Leaflets are very powerful
tools for promoting your products. The idea is to find
potential customers by distributing leaflets to their homes or
workplaces. Alternatively they can be placed where
potential customers will see them.
Although many network marketers
achieve great results using leaflets it is not without hard work
and careful preparation. This section runs through the key
stages in an leaflet campaign - and includes suggestions and
questions to consider when designing your particular approach.
Step Or Two?
One Step Or
First you must decide what kind
of campaign you want to run - one step or two.
In a one-step campaign your
leaflet asks your customers to buy your product immediately.
So the leaflet has to include all the information to persuade
them to buy - and place their order.
In a two-step campaign the
leaflet is only intended to attract the customer's attention -
and persuade them to phone or write requesting more information.
You capture their contact details and send them a brochure or
information pack. This then contains the material to
persuade them to buy, and place their order.
The telesales variant of the
two-step campaign asks the customer to phone for more
information. When they phone in, you answer their
questions and try to clinch the sale there and then. It
can work well but requires good telephone technique.
There are several options for
distributing your leaflets:
them through letterboxes in your area.
Place them on car windscreens.
Place piles of them in public places
Insert them into newspapers or magazines.
Include them in mailshots.
Think about the product you are
trying to sell - and more importantly - think about the kind of
people who are likely to buy it.
Where do they live? Are
you just aiming at people in your neighbourhood? Or do you
have wider ambitions? Will saturation coverage of your
area reach the people you want to find? Or will your
leaflets just get chucked in the bin?
Do they have cars? If so,
where do they park them? Will a blitz on the town centre
car parks reach the people you want to find? Or will they
just get thrown away?
Which public places do they
visit? Supermarkets? Libraries? Sports
centres? Doctors' surgeries? Use your
imagination. You'll need permission to leave your leaflets
in these places - and some may demand a small fee. Leave a
small heap and see how quickly they get taken.
Which publications are they
likely to read? Don't just think about well-known titles.
If your product is aimed at a select group of people then look
for specialist publications aimed at that group. Do they
insert leaflets? How much does this cost? Check out
our guidance about choosing publications to advertise in.
Who is already mailing your
target customers? Use your imagination. Suppliers of
related products? Clubs and special interest groups?
Do they insert leaflets? Look for adverts under
Business-To-Business headings. There are specialist
mailers who charge for their services. Check out our
guidance about mailshots.
Pick out a few promising
candidates and evaluate them a bit more. For each one:
How many people will see your leaflet? What proportion are
likely to be interested? How much will it cost?
Don't forget to include the cost of the leaflets as well as any
charges for distributing them.
Finally, work out the Value For
Money rating - our transatlantic cousins charmingly call this
the "bang for a buck". How many interested
people you can contact for each £1 spent?
Estimate how many people will
see your leaflets - and adjust it by your guess at the
percentage interested in your product. Then divide this
figure by the total cost of the leaflets plus any charges for
distributing them, ie:
Money = People Contacted x % Interested
÷ Leafleting Cost
Obviously, to get the most out
of your hard-won cash, distribute your first leaflets via the
options offering the best Value For Money.
Remember: It's worth taking
your time to get your planning right because it's easy to waste
a lot of money and effort on unsuccessful leaflets.
Leaflets vary in size from A6
(a quarter of an A4 page) up to A3 (folded to A4 size).
They can include colour, photos, drawings and logos which make
them extremely effective.
The great advantages of
leaflets are: (1) they can be made to stand out so they're very
good for attracting the reader's attention, (2) they put across
your sales message very powerfully, and (3) with the bigger
leaflets you can include a cut-out form for enquiries or
The main disadvantages are: (1)
they have to look good so you may have to pay someone to design
them and produce the "camera-ready copy", (2) printing
can take time so you have to plan ahead, and (3) flashy ones can
be quite expensive.
There are some basic rules for
designing leaflets - but there is also great scope for artistic
inspiration. Like most things, the more you do the better
you get. Start by being clear what your leaflet is
intended to achieve.
