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Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths

Are you guilty of these promotional sins?

Learn from others

When we’re out and about it's as if we're on a busman's holiday. We can't help ourselves casting a critical eye over any promotional material we come across. 

One of the challenges about being self-employed is that you don't have the advantage of a team of copywriters, graphic designers, proof readers or print specialists that a large organisation often has.  You need all of these skills yourself or engage someone else to provide them for you. 

The importance of involving specialists in the design and production of your promotional material was brought home to us recently when Nic received a flyer for a local Take-away through her door in rural Gloucestershire. 

On the plus side: 

 The leaflet had been professionally printed

 A logo was clearly displayed

 The business name was clear

 The design was clear and simple

 The prices were listed clearly

On the down side: 

Apart from the business name, the rest of the leaflet was barely legible:

 The text was tightly packed

 There was very little variation in the font-size for headings and the main text, making it difficult to distinguish between headings and products

 The main text was written in 8-point font size (difficult for the over fifties like Nic and Debs to read)

 The original telephone numbers were crossed out and new ones hand-written in

 Some of the prices were crossed out and new prices hand-written in

 It was produced on flimsy paper

 There were spelling and grammar mistakes

 A special offer was written with a highlight pen on a black background (Nic almost didn't see it!)

Nic didn't get as far as reading what the Take-away had to offer - she'd already made up her mind about the quality of the product and decided not to bother. The chances are that many of the other recipients would have felt the same, thus impacting on the success of the campaign.

To avoid this happening to you, we recommend that you: 

 Use a professional Graphic Designer to design your leaflets - it needn't cost much and could dramatically improve your response rates.

 Get someone else to proof-read your text to check for spelling or grammatical errors.

 Read the text backwards - that way you don't read what you want to read, you read the actual words and letters that are there!

 If you change something fundamental about your business - location, contact numbers, prices, get new literature printed. Crossings out will tell people you're not serious or successful enough to invest in your business.  Don't forget if you know something is going to change in the future you can do a very low print run of 50 or 100 and then reprint a larger quantity once you're sorted.

 The same applies if you spot a spelling mistake after you've had your literature printed. As hard as it seems, throw it away, get the error corrected and arrange for a reprint.

 Use good quality paper - this is a good investment as it tells people as much about your business as the words on the page.  It also means the potential client is more likely to hang onto it. Cheap and cheerful tends to hit the bin more quickly.

 Be mindful that online 'cheap and cheerful' print companies will often include their company name on your business cards, leaflets etc - that will tell people that you are 'cheap and cheerful'. Is this an image you wish to convey?

Remember that people will judge you on the quality of your promotional material. If you're serious about succeeding it's worth paying attention to these details.

Take Action to review your promotional material.

Nic and Debs

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