Author - Stuart | YLF

The hidden costs of poor leaflet delivery

Marketing your business takes time, effort, patience and creativity. An effective leaflet campaign doesn’t just magically appear – it takes investment in the concept, design and printing to produce a leaflet that fully embodies the quality of your business.

When you’ve gone to all that trouble, why risk it all on choosing an inefficient or untrustworthy leaflet delivery partner?

If you pay someone to deliver your leaflets, you expect them all to be delivered. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. We’ve written in the past about the impact of dumped leaflets as that can cause serious problems for the businesses that hired delivery partners in good faith.

Whether it’s due to fly-tipping, posting multiple copies of your leaflet through the same letterboxes or simple non-delivery, the hidden costs of poor leaflet delivery can be huge.

What does poor leaflet delivery cost your business?

Wasted cost on the delivery
If you pay a company to deliver your leaflets and they don’t honour that agreement, you’ve effectively thrown away the money that you’ve paid them.

Wasted design cost
Whether you designed the leaflets yourself or paid a designer to create them, all those hours are wasted if nobody actually gets delivered the final leaflets.

Wasted printing cost
As above; undelivered leaflets mean that the money you spent on printing them on that high-quality glossy paper has been for nothing.

Potential fines from local councils
If your leaflets get dumped rather than delivered and somebody informs the local council, they may prosecute your business for fly-tipping which could result in a fine of over £2,000.

Damaged business reputation
Taking a knock to your reputation can be extremely costly for your business. If people in the local area disapprove of the delivery techniques (e.g. fly tipping or posting multiple copies of your leaflet through their letterbox at the same time) then they will be less likely to visit your business in the future.
5 things to watch out for when choosing your leaflet distribution partner:

Low cost
As with everything in life, if the price quoted to you seems too good to be true then it probably is. It is far better to spend a little bit more for a guaranteed delivery from a trusted company than to risk your campaign failing by choosing someone who doesn’t complete the work.
No tracking
If a company doesn’t offer any form of tracking, how do you know that you haven’t become an unsuspecting victim of leaflet dumping? Reputable leaflet delivery companies offer GPS tracking to ensure your leaflets get delivered to the full range of addresses.
Unclear terms and conditions
Always read the terms and conditions of any leaflet distribution companies carefully. If there is anything in there you are unsure of, ask them about it. Don’t proceed unless you are completely happy with the terms and conditions, particularly those involving non-delivery or late delivery of your leaflets.

Timeframes
Always ask the leaflet distributors for their anticipated timeframe for the deliveries. If you have a time-sensitive leaflet ready to be delivered but they won’t send them for another month, it’s time to find a different delivery company.
No testimonials or customer feedback
If a company doesn’t offer any form of testimonials from happy clients on their website then you should ask yourself why that is. Are they trying to hide something?
Should I hire a leaflet delivery company?

Don’t let all of the above put you off hiring a company to deliver your leaflets. Leaflet delivery partners remain a cost-effective and time-efficient way of getting your leaflets delivered to a wide range of addresses.

If you take the time to research and choose a reputable leaflet delivery company, you’ll be blown away by the results.

Gruffalo arrives in MK for 1st Birthday

The Gruffalo and Pre-School Children celebrate The Childcare Hub’s First Birthday

On Saturday 14th July at 10:30 am, The Gruffalo will host an exciting birthday party for the 1st birthday of The Childcare Hub in Knowlhill, the home of nature-based play.

With over 100 Pre-Schoolers on the Guest List, the event will be packed full of giant sized Gruffalo fun.   After meeting The Gruffalo,  children will be able to join in special Forest school activities, listen to Gruffalo stories, and have their faces painted.  With the finale, being a Tea Party with themed birthday cake and special guest, The Gruffalo.

Said Sharon Elliott, Childcare Director “The Childcare Hub has been a fantastic venue over the last year, giving children a great opportunity to learn more about our natural world.   The Gruffalo seems the perfect special guest to host our children’s birthday party.”

The Childcare Hub is the home of nature-based play and opened to the public in July 2017. The newest venue for Kids Play Childcare, this site really is the beacon for their ethos of nature-based play. The Childcare Hub plays host to Forest School sessions for all MK nurseries, has natural resources for all ages of learning and a rooftop garden!  At the event, the children will also have the opportunity to wear their best Gruffalo fancy dress costumes.

