Marketing Ideas and Advice to help guide you through the maze marketing your business

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.

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.

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.

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.

17 Reasons Why Leaflet Delivery is Still Effective

There are many reasons why leaflet delivery is an effective way to spread the word about your business. Whether you’re running a brand awareness campaign or advertising a specific product, event or sale, here are our top reasons why leaflet delivery is an essential part of your business marketing:

Why your marketing plan should include leaflet delivery

1. You can reach large numbers of people quickly.

2. The cost per thousand people reached is relatively low.

3. Multiple people in each household will have access to your business literature.

4. You can target your delivery addresses based on demographic data about people interested in your product or company

5. Your business becomes a talking point in a household as people are likely to discuss your offer or brand when they pick up the leaflet.

6. Once the leaflet is designed it can be printed multiple times for delivery in different areas or at different times of the year.

7. Leaflet delivery partners can be used so that delivery doesn’t take valuable working time away from you or your employees. Reputable leaflet distribution companies can provide you with valuable data such as the GPS information of delivery addresses.

8. You can appeal to potential customer’s sense of community by including location-specific offers or information on their leaflets.

9. You can analyse the results of the campaign using tracking offers and codes on the leaflet.

10. Receiving a leaflet through the door forces the recipient to look at it, unlike when advertising online or in a separate publication where the reader might skim over your advert.

11. Leaflets are an ideal way of advertising local events as they are delivered to your exact target audience.

12. People often keep leaflets for companies they think they might be interested in purchasing from in the future which enhances the lifespan of your campaign as they may come to you weeks or months into the future.

13. Leaflet delivery is a great way to A/B test different marketing or campaign ideas – send different leaflets to different areas and analyse which brings to most results in order to decide which direction to focus future campaigns on.

14. If you’re a new business or have recently located to the area, leaflet delivery is one of the most effective ways of getting your name recognised in the local area.

15. Rather than running one large campaign that tries to please everyone you can produce several different leaflets for different target audiences, e.g. one for businesses addresses and one for residential.

16. Leaflet delivery is a more cost-effective way to spread your business literature than using direct mail.

17. Unlike direct mail campaigns, with leaflet delivery, you aren’t restricted to making your leaflets a specific size or shape based on common envelope sizes. Be creative and make your designs stand out!

Leaflet Delivery

The Impact Of Dumped Leaflets

How dumping leaflets can permanently damage your business reputation

As a business owner, you know the importance of a quality marketing campaign. It takes time and money to invest in promoting your business and every penny counts. Many businesses choose to hire people to deliver their leaflets to local companies and homes. But how do you know that your leaflets are actually getting to the intended destinations?

Could your business be at risk of leaflet dumping?

Leaflet dumping is becoming an increasing problem for businesses that outsource the delivery of their leaflets. Unscrupulous individuals and companies are taking to dumping leaflets in bins, woodlands, disused areas and… well… anywhere else they can find.

Whilst, not every case is as extreme as that of the Swansea man who dumped 720 BT phone books at a fly-tipping hotspot, even the smallest case of leaflet dumping can have devastating consequences for your business.

Not only will it reduce the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, but you could end up with a hefty fine from the local council as well as a permanent dent in the public relationship with your potential customer base.

What impact do dumped leaflets have on your business?

Wasted marketing cost:

Your business has to pay for every single leaflet that gets printed. Dumped leaflets are an instant loss of money. That’s still not the full cost though – you also pay for the design of the leaflet, marketing costs to come up with the campaign concept, potentially a website or email campaign to go alongside the leaflets, and of course, there’s the payment to the leaflet distributor.Potential business opportunities are lost:

For every leaflet that gets dumped, that’s a potential business opportunity that you have lost. You don’t know how many local businesses are currently on the lookout to hire someone in your industry. Your leaflet could have been delivered to them at just the right time to grab their interest, but instead, you have lost out on that sale.

Damaged business reputation:

If local residents or visitors come across a stack of your leaflets abandoned in a bush or find them blowing about in the street where they have been chucked into an open bin, that can have a serious impact on how they perceive your business. They don’t know that you hired someone to deliver your leaflets; all they see is the litter that’s been left behind. This can be enough to turn even a loyal customer away from your brand forever. That loss of trust can do irreparable damage to your business.

Takes time to sort out

If you are lucky enough to have someone report the dumped leaflets to you then you may be able to “clean up” before too much damage is caused. However, the time it takes for you to go and retrieve the leaflets is still time that you should have been spent working. Tracking down the exact location of the abandoned leaflets can be tricky – and you’ll never know if it’s only one of many locations that your deceitful leaflet distributor used.

Risk of legal action from local councils:

Fly-tipping and the dumping of business materials is illegal. As leaflet dumping becomes increasingly prevalent, local councils are taking more of an interest in punishing those responsible. As the leaflets will be covered in your business branding, the council will automatically point the finger of blame directly at you. It will be up to you to prove that you hired someone in good faith to deliver your leaflets and that it’s the third party who is liable to pay the fines. The fines can be over £2,000 – not something to be taken lightly.

What can be done to prevent leaflet dumping?

