How to write better leaflets and fliers – 10 Quick Tips

Much as we depend on the internet to announce and publicise events and business offers, printed documents – leaflets, or fliers as some people call them – are often the first line of action. And that’s especially relevant when you’re looking at a local or otherwise geographical “plottable” area.

And, welcome to our new Back To Basics series on How To Write Better for 2016 … everything you need for business and other writing … simply explained and easy to use.

How to write better leaflets and fliers - 10 Quick Tips

It’s better to stick to a more conversational tone, although obviously you need to match your writing style to the style that’s appropriate for your offer or announcement, and of course for your readers.

Here are my 10 quick tips on how to write better leaflets, so they work harder for you

1. Be sure of exactly what the leaflet has to achieve, and don’t expect it to achieve more than one main objective with perhaps 3 or 4 subsidiary ones. People don’t have the time or patience to absorb more than that. Keep your leaflet uncluttered and inviting to read and look at (see below).

2. There is no way you can control how leaflets are read … how they land on the doormat, or how people pull them out of their bags after attending a trade show or exhibition. That means leaflets are seldom read in the right order, so you need to make each page, side or panel reasonably self-sufficient.

3. If it’s a two-sided single sheet, create a main headline on one side with a subsidiary headline on the other that adds to the content, but also reprieves the original point in some way.

4. In a 6-panel leaflet (called a DL format in the UK, or gatefold) do the same as in Tip #3 on front and back panel when it’s folded up. (Don’t look upon the back panel merely as a back page: include enough text there to get readers interested even if that’s the panel they read first, as well they might.) As before, write each of the 6 panels so they indicate, at least, the whole story which will draw readers in to read the rest.

HTWB 10 tips logo5. Avoid over-selling in the way you write leaflet text: too much praise lavished on whatever you’re promoting won’t be believed. It’s better to stick to a more conversational tone, although obviously you need to match your writing style to the style that’s appropriate for your offer or announcement, and of course for your readers. By all means make strong statements about the plus points, but try if you can to back them up with believable testimonials (short quotes only).

6. Identify what information readers must have to understand what your offer is about, and make sure you provide it. Don’t assume prior knowledge of where things are (we’re just behind the Tesco Express store on Main Street) because not everyone will know what you mean. As with any promotional or sales literature, the main thing is to make it easy for readers to buy.

7. Be certain that ALL the information readers need to know is written clearly and plainly. You’d be surprised how many leaflets I see where the company’s phone number has been left off … or they haven’t included their full address.

8. Decide early on what your “call to action” is going to be and express at least the gist of it visibly on every page or panel of the leaflet. Once again this is to compensate for the fact that people may not read the whole leaflet or if they do, not in the right order. This may be as simple as a boxed-off section saying something like…

Want to know right now how sparkling clean your windows could be? Call 01123 456789 any time 24/7

Or …

The Taming Of The Shrew by the XXXtown Players
June XX, 2016, XXX Theatre
Book your tickets now – phone 112233 4455667

9. Be very careful who designs your leaflet, if anyone. You may think that for a small print run of leaflets done by a charming local amateur printer it’s not worth worrying about layout and overall look, but remember that graphic designers earn good money and there’s a reason why: they make your words work better and harder. A bad design can strangle your leaflet. If you can afford to invest in a designer’s time to sort your leaflet out, do so; failing that most “grownup” printing companies offer a low-cost design service which at worst is better than nothing and at best can be very good.

10. Lastly, three essential points: proofread, proofread, and proofread. You’d be amazed how often even a team of people will overlook the most blindingly obvious goof in a leaflet (or other document, for that matter…) Get someone else who is totally unconnected with your leaflet read the text. Get your auntie to read it. Get your 12-year-old child to read it. Forget about it for 24 hours and look again: even pro writers like me find mistakes when we go back to edit later.

Hope this will help you write better leaflets!

Please share any questions you may have…

 

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