Many leaflets are part of a
two-step campaign - where the object is to persuade the reader
to phone, write, fax or email for more information. If you
want them to write, and you can afford the space, include an
information request form for the reader to fill in and post to
you. This makes life easier for them. And you can
make sure they fill in all information you need. You can
also put a code on the form so you know which campaign produced
One-step campaigns - where the
object of the leaflet is to persuade the reader to buy your
product immediately - are less common. You'll need to
describe the product, persuade readers to buy, and tell them
where to send their order and payment - which takes space and
increases the cost. If you can afford the space, include
an order form for the reader to fill in and post to you.
This makes life easier for them. And you can make sure
they fill in all information you need. You can also put a
code on the form so you know which campaign produced the
Your customers get bombarded
with lots of leaflets. Most get thrown straight in the
bin. So, if you don't want your message to end up in
landfill, you'll have to use your artistic ingenuity to make
your leaflet stand out from the crowd.
All leaflets should
follow the tried and tested AIDA formula:
the reader's Attention
reader in the product
excite the reader's Desire
ask for Action from
The big advantage of leaflets
is that you can use photographs, drawings and logos to attract
the reader's attention.
If you can't afford the artwork, or you're
limited for space, maybe you can use lines, boxes, large
print or special
achieve the same effect. Some printers offer colours,
but these usually cost more. Most can print on coloured
paper . Glossy paper looks more
professional but costs more.
Photographs or drawings of
people help catch the attention. Obviously they need to be
happy people. If your customers are mostly men then a
picture of a woman will be most effective - and vice versa.
(Reverse that if your target market is gay people).
Pictures of the product don't
just catch the attention. They also help to arouse the
reader's interest and desire. They're especially important
if you're trying to sell "off-the-page". If
you're selling a service then consider a picture of something
related to it. For example, a car for motor insurance, or
someone on the phone for cheap calls.
Logos also work well,
especially if the brand name is well known.
Short phrases enclosed in
simple graphics (banners, stars, speech balloons, etc) can be
used to attract the attention and put across key points.
For example, "Sale!", "Special Offer!",
"New!", "Half Price!".
Use all these special effects
sparingly. A few of them will create a strong visual
impression. Too many looks fussy - or even a mess!
Leave some "white space" around the content as that
helps to draw the reader's eyes.
The headline - the first phrase
or sentence - is critical. It should be written in large
bold type, possibly capital letters, and separated from the rest
of the text. Use the headline to attract the reader's
attention - and make your leaflet stand out from the rest.
Take some time thinking of alternative headlines and picking out
the best. You want people to stop and read your leaflet
- not other things around it.
If you're inserting in
publication with a broad readership, eg. the local paper, then
your headline should probably specify your product, eg. Rare
Books!. This will only attract the attention of people
who are genuinely interested in rare books.
If you're inserting in a
publication with a specialist readership, eg. Bikers News, then
your headline can focus on what makes your product different
from the rest. For example, More
Studs Than Any Other Jacket.
Another powerful approach,
especially suitable for business opportunities, is to forget the
product and lead with the benefit to the customer.
Examples include: Be your own boss! Earn in your
spare time! Improve your sex life! Or you can use
blatant attention grabbers like: Free! Brand New!
Only £2! Two for the price of one!
The middle wording needs to
interest the reader and build up their desire. Where
possible, emphasise the benefits for them. Give enough
information about the product so they understand what you're
offering. But, if you're two-stepping, don't attempt to do
the job of your brochure or your telephone sales pitch.
Make good use of "power
words" - words that make the reader sit up and take notice.
These include: avoid, bargain, bonus, discover, earn, easy,
enjoy, exciting, exclusive, extra, fast, fortune, free, how to,
learn, money, more, mystery, new, now, profit, save, special,
win. Don't force these words into your leaflet - but use
them rather than weaker alternatives.
The tail end of the leaflet must tell
the reader what to do next. For example: Phone 01234
567890 for details. Send 4 x 26p stamps to Fred at ...
Visit our website at www.downline.co.uk.
Proof read this bit especially carefully. It would be a
crying shame to excite your customers' desire and not be able to
receive their responses.