Sing with the Danesborough Chorus this autumn

Good news for local singers! The Danesborough Chorus is keen to recruit you, whether you’re soprano, alto, tenor or bass.

Our popular amateur classical choir is midway through rehearsals for Karl
Jenkins’ inspirational work, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace..Come and join us on Wednesday 5th September when we resume rehearsals after the summer break, or hear us sing this piece at the concert which we’re performing jointly with Bedford Choral Society and Milton Keynes City Orchestra  on Sunday 14th October in Milton Keynes Theatre.

Then it’s nearly Christmas – yes, really!  Starting Wednesday 17th October, the choir will be rehearsing new music, including a varied programme of Christmas music, with some traditional carols we’ve loved since childhood, and some less familiar songs, with perhaps a touch of ‘classical’ as well. If you haven’t sung for a while, and you’re feeling rusty, what better way to start exercising those vocal cords than singing carols with us?  Our Christmas concert takes place in Woburn Parish Church on the evening of Saturday 15th December.

The Danesborough Chorus meets each Wednesday in Aspley Guise Village
Hall from 7.45 – 9.50 pm.  You can talk to our membership secretary, Carol
Yirrell, by phoning 01296 680328 . You can also find out more about the choir
and our next concert by visiting www.danesborough.org.uk.  

Arriva kicks-off Catch the Bus Week alongside Milton Keynes MP

Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, joined the team from Arriva Midlands at its depot on Colts Holm Road to officially launch the sixth annual Catch the Bus Week.

Running from 2nd to 8th July, Catch the Bus Week is an industry-wide initiative being supported by sustainable transport group Greener Journeys, which urges people to try using the bus instead of their car by challenging the preconceptions of bus travel.

Donning a giant green promotional foam hand, Mr Stewart took a tour of the Milton Keynes depot to find out more about how the business is actively working to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of bus usage to passengers.

Simon Finnie, Area Managing Director for Arriva Midlands South, said: “Catch the Bus Week is a fantastic opportunity that helps celebrate all the benefits of bus travel. Buses offer communities much needed lifelines – reducing congestion, getting people to work and driving economic growth, and we are delighted to have been able to welcome Iain along to our depot in Milton Keynes to see first-hand the commitment and dedication we have to delivering those all-important services to the people within her constituency.”

Iain Stewart MP, added: “I am very grateful to Arriva for inviting me to visit their MK bus depot today to help mark Catch the Bus Week. Bus travel is too often the unsung part of our transport system but millions of people across the country rely on them. Parliament’s Transport Committee, of which I am a member, is about to start an inquiry on how we can make bus travel even better for passengers.

Smart, new buses are being introduced on many routes in MK. If you haven’t tried one in a while, hop on board!”

For more information about Catch the Bus Week visit www.catchthebusweek.co.uk. To find out more about Arriva Midlands’ services in Milton Keynes please log on to www.arrivabus.co.uk/beds-and-bucks or download the free Arriva Bus App on iPhone or Android device.

The importance of repetition in leaflet delivery marketing campaigns

Repetition in marketing campaigns is imperative to successful leaflet marketing. For the best return on investment (ROI) for your marketing budget, don’t send out 30,000 leaflets to 30,000 addresses. Instead, send out maybe 10,000 and then follow that up with another leaflet to those same people six weeks later, and then six weeks after that.

In most cases, repeat marketing using consistently branded leaflets can generate you a higher response rate and more business than by targeting a larger number of addresses only the once. This is a marketing technique called effective frequency.

However, it’s not just leaflet marketing that benefits from repetition; this technique can be used across all marketing platforms:

Repetition in catalogue advertising

If you compare a year’s worth of catalogues from the same company, the front covers are likely to look incredibly similar. Companies that use catalogue advertising are very aware of the benefits of instant brand recognition. Each edition is likely to have the same heading style with the brand name or logo at the top of the page, a large headline and some imagery. Even though each catalogue will be advertising different products, as soon as it drops through the letterbox you know the brand.

You should aim for that same level of brand familiarity with your ongoing leaflet campaigns.

