Despite the ever-increasing use of digital media, for most visitor attractions, the humble leaflet remains a key component of marketing, so how can we be sure we’re making the most of this most fundamental marketing tool? Here are a few tips to help you maximise the return on your next piece of print.
Know your audience
First and foremost, choose a design, words and images that will speak directly to your main target markets. Make sure every aspect of your literature connects with its key audiences.
Stick to your key messages
Don’t cram your design with every detail. Instead, focus on what is most likely to result in an enquiry or visit. Keep copy brief, engaging and persuasive with short paragraphs, bullet points and snappy headings.
Don’t overwhelm the reader with images. Instead, choose one or two impactful images for the front cover and for the inside, use photos to reinforce your key messages. Keep the back panel free of images, using this space to present factual information such as a map, directions, opening times, contact details and prices.
Choose your words wisely
If you find yourself deliberating over descriptions, here are my three top tips for writing effective, persuasive copy.
- Get yourself in copywriting mode. This is unlikely to be five minutes before your deadline or in-between serving afternoon tea to visitors! If you want your creativity to flow, find time when you are relaxed, away from your normal place of work and free of distractions.
- Keep your reader in mind and write as if you are actually talking to them. Imagine your reader standing in front of you and consider what they will want to hear and how they’ll want to hear it.
- The most important word to use is YOU. The more you focus your copy on the reader, the more powerful it will be. Replace “We have wonderful views” with “You’ll love our wonderful views” and so on. One test of good copy is to check your brochures, flyers, web site and blog for the word “we”. Too many references might mean your copy is focused on your business and not on your reader.
Invest in imagery
Quality photography is an essential investment for any tourism business – don’t let your competitors benefit by cutting costs in this critical aspect of your marketing.
Double check, then triple check
Nothing makes a business look like an amateur quite like a spelling mistake or grammatical faux-pas. After checking the finished copy, get someone else to cast a critical eye over it, before asking for an outside opinion.
Never underestimate the power of the masthead
The masthead – the top 2 or 3 inches of your leaflet’s front page – is all a potential visitor will see when your leaflet is sat in a rack. It’s the most important part of the whole leaflet so make sure it stands out; bold colours, the name and location of your attraction and key selling points (“Kids go Free”, for example), are all critical.
Printed literature can say such a lot about a business – it’s your shop front so make sure it’s as eye-catching and impactful as possible. Choose your colour palette carefully, for example blue and yellow suggest an upbeat attraction with sunny weather. Research leaflets from competing attractions, ensuring yours will stand out, not blend in.
Size, weight and finish
The most universally accepted leaflet sizes are DL and A5 – these are the optimum sizes for inclusion in most distributors’ racks. A DL leaflet fits easily into a pocket or handbag, making it easy to pick up and retain.
Choose the paper weight carefully. A single unfolded leaflet will need to be printed on a minimum of 170gsm if it is to sit in display racks without flopping over. Make sure the paper is cut down the grain not across. At lower weights, matt finishes tend to offer more rigidity than silk or gloss.
Does your leaflet pass the rack test?
Take a look at your current leaflet in a rack alongside all the others and ask yourself (and your visitors) whether it begs to be picked up. Before you sign off your next leaflet for printing, make a prototype from the printer’s proof and run the same test.
To take your next piece of marketing print to the next level, please get in touch.