Nowadays we live in a world of skim-reading and short attention spans.
Everyone has numerous demands on their minds and information is constantly being thrown at us, in the physical world and online. What this results in is skim-reading as we try to make the most of the time available to us.
So what does this mean for leaflet distribution?
It means we have to find good designs that attract attention without alienating future clients.
Leaflet design comes down to a matter of balance. Don’t cram in too much information and graphics because it will be information overload.
However, while straightforward and clear is often good, if the design is too minimalist it can look boring and lack readability.
Find a good balance between the two and you are more likely to actually connect with your clients.
The question here is, what does the individual actually see when they pick up your leaflet and briefly cast their eyes over it?
Are they hit by a barrage of images and marketing power words, or is there a clear message?
When sending out a leaflet campaign then there must be a defined objective – normally to get the reader to respond (by email, telephone or a visit to the store).
This objective should create a context in the mind of the reader, allowing them to understand your message more fully. For example, a leaflet simply covered in images and text from the local cinema with no clear call to action, you’ll probably immediately throw it away.
However, if you receive a leaflet with a discount offer or news of a new screen opening you instantly understand the purpose of the leaflet and can, therefore, connect with the message and take action.
Once your message is defined, the question of personality arises.
Leaflets that are too colourful and visually loud are often automatically associated with junk mail and takeaway menus.
Similarly, very plain leaflets tend to be associated with council notices. Neither option is particularly desirable.
If your company is a popular local spot or nationwide name then the company colours and branding need to be strong on the leaflet. This way, customers will instantly associate the message with your company or organisation, making them more receptive to the message.
In the same vein, the tone of your establishment should be reflective in the leaflet; e.g. if you are a friendly, local store your clients will expect to see this in the style of copy.
The skim-reading test can easily be carried out to ensure that your clients see what you want them to see when they pick up your leaflet.
Stage a faux leaflet drop of your own – this could be done by hiding the leaflet in a book and allowing it to fall out as you read, for example.
Put yourself into the mindset of your client and imagine you have never seen the leaflet before. What is the first thing that you see when you look at it?
Carry out the test on a friend or family member too. Ask them to tell you their first impressions when looking at the leaflet, without intentionally focusing on what the leaflet was offering.
This test will allow you to see just what your customer is likely to see when the leaflet first drops through their letterbox.