Repetition in TV advertising

Often when companies create television advertisements, they don’t just plan one single ad – they plan a series that follow the same theme. For example, Red Bull uses a distinctive cartoon style in their adverts. Even if you turn on the television halfway through the advert, you immediately know that you’re watching something by Red Bull.

Similarly, comparison website Go Compare has been running their opera singing “Gio Compario” adverts for several years now. Brand association through repetition can do wonders for your profits – even if people don’t particularly LIKE the message you are repeating. Pretty much everyone you speak to about the Go Compare adverts says they are annoying and many claim not to like them, but when Go Compare changed tact and started running a different campaign they quickly realised their mistake and brought dear old Gio back.

That’s not to say that you should always follow the same design with your leaflet campaigns, but remember that the more people recognise your brand, the more trust they will have in your business. Innovation and new directions are what keep your brand fresh, but if you decide to send a completely different leaflet design, we recommend tracking the response rate. Compare the number of sales or leads attributed to the campaign to the average results of previous leaflet campaigns so that you know whether the new design is having a positive or negative effect with customers.

Destination MK goes from strength to strength

Tourism and information organisation, Destination Milton Keynes (DMK), has had a productive few months with no fewer than seven new companies joining up and discovering the benefits of being members.

The new members are an eclectic mix of companies covering different aspects of the tourism and leisure offer in the city.
Brewhouse & Kitchen and Popworld both recently opened in 12th Street and they could both see the value of joining DMK to spread the word of their offer to the wider MK population since their opening.

 

Stantonbury Theatre and Ride High Equestrian Centre are both long-standing organisations in Milton Keynes but wanted to raise their profile both locally and regionally, and DMK membership does this via reach through the website and their vast social media channels.

Orcars is a new App-based taxi firm taking MK by storm, and whether its clients are residents or visitors, DMK membership is helping them to spread the word. Aqua Parcs is the new inflatable water-based playground based at Willen Lake for the summer and they approached DMK about a bespoke membership allowing them to get the maximum exposure for the short length of time they are open, all of which could be catered for by the DMK team.

Business-to-business focussed companies also see benefit in DMK, with MK-based global events company Events Together also joining the ranks, with a view to promoting their upcoming LGBTQ+ conference being held in MK in October.

Steven Gordon-Wilson, CEO at Destination MK said, “It’s great to see such a varied range of companies discovering the benefits membership can bring them. We are a not-for-profit organisation, so rely on our membership to allow us to continue promoting Milton Keynes as a leisure and business destination.”

If you think your business could benefit from DMK membership talk to the team, email info@destinationmiltonkeynes.co.uk

5 Tricks for writing effective headlines

Top tips for writing headlines:

  1. Use emotive language

The best headlines are those which cause your reader to “feel” something. Whether that’s interest, compassion or excitement; triggering an emotional response is gold dust when it comes to crafting headlines.

Adjectives such as “absolute”, “strange” and “essential” can compel someone to read your content. Try to avoid commonly used words such as “great”, “good” or “fun”. Experiment with alliteration or puns (play-on-words) to increase this effect.

  1. Add a sense of urgency

This is particularly important when using a headline to promote a sale, special offer, event or product launch. Phrases such as “available now” or “sale now on” peak a reader’s interest and encourage them to read on to find out the deals that are currently available to them.

  1. Use numbers

You may have noticed when reading the headline to this article that we didn’t just say “Tips and tricks for writing effective headlines” but “5 tips and tricks”. Numbers suggest to a reader that the content will be numbered or in bullet points which means it will be easy to read and presented in small, manageable chunks.

Remember that the bigger the number, the higher the incentive for people to read as they believe they will be getting more content. Odd numbers also tend to have higher conversion rates than even numbers – so aim for 5/7/9/11 rather than 4/6/10/etc.

  1. Make your headlines unique

If your advert headline is the same as all the other companies in your area it will be difficult for readers to distinguish you. Indeed, they may even discard your advert without reading it if they recall reading the same headline recently as they may think this is another advert for the same company.

The same goes for online articles – if you write an article with the same headline that already exists, what’s going to make visitors click your link in their search results over someone else’s?

  1. Avoid ambiguity

The order of words in your headlines can make a big difference to how they are perceived. A recent campaign for a GPS based dog tracker gained notoriety for all the wrong reasons. Their headline was something similar to: “Find your dog if he gets lost with your iPhone”.

