Plan Before You Print

I often get businesses asking me for quotes on batches of flyers and I’ll ask the question: “What is the purpose of them?”  and more often than not I receive a blank stare and silence… It’s a little nuts, but a lot of small businesses want to have ‘generic’ flyers to hand out like business cards, that basically read: “This is me and this is what I do”.

Unfortunately  this approach to marketing won’t get you very far. Instead you should ask the following questions for every piece of marketing prior to designing and printing.

Who do I want to receive my marketing? – Be specific. Is it new customers, existing customers, a list you’ve bought or a joint venture list. Try to define age, sex, occupation, hobbies, income etc. The more detailed, the more tailored the message is likely to be and also the easier it is to determine what media to use to reach your ideal recipient.

What action do I want people to take after reading my marketing? – This is usually the most overlooked step, many business owners will say “use my product or service” or “hang on to the flyer or remember my business for when they need my product / service” – this simply isn’t good enough. You need a specific, measurable action for your prospects / clients to take. There should only be 1 action for each piece of marketing. (ie – don’t try to get them to call to place an order or sign up for a newsletter). You can have multiple methods of contact, but they should all be for the same purpose (ie – call, email, fax in the coupon, all to request a free report.)

What am I offering? – I’m a firm believer that if you are going to put a piece of marketing out, you should make an offer. It can be a special product or service, a discount, an add-on product, a free report, a subscription to your newsletter or pretty much anything where you can give them value. Your offer should be irresistible. This is often the action that you want your clients to take.

When do I plan to distribute the marketing? – By knowing this you can add in some urgency, and give people a deadline that they need to respond by. It also allows you to make sure that your designer, printer, distributor are all informed of and can make the deadline.

There are many other questions that you should be asking prior to doing any marketing, in fact I have a questionnaire that has 30+ questions that I email to clients before commencing some jobs, but if you ask the above 4 questions then it will give you a little more clarity and hopefully allow you to avoid some of the common pitfalls that businesses experience when using printed marketing

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