The Biggest Mistake With Leaflet Distribution

Keep It Simple

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The biggest mistake with leaflet distribution is trying to be clever by using words and phrases in their writing just to make it appear they are somehow more intelligent than the people they are advertising to.

This can have a negative effect on response rates for one simple reason. Let me explain.

An article recently appeared on the website of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Although this article was about Direct Mail and not Leaflet Distribution I thought perhaps there would be something to be learned so I read on.

The article asked the question why some organisations are failing to engage their prospects with the mailings they send out. But the article, in my opinion, failed to provide any new answers and, again, in my opinion, broke one of the basic rules of direct marketing.

I will let you know which rule this is towards the end of this article. But before we get to that let me cover some the issues I found puzzling in this article.

Why is this wrong?

Stop trying to be clever

The first thing that caused me to raise a quizzical eyebrow was the term “Transactional documents” instead of mailings or letters, a case of the writer trying to appear superior to the reader?

I was then informed if I was sending these transactional documents I would be one step ahead, as they are expected. How this was achieved (or what it meant) was not explained.

The writer then told me that an A4 letter with black Times New Roman type would not engage people’s attention. This made me wonder why most of the world’s newspapers print black on white with a serif typeface. They must be missing a trick.

At the foot of the article, I found a link to who had written it.  The writer was someone from a digital marketing agency, so I decided to give them a quick look.

When I reached their homepage my heart sank. I was confronted with the headlines such as:

  • “Discover Strategic Document Outsourcing Services that deliver ROI in months not years”
  • “Today is not like yesterday”
  • “Tomorrow is a different story”
  • “Take care of tomorrow today”
  • “Colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious”

These headlines appear to be written with the intention of making those who wrote them appear very clever, and I am sure they are. But when you tell people how clever you are it gives them the impression you are talking down to them. Not a good idea.

And of course, they are breaking one of the cardinal rules of direct marketing.

K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid.

I know that rule expressed in such away appears harsh, but it is true.
The biggest mistake with leaflet distribution

Even copywriters in direct mail who have the luxury of space to write know not to waste this space on superfluous words and phrases.

Everything they write is aimed at obtaining a response from the reader. And those of us involved in leaflet distribution are even more aware of how to use the space we have to effectively get our message across.

The majority of door drop leaflets are A5, 1/3 A4 or A6 and sometimes even smaller. This is partly because at this size they fit through a letterbox without the need for rolling so they appear in the format intended when landing on the householder’s doormat.

This makes it even more important that the message is conveyed in as few words as possible. An eye-catching headline, short coherent body, an engaging image, some copy and a call to action; this is what people want from a leaflet.

People do not want to be lectured to, they want to be informed as to what the leaflet is advertising and engaged, quickly. They do not want to be faced with fatuous headlines such as “Today is not like yesterday” that do not really mean anything.

DOR-2-DOR has many years of experience in leaflet distribution and we know how you should use the space on your leaflet to effectively advertise your service or product. We will give you advice on how to write a message that will bring in a good response. And above all, we will keep it simple!

Why not contact us now and let us help you plan your leaflet distribution campaign.

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