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8 Reasons why so many fail with flyers

I find that many small businesses that send out flyers do it far too lightly. They spend lots of time and money and distribute their flyers - then they just sit back and hope for the best. If they don't get any results, the reason is often very simple and that's what we're going to address right now.

Here are the reasons why so many fail with commercial flyers

1. They haven't given enough thought to the address list
It doesn't matter how well you've produced your materials, packaging, sales text and appearance if you send it to the wrong person. It's the care about the list that separates the professionals from the amateurs. The pros spend lots of time to get the right list for each dispatch.

2. They don't make any tests before dispatch
It's easy to feel happy (and tired) of the texts you have written and the offer you have developed. You just want to get it everything out there at once, but it's a big mistake. There is a reason why companies working professionally with direct marketing always tests everything they can think of. They simply send out different variations of the flyer to see what happens with each dispatch. They test prices, try to find the best day of the week to send out a flyer and they work on various layouts of the offer. They even use different kinds of envelopes to get the best response rate in order to make the mailing work as effective as possible.

3. They haven't enclosed a letter in the dispatch
It's  important to distribute flyers to recipients with a letter that will guide them to what you want them to see and consider.

4. They talk only about the product rather than the benefits of the product
The oldest truth of all when it comes to direct mail marketing is to talk about the benefits, not about product features. It doesn't mean you should neglect to tell people about dimensions, weight and capacity, but to look for opportunities to make use of the benefits so that the customers more easily can see them and understand why they should choose you and not your competitors.

5. They have no offer
The receivers expect an offer. It doesn't have to involve a sale now, but the flyer may be an opportunity to order more information on something special. Your job with the sales letter can thus help the customer to come one step closer to a purchase. Many small businesses aimlessly send out flyers containing expensive products that few people buy directly. You have to think about what you sell and if that can be sold directly in the mailing or by the customer taking a step closer to you, so you'll get a chance to show what you can do.

6. They have bad texts and images
Texts and images in your offer must be clear. Don't fall for the temptation to make the flyer too advanced and too fancy just because advanced technologies is available (if it's not what you sell). Your offer must be rich and not just full of superficial “eye candy” for Art Directors and big words that don't really mean anything. Be concrete.

7. They save the best for last
Don't do that. The best and most amazing things you have to offer, you should always turn the attention to directly. People are pressed for time and you have to catch them right away. Immediately. Now!

8. They don't follow up
Already when you do your mailing dispatch, you should have a plan ready for how you will follow it up. You might choose to do another mailing and then call the recipients. Or you may choose to call quickly after the recipients have received your offer. Whatever you do, you must plan to follow up because it's part of the successful process of direct marketing. It's not enough to just send out letters and hope for the best if you want to succeed.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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