You should always use a reputable leaflet delivery partner to distribute your leaflets. Look for a company such who offer 100% guaranteed delivery. Try to find a company that offers testimonials from past clients that detail how happy they were with the service provided.

Some leaflet delivery companies even offer GPS tracking to verify deliveries. That’s how you know for sure that your marketing materials have made it to the potential customers that you intended to receive them.

Recycle Your Way To Growth

Here’s an excellent technique that I learned recently about how to ensure that you’re maximising your marketing spend without ever going over your marketing budget.

It’s all about recycling. Recycling your marketing budget. It’s devilishly simple but very effective.

…Lets say that you’re going to spend £500 on a marketing campaign. A leaflet drop, a newspaper ad etc. That’s £500 that you’re prepared to spend and take out of your business.

So, you’ve allocated that £500 as part of your marketing budget and your aim now is to get that (and more) back as quickly as you possibly so that you can reinvest it asap.

So, for example, let’s say that this spend has returned £2000. Take the first £500 from the return and put that back into your marketing budget. Then repeat the campaign.

Now, some business owners will think “Hold on, then that’s £1000 spent on marketing” – Well yes, it is, but all you’re doing is recycling the first £500.

When I find marketing that works, I want to do it as many times as possible. If every time I spend £500 I get a return of £2000, then I want to spend as many £500’s as I possibly can.

It’s by this approach tied in with careful monitoring of your marketing returns that you can build and develop a large marketing machine without overspending and letting your expenditure run away with you.

I told you it was simple!

Targeted Leaflet Delivery

Even the best-designed leaflet in the world won’t get results if it’s not delivered to the right people.

It’s often said that who you are marketing to is more important than the message you are sending them.  Therefore, it’s imperative that your leaflet delivery campaigns are planned properly with your target market in mind.

When you instruct us as your leaflet delivery agent we’ll find out about your target market.  You’ll then receive a full delivery plan, giving you a demographic profile of the area that we’re delivering to.

We hold data based on the following criteria.

1. Property Type
2. Property Ownership
3.  Lifestage
4. Wealth

So whether your target market is Wealthy old age pensioners that own their own properties or whether it’s families with school-age children in council houses, we can devise the perfect delivery plan for you.

Get in touch now, or download the free report of the Top 5 Ways to Generate more business in Milton Keynes

Top 5 Ways Download

Knowing your numbers

“Half of marketing doesn’t work…If only I knew which half!” PT Barnum

That quote from the owner/promoter of The Greatest Show On Earth may have been valid back in his day, but there is no excuse in today’s day and age for not knowing which of your marketing activities are producing returns and which ones are not.

Technology is a marvelous thing. It’s the 21st century and you have an array of cost-effective tools available to you that will give you an accurate picture of the returns from your marketing efforts.

“But I ask all my customers where they heard about me from!” I hear you say.

Do you? Every time?

Do your staff ask them too? Every time?

Do your customers tell you accurately? Do they remember whether they saw you in the paper, heard you on the radio or clicked through from your website? Every time?

So what could you do to improve the accuracy of your tracking? Here are a number of ideas.

Call Tracking Numbers

These are fantastic. Basically, you have a unique phone number that is only used on one piece of marketing. Such as a website, a leaflet or a newspaper add. The phone number can be a local number and can be routed to any landline or mobile phone. Then you’ll have an internet portal that you log in to and it will tell you exactly how many phone calls you’ve received using that number.

They’re dirt cheap too. You pay a small monthly charge (Around £5) and then you pay a few pence per minute the calls connected. We use them on our leaflets and we know that for every 20,000 leaflets we circulate, on average we get about 18 calls.

Google Analytics

If you’ve got a website, you’ve got to have Google Analytics! It’s a free tool provided by Google and it gives you loads of insight into the traffic visiting your webpages. You simply set up an account with them and post a bit of code in the footer of your site. Google does the rest. Then you can find out not only where your traffic is coming from, but the behaviour of people visiting.

How long they stay for, what keywords did they use to find you, how many pages do they view, what page of your website do most people leave from, which pages are converting well and which ones aren’t. Plus loads more information.

Tracking URLs

Similar to tracking phone numbers in that they are unique and should be used only on one piece of media. So, for example, an email would have a different link to that on a newspaper advert. These will flag up in Google Analytics and you’ll be able to see how much and the value of traffic generated from that link.

Vouchers and Offer codes

Not particularly technical, but a reliable method, to collate information. Generally used in print, such as on a leaflet or on a magazine ad. These take the form of a cutout voucher that the customer has to present in order to redeem an offer when purchasing face to face or a unique code that they have to enter or tell you when buying online or over the phone. You can then count up the number of orders using the particular vouchers or offer codes.

This method also has the added benefit of increasing sales – Any good piece of direct marketing should have an irresistible offer that makes the reader want to take action now.

I’m a great believer in the phrase, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Armed with the information from measuring your marketing, you’ll be able to make better decisions. If for example, you knew that for every £35 spend on leaflet delivery, you received 3 leads, converted 1 of them to a customer and generated £300 in sales, then how many lots of £35 would you want to spend?