As seen in Telstra Smarter Business Ideas Magazine.
Potential customers will often judge you based on what they can see at first glance because that’s all they've got to go by. The design of everyday items such as flyers, menus, your website, store window and even your team’s uniform or clothing can be the difference between a potential customer choosing you
over a competitor.
Designing a piece of advertising is no different. What you put in front of your potential customers in an advertisement also sets an expectation. Add the need for that design to evoke some type of response in the audience, and you start to realise how important the role of design is in business.
At Salmat, we help over 20,000 small businesses create effective letterbox advertising
each year. Whilst some flyers might not look the best, that doesn't necessarily mean they’re not going to get a red-hot response. When the flyer is destined for a letterbox drop it needs to both represent the brand and cause the recipient to take action. That’s easier said than done.
Sometimes small businesses find it hard to put themselves in their customer’s shoes to determine what’s important to them. A design that we think looks good with lots of information that we think is important, may not necessarily link to the perspective of prospective customers.
Businesses should follow a few fundamental guidelines when designing an advertising flyer.
- Don’t do what everyone else does. You need to stand out from the crowd and unless your design looks very different to others in your category, you’ll be seen as just another flyer.
- Simple things such as bright colours, bold headlines and striking imagery are just some ideas that might help you stand out.
- Don’t try to say too much. People are busy and we can’t expect them to read everything detail. We suggest you stick to a single message that is both relevant to your customer and what your business does.
- It’s important to include opening hours, website details, phone numbers and of course the key benefit behind your product or service. Beyond that though, be very selective with what you include on your flyer. A good way to decide what else makes it on to your advertising, prioritise the elements you wish to include from 1 to 5 and to then try and include only the top three.
Just remember that in advertising, less is often more. If your flyer displays a lot of information (words in particular) and requires too much effort to read and understand, your prospects might not even bother. If you give them just one takeaway however, and that takeaway is compelling and relevant, they’re much more likely to remember it and take action.
The final piece of advice we give all our customers is to give the audience a reason that they must respond immediately (a call to action). If you don’t give people a reason to respond to your advertising NOW, they may not respond at all. If you want people to take action or change behaviour, and you want a measureable return on your marketing investment, you need to give the audience something to miss out on.
To assess the likely effectiveness of your flyer, perform a fresh eyes test before it goes to print.Pretend you know nothing about your business and throw your flyer on a table at arms-length. Amongst a handful of other flyers does it grab your attention? Yes? Great. In the split second it catches your gaze, does it tell you why you should take a closer look? Yes? Good. Finally, is there a compelling reason to respond? Great, you’ve nailed it!
To get an even better read on the effectiveness of your flyer, perform this same test with someone less involved in your business.If your test subject doesn’t answer ‘yes’ very quickly to these questions, you may need to revisit your design.