When sending out advertising flyers, catalogues or brochures, it’s important that they reach the right people. After all, if you’re selling a lawn-mowing service, it doesn’t make much sense to send them to an area filled with high rise apartments!

Target-your-customers_Part-1 (1)So, proper targeting matters but, you also want to ensure that your flyer makes the best impression on the person who pulls it from their letterbox. Let’s face it – most of it is considered junk mail, so you only have a few seconds to grab the person’s attention before it gets thrown away.

In the first of this two-part series, we’ll go over some of the ways you can make sure your flyer doesn’t just get attention, but also gets them reading all the way through and taking action.

Keep the message simple

This may be obvious, but you’ve probably seen quite a few ads that suffer from information overload. Remember that you don’t need to tell them everything about your business. It’s better to focus on one thing, and structure your ad around it.

Start with a clear goal. Do you want more clients for your physiotherapy practice? You could offer a free 10 minute consultation (we’ll be talking about why a great offer is important next). Think of your ad as a door-to-door salesman. It only has a few seconds in which to get the person’s attention, so its message should be clear and compelling.

Have a great offer

To be effective, an ad needs to do more than just look attractive and make people feel good. It should also include a great offer. This is the key element that will push your prospect over the line, and make them pick up the phone or drive to your store.

If you’re a real estate agent, it could be a free home valuation. If you’re selling electronics, you could offer free shipping for purchases over $100. Trigger words such as ‘free’, ‘new’, and ‘win’ can help close the sale.

Visual design matters

Bright colours, large and easy-to-read fonts and attractive images can all help your ad stand out. A picture really can tell a thousand words, and if you can grab attention by including a photo of the most popular item on your menu, by all means do so.

If you’re not sure how to arrange things visually, try following the ‘rule of thirds’ to keep it looking uncluttered and harmonious.

Be creative

When you know the basics of good design, you’re free to bend the rules a little. Thinking outside the box can be a great way to catch the eye and stand apart from competitors. For example, a well-known pharmacy chain recently sent out a flyer that was also a paper bag. Customers would get 20% off every item they put inside it. We’re sure it had a few takers!

Some marketers include product samples and other ‘gimmicks’ to improve response. We’ll talk more about those, and some other ways to design a winning letterbox campaign, in part two of LDN.net.au’s “successful direct mail for small business owners” series.