of the leaflet – the information alone isn’t enough.


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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Joanne Munro on 12.12.11 at 7:51 pm

That was a really enjoyable post summarising how to write good copy. I’m just starting out writing copy and am reading everything I can. Also, it’s a good article to back up what I’m saying to clients.

Your company supplied my business cards actually and I recommended you as a printer on a recent blog post called ‘6 common business card blunders & how to avoid them’. You were the only company that understood what I was asking for!

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