Can you see the issue? It spawned hundreds of comments from people saying thing like “why would you give an iPhone to a dog?” or “my dog never gets lost with my iPhone, he knows how to use the maps”. The headline made it sound like the dog was in possession of the iPhone, when in fact they meant that your iPhone could be used to find a missing dog.

How to write a killer headline

Need some more headline inspiration? Download our free paper to access 101 different headline ideas. Whether you’re advertising a product, shouting about a sale or publishing an article, our comprehensive PDF guide will help you to create the perfect headline.

Mark Lancaster MP and ABTA warn holidaymakers from Milton Keynes against travelling without the necessary insurance

As many as one in three people (36%) from the South East travelled abroad in the past 12 months holidayed without the right cover, took part in activities which may not have been covered, or didn’t have any insurance at all, according to ABTA – The Travel Association1.

As the Bank Holiday signals the start of the holiday season, new research from ABTA shows that many British holidaymakers jetting off this year could be putting themselves at risk by travelling without the necessary travel insurance.

Ahead of the summer holiday, Mark is backing ABTA’s call for holidaymakers to take out travel insurance which covers their circumstances and the activities they are planning to do. This will avoid potentially costly medical bills should something go wrong.

As peak summer holiday season approaches, almost one in three (29%) people reported travelling on some holidays completely uninsured in the past 12 months – significantly higher than the national average of one in five (22%). Over one in four (25%) risked invalidating their insurance by not telling their insurance companies about pre-existing medical conditions or by taking part in activities without checking they were covered under the policy.  An insurer can reject a claim in either of these situations.

The most common reason for not buying travel insurance was that people felt it wasn’t needed – e.g. that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would provide sufficient cover. While it is important to have an EHIC card when travelling in Europe, the EHIC only provides access to state medical care and does not include repatriation to the UK if you are seriously ill. This can be extremely costly should you require an air ambulance, for example.

ABTA is also encouraging people who have travel insurance with their bank to check that it covers their requirements as there may be restrictions around age, health, destination and activities.

While the average cost of a travel insurance claim is £1,2962, the cost of medical treatment or repatriation can run into thousands of pounds, leaving people extremely vulnerable abroad. Without sufficient cover, many families are having to raise money for treatment or repatriation, with some resorting to crowdfunding.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said:

“Every year we see cases of people falling into difficulty due to travelling without sufficient travel insurance. While many people are still choosing not to take out travel insurance at all, others are travelling unaware that their insurance policy is not protecting them as they expect.

“While not declaring existing medical conditions or taking part in activities that aren’t covered are easy mistakes to make, they can be very costly, leaving holidaymakers and their families with expensive medical bills which run into thousands of pounds. I would urge all holidaymakers to make sure they take out travel insurance and check that it covers their circumstances and holiday plans.”

Mark said:

“It is simply not worth the risk to travel abroad without the right travel insurance. Going without any travel insurance, or having insurance which doesn’t cover your circumstances, could prove very costly if you were to fall ill or have an accident while on holiday.

“I’m encouraging my constituents to buy travel insurance now if they don’t already have it and, if you do have insurance, to check before you travel that it covers your circumstances and the activities you plan to do when you are away.”

Five things you may not already know about travel insurance:

  1. It’s important to have both an EHIC and travel insurance before you travel in Europe. EHICs expire every five years to make sure your EHIC hasn’t expired before you travel.
  2. Always tell your travel insurer about any pre-existing condition– if you have an annual policy you must inform your insurer about any changes, even if they seem minor. Don’t be tempted to leave anything out, by not telling your insurer then your insurance may be void.
  3. Activities as seemingly safe as cycling may require a higher level of cover. Before you travel, always check with your insurer if you are covered for any activities you may participate in while on holiday.
  4. Travel insurance offered for free through bank accounts or cover offered through credit cards often provides limited protection. Always check your policy to see if there are any restrictions.
  5. European cover is generally cheaper than worldwide cover; however remember that popular holiday destinations like Turkey, Dubai, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, where thousands of Brits travel each year, will not be covered by a European policy.

