guest blog by Susan Payton
If reactions to your marketing materials have been lukewarm, take a hard look at your brochures, business cards, and fliers to see why they’re not enticing potential customers to buy from you. Chances are, with just a few tweaks, you can make your print material more appealing and effective.
You Designed It Yourself
As a small business owner, you want to save money, but don’t cut the wrong corners. It’s worth the investment to have a professional designer create more complex marketing materials like brochures. You can also use professional templates to get the job done. But trying your hand at Photoshop will probably result in shoddy work, and won’t do anything to make potential customers want to read your materials or buy from you.
Maybe you’ve changed your logo since you invested in 10,000 business cards. Or maybe your product offerings or your address have changed. You can be stubborn and try to use up your existing print materials, or you can invest in updating them. If your business has moved to a new location, you need updated return address labels. And if you’re constantly correcting people about any misleading information on fliers, or you’ve actually scratched out old information and handwritten the updated info, it’s definitely time to get new materials printed.
In an effort to let potential clients know everything about your brand, you included, well, everything on your flier. A flier or brochure isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Instead, it should be an overview. You can then answer questions or point out more features of your products in conversation.
Your Copy Stinks
There’s no reason you have to be a professional writer to make your marketing copy in your brochures and flyers appealing. Remember to keep your customer in mind and write about the benefits of your products or services. What’s in it for your customers? Why should they buy from you?
Avoid touting your product’s features. No one cares that your product is bigger than the competitors’. What will it do to solve a customer’s problem? Keep your marketing copy simple, and keep your audience in mind.
You Didn’t Proofread It
You rushed through the process and didn’t bother to read through the copy on your marketing materials. Now you’re stuck with 10,000 brochures that spell your company name wrong. This is a costly mistake, and one that makes you look less professional than you are.
Always go over your collateral with a fine-toothed comb. Have multiple people review it -- not only for grammatical mistakes but also for layout issues (is your logo blurry? photo crooked?). Only after you’re completely sure it’s perfect should you send it to be printed.
There’s No Call to Action
Every piece of marketing material, with the possible exception of your business card, should have a call to action, or CTA. This is what moves the reader to get up and do something: call your company, sign up online, or schedule an appointment. Without a CTA, your marketing materials fall flat. At the end of every company document, encourage readers to do whatever it is you want them to do, and provide contact info so they can reach you.
Print materials are meant to be updated often. Order just enough for the next few months so you can update if necessary before the next print order. Always have several people review the document for visual appeal and grammar to ensure you’re only printing professional, well-written and well-designed marketing collateral.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and contributes to several sites, including ChamberofCommerce.com, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, CorpNet, Small Business Trends, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.