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6 Tips to Writing Compelling Copy For Your Flyers & Brochures

Many flyers and brochures are a waste of the paper they’re printed on. Forests of innocent trees have died in vain to produce sales material that does not sell!

The average flyer or brochure might look nice in a glossy sort of way, but all too often, I just can’t get too excited about what it has to say. The design might interest me, but the words are all wrong. They speak at me, not to me. Most of those words are irrelevant to my needs or desires. And commonly, there are far too many of them.

Don’t make those mistakes. These are costly errors if you have a product or service to sell. When it’s time to put together your next flyer or brochure, make sure you spend as much time on the copy as you do on the presentation.

To help you, here are six tips that will transform an average flyer and brochure into something much better than average.

1. Start With A Bang

A headline that arouses interest is essential in turning a casual reader into a potential customer. Any copywriter will tell you that the first words of any piece of sales writing are the most important. They hook the reader in, and make them want to read everything you have to say.

A great headline is evocative and emotional, rather than just a straight introduction to what you do. It will give a hint that your flyer or brochure is going to solve a reader’s problem. Or satisfy their desire. Or reveal an offer that is too good to refuse. For example:

‘Have A Bikini Body By Summer’ looks really good to someone who wants to lose weight. It sets a goal, and reflects their desire. Certainly much better than ‘Lose Weight With Us’

‘You’re Paying TOO MUCH Interest On Your Home Loan’ is a statement that will provoke far more curiosity in a cash-strapped family than ‘Come To Cut Price Home Loans’

‘Stop Washing Your Baby’s Clothes In Toxic Detergent’ will grab a young Mum’s attention, unlike the meek and mild ‘Introducing Green & Greener All Natural Cleaning Products!’

Simply put, an effective headline is a promise of the good things you can do for a reader. It’s a summary of benefits in a few power-packed words. And speaking of benefits…

2. Be Big On Benefits

You might not have heard of Theodore Levitt, but this unknown genius will help you produce a flyer or brochure that sells.

Levitt was a professor of marketing at Harvard University, and he gave us this legendary quote – “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”

Genius! What Professor Levitt means is that your potential customers want to look beyond your product or service and see the final result. In other words, they want to envisage the benefit that derives from the features you are offering.

When you’re writing copy, look at your business from the perspective of the people you’re trying to attract. What do THEY want? What is THEIR problem? What will THEY respond to? Once you’ve asked these questions on their behalf, you can supply the answers in benefit-rich copy.

Basically, stop telling the reader how good you are. Instead, start telling the reader how good you are for them! As Professor Levitt so memorably suggests, don’t only describe your product and service…make every effort to describe how it will make your customer’s life better. If you understand this, you’ll understand how to write compelling copy.

3. Don’t Just Take My Word For It

As well as using your own words, why not use the words of existing and happy customers? Testimonials, case studies and success stories can be a powerful inclusion in your flyer or brochure. After all, readers expect you to say only good things about yourself, so a testimonial from an independent party adds extra weight to your sales pitch.

Don’t overdo it! Too many glowing reviews can seem a little suspect, a case of looking too good to be true. Just a few well-chosen and authentic testimonials are all you need to show the reader that your product or service is tried and true.

4. Don’t Be Too Wordy

Too many words, and too much cleverness, will bore even the most attentive reader. A big block of words just looks dense and inaccessible, and suggests that your flyer or brochure is going to be plain hard work to read. Big words further compound the issue, and can be confusing. Don’t send your reader to the thesaurus so they can work out the meaning your copy…they may never return.

A good idea is to reduce your word count by 10 to 20% after you’ve written the first draft. This might sound brutal, but many drafts are usually overwritten as proud writers cram in every single detail about their business, and leave the strongest selling points shrouded in too many words. If you have a lot to say, and just can’t take out any copy, you could always try bullet points.

  • Bullet points break up a page and make it appear less dense.
  • As a result, they are reader-friendly.
  • Bullet points are also a good way of separating different benefits.
  • Get the idea?

5. What Does The Reader Do Now?

Your reader has been hooked in by your headline, and they’ve read every single benefit you offer. They’ve scanned the testimonials, and see you as a credible person to do business with. You’ve got a serious prospect on your hands. Don’t leave them hanging! Your well chosen words mean nothing if they don’t include a ‘call to action’.

Basically, a call to action is an invitation for the reader to take the next step. You might want them to sign up for a free consultation. Or go to your website to watch a video demonstration of your product. Or you might just want them to call to find out more. Whatever your call to action, make it clear, and triple check it for accuracy. I know of one person who received zero response to their flyer because they put down the wrong phone number. It ALWAYS pays to check…

6. Check Your Work

A spelling mistake is like a dripping tap. Small but hugely distracting. The reader will focus on the errors, rather than your message. Besides, spelling and grammatical errors are a big stain on the image you are trying to convey to your reader. You look far less professional when your copy is littered with errors, and your readers will be correct in assuming that if you can’t get small things right, how on earth will you manage the big stuff?

Writing compelling copy for your flyers and brochures is not at all difficult if you keep these tips in mind. However, many of your competitors won’t use this basic information when writing their sales literature, which is even more reason for you to do so. Interesting and enticing copy will give you an edge over the rest of the market, so pay extra attention to the words you use. By doing so, you’ll ensure your brochure or flyer is worth much more than the paper it is printed on.

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