For more tips on choosing the right travel insurance policy visit abta.com/travelinsurance

The most important design elements of your adverting

The professionalism and effectiveness of your advert design is the difference between it being your most successful campaign yet or a complete flop. Here are the 7 most important design elements for your advert:

Size and type

The first thing to decide on is the size of your advert. Will it be an A5 flyer or an insert into a magazine? The size and type of your advert should be decided upon before any designing begins – otherwise, if you change your mind halfway through you will need to re-do most of your design to fit the new shape.

On-brand design

If your business has a blue colour scheme with white text that’s used consistently on all your branding materials and website, don’t suddenly create an advert with a yellow background and pink text. For established businesses, brand recognition is a key factor in building trust with potential customers. Don’t confuse people by suddenly sending them something they won’t recognise.

A clear, consistent theme

You can’t write your entire history in one advert. Come up with a theme for your campaign and only add content to the advert that matches that theme. For example, an advert promoting a new 20% off sale probably shouldn’t contain the statistics from your latest annual report.

An eye-catching headline

People tend to skim-read adverts when they first pick them up in order to decide if they are interested in the subject matter. Craft eye-catching, emotive headlines to draw people in and encourage them to continue reading. The headline should be large, easy to read and positioned at the top of your advert.

Compelling imagery

The famous saying “a picture says 1000 words” is certainly true in advert design. Images help to break up the text and can also illustrate what you are saying in the text. If you are advertising a new product, show photographs of people using it. For charity campaigns, photos of the people/animals/etc. that you have worked with help to legitimise your work in the reader’s mind. Emotive or thought-provoking images can be powerful marketing tools in their own right.

Good balance of images & text

As important as images are, you must be careful to strike a good balance between images and text on your advert design. Don’t miss out on key information that needs to be written down. Likewise, don’t try and squeeze ten paragraphs of text onto a half page advert – it the text isn’t easily legible, it won’t get read.

Perfect spelling and grammar

We can’t emphasise this enough! Your advert must have PERFECT spelling and grammar. Check your text, and then check it again… and again. Send it round a few different people in the office to get them to check. If you work alone, ask family members or friends to read it over.

Nothing ruins a marketing campaign faster than poor spelling – particularly when a brand name or word in a headline is misspelt. It screams “unprofessional” and will make people less likely to engage with your brand.

3 of the biggest design mistakes to avoid

You need your advert design to be as effective as possible in order to maximise the success of your campaign. Don’t fall foul of these massive design mistakes when designing your advert.

Councillors go the extra mile for Cancer Centre Appeal

A team of four Conservative Councillors are taking on 72 Holes of Golf – more than 22 miles of walking – in one day to support the new Cancer Centre Appeal for Milton Keynes Hospital Charity.

On Friday 13 July the four golfing heroes will spend their entire day at the Abbey Hill Golf Centre raising funds and playing four rounds of golf for the charity – which amounts to over 15 hours with no buggies allowed.

The plan to raise more than £1,000 leading up to and on the day.

The Cancer Centre Appeal is raising £2.5 million for a new cancer centre – based at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

The new cancer centre will mean that the hospital can better support each and every cancer patient. It will be a purpose-built, dedicated space offering treatment, information and support services to anyone affected by cancer, in a more spacious, comfortable and welcoming environment. 

All the Councillors taking part have worked closely with Milton Keynes University Hospital or had a personal experience with the outstanding care it delivers.

Councillor Alex Walker, who has organised the challenge said: “Last year my younger sister, like hundreds of others in Milton Keynes, went into battle with cancer. The care she received from Milton Keynes University Hospital was outstanding, she was operated on within a few weeks of diagnosis and received all the support she needed.

“With all that said, we know MK’s population continues to increase as does the number of people diagnosed with cancer. We need to make sure Milton Keynes University Hospital has the ability to offer the cancer services that our population needs. Like others, part of my sister’s treatment took place at Northampton Hospital and other patients may go to Oxford or even further afield.

“We have an amazing opportunity to offer everything here in MK and I am delighted to be able to support that along with the outstanding team of Councillors who also have their own experiences and connections with the hospital.”

Head of fundraising Vanessa Holmes said: “On behalf of the hospital charity, I’m just delighted that Alex and his fellow councillors have decided to support us. Support like this is just so important and we can’t thank them enough. Let’s hope the sun is shining for them too!”

People can support the challenge by making a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mkcgolfteam.

For more information on the Cancer Centre Appeal, people can visit www.mkhcharity.org.uk.