Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Top Tips when planning to print Flyers & Leaflets

A well-designed and printed flyer or leaflet will create a lasting impression on your customers.
Leaflet printing will effectively promote your business and unlike advertising can be easily measured so you know whether they pay for themselves.
However, they also need to be carefully planned and designed or they could damage the reputation of your business.
Flyer printing and folded leaflet printing are both important aspects of the communication mix for small businesses in the UK.  The difference in terminology between the two items is that a flyer usually refers to a single-page of unfolded printed piece of paper or card. 
And in these days of getting maximum value from your budget spend business flyers are usually printed to both sides – either as A4, A5 or A6 size.
Leaflets on the other hand are usually folded or have some other form of finishing.  Traditionally the folding has been designed so that they easily insert into an envelope for mailing.  So a tri-folded leaflet is designed specifically to fit into a DL envelope.
Over the last 30 or so years we have seen some terrible designs and some fantastic designs when customers print leaflets online.  So, this is a very basic outline of some of the best practices when creating this vital and very effective piece of marketing communication.

This is a lesson we have learned with our own marketing materials over the years.  When you wish to get a message to your customers – “less is more” – so be very strict on the word count. 
Do not use blocks of text but always use bullet points in short sentences.
People do not read a lot of text – so the overall word count should be the bare minimum. 
And remember that each line of text has a “Fog Index” – so the maximum number of words in the sentence should be no more than an average of six. 
Use high quality and relevant images for your design that will grab the attention of your target market rather than rely on lots of words.
Remember a good image can be “worth a thousand words” – and this also applies to the type of paper used. 
When we print leaflets with our online printing services we do not use the thinner art papers but tend to offer the higher quality thicknesses.

There is very little new in marketing.  Which is why “Creative Swiping” is so popular for small businesses? 
They will not have the budgets of some larger companies that have been able to test the effectiveness of their marketing communications.
So – look at samples from larger companies and copy their techniques and style.
You do not need to “re-invent the wheel” – but if you are not good at design use a professional designer. 
If you order leaflets using our online printing service there is a maximum cost of £40 for the design element which can re-pay itself many times over.
The general marketing principle is that the leaflet or flyer should attract Attention, generate Interest, create Desire and get the reader to take Action. 
When the space is limited the task is harder.  You need to use bold colours, thought-provoking images and clever word-play.

Everything should be written directly to appeal to your prospective customer. 
Firstly, you should write directly using the terms “you” or “your” not terms that are more about yourself such as “we” and “our”.
Think of between 3 and 5 key benefits.  Any more and you should consider whether a brochure or newsletter format would be a better option.
Ideally these should all be positive and unique relative to your competitors but if this was the case you probably wouldn’t need to any form of promotion at all. 
So try and relate each benefit by phrasing it as if answering their question - “what’s in it for me?”
Then put them in order – so things you do better than your competitors or what you feel you do better should be higher up the list.
Any unique selling point should be incorporated within the headline or title or the very first sentence of the text.
Popular titles focus on powerful selling words – such as NEW, FREE, EASY, DISCOVER, HOW TO and NOW.
There may be no room for testimonials or case studies – but the odd customer quote could re-inforce the sales message.

  1. Not everyone has graphic design training but with modern software it has made it easier to create your own designs.
  2. However, there are common design errors that should always be avoided.
  3. Only use one or two fonts and never go below a point size of 10 – so it is legible. Use bold, italic or different versions of the same font if necessary.
  4. Plan the layout using boxes, borders and highlights but allow plenty of white space in the design.
  5. Keep text away from the “quiet area” around the edges of the page or any text boxes you may create. 
  6. Use contrasting colours that work well with the business branding.
  7. Double- check and proof read everything – especially contact information like telephone numbers.
  8. Don’t put anything on back that competes with the front – but it is ideal for a map, price list, opening hours or the coupon details.
  9. Include all forms of contact information – mobile, landlines, email, website, social media pages.  Use QR codes if you are short of space so customers can link to your digital media.
  10. Remember, we are judged on first impressions.  If the design is not good relative to the competition it will be treated as “junk mail” – if it is well-targeted and designed it will be effective.

What do you want to achieve?  How well you have kept to the rules above should help answer this question.
Unless the leaflet pays for itself it may not be worth printing – which is why there, must be a clear call to action and a way of measuring whether a sale or enquiry has been generated.
The best and easiest method is to have a Special Offer highlighted on your business flyers – only on the production of the leaflet or use of a special voucher code. Ideally this should be time-sensitive but do not make it too short so the printing becomes obsolete before it is used.
Decide the best method of distribution for your target market.  And work out your total project costs – including design, flyer printing and distribution.  

Finally, then determine the amount of response you need to cover your costs and generate some new customers. 
If you are on a budget consider our mono online printing service and just use black text on coloured papers.  This is an ideal service if you need cheap A5 leaflet printing.
However, it is the value of your Special Offer or incentive will determine your likely direct response rates – which if you follow the tips above should be in the region of between 1% and 2% of the total number of flyers printed and distributed.
So as a very basic guideline for each 1000 leaflets printed online and distributed you would normally expect to convert 20 customers.
This is one of the main reasons why printing is such an effective method of marketing for the smaller businesses.


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