If you're one-stepping, include
an order form for the reader to cut out, fill in and post to
you. This makes life easier for them. And prompts
them to fill in all information you need. Put a code on
the form so you know which leaflet and publication produced the
response. Make sure it tells them who to make out their
cheque to, and clearly shows your postal address.
Check with your company.
They may already have some effective leaflets you can use or
modify. They can probably supply you with "camera
ready copy" - which will save a lot of effort. Also
they may have restrictions about where or how you distribute
leaflets. They may insist on approving your leaflet before
it's published. You'll definitely need permission to use
their trade names, photos and logos.
Make sure you proof read what
you send for printing. Spelling errors and nonsense
wording make you look an idiot. Incorrect contact details
will lose you business and annoy your customers.
If you're setting the leaflet
yourself, you'll need to send "camera ready copy" to
the printers - a good quality original of your leaflet. It
must be clear and sharp enough for them to photograph or scan
into their publishing / printing system.
For simple non-glossy leaflets,
you can produce acceptable camera ready copy using your PC with
a good laser or inkjet printer. If you don't have the
expertise or the facilities you may have to pay someone else to
do this. Some printers will produce the artwork for you -
for a fee!
For very small leaflets check
whether the printer can photo-reduce a larger original.
This may well give a sharper image than you can achieve directly
from your PC's laser or inkjet.
If you're posting camera ready
copy to the printer - don't fold it! It won't photograph
cleanly with a fold line down the middle. And put a
stiffener or some padding in the envelope so your precious
original doesn't get mangled by the postman.
For most publications there is
no flexibility about their deadlines. If you want your
leaflet to go into a particular issue, get it to the publisher
in good time for the deadline. Make sure you tell them
(preferably in writing) which issue you want it to go in.
If you don't tell them it'll be your own fault if it goes wrong.
And you won't be able to claim a refund.
Good telephone manner is
vitally important. Speak clearly and at a comfortable
speed - not too fast - not too slow. Try to sound keen and
interested in what the customer is saying. But be
yourself. If you try to put on airs it will sound false.
Work out a standard greeting
and use it whenever you answer an incoming call. This
should include your trading name - so the caller knows they've
got through to the right number - and your name - so they know
who they're dealing with. For example: "Fred's Sheds
- Harry speaking".
You should also get an
answering machine to field your calls when you're out, or
otherwise unavailable. Murphy's Law says that the phone
only rings when you're in the toilet.
Work out a standard message
along the lines of: "Thank you for calling Fred's Sheds.
I'm sorry we can't take your call right now. If you'd like
to leave your name and number after the tone, we'll get back to
you". Note this doesn't say you're out (which might
give a hint to burglars) and it doesn't say when you'll call
back (which might raise false hopes).
Your friends and family may
think you're a bit odd - but the only alternative is a separate
phone number. Answering with "Ullo?" will make
your customers wonder just what kind of business they are
You'll also have to train the
family to answer the phone properly too. Stroppy teenagers
often baulk at this - it doesn't help their street cred.
Explaining that new clothes or computer games depend on business
success may tip the balance.
Modern telephones are very good
at picking up background noises - even with
your hand over the mouthpiece. For some reason the
television, the kids fighting, and the toilet flushing - all
sound much louder over the phone than they do in the room.
So try to find somewhere quiet for your business calls. Never,
ever, make remarks about the caller! Assume they can
If you just want to capture the
callers details and send them an information pack then keep the
call short and business-like. Capture the bare minimum of
information: name, address, postcode, phone number, what product
they're interested in, and where they saw the leaflet.
Write it all down - there and then. Keep a notepad and pen
by the phone. Human memory is notoriously unreliable - so
don't rely on it!
If you want to clinch the sale
over the phone then make sure you're well prepared. Work
out the key points of your sales pitch and rehearse how you're
going to say them. Emphasis and intonation can be quite
important here. Prepare counters for objections they might
raise. For example: "It costs more than brand
X", "Yes, but you use less each time so it lasts
Try to establish a personal
relationship with the caller. Make sure you get their name
early on and use it occasionally. If they mention their
family, or their job, or where they live - show an interest, or
tell them something similar about yourself. But don't
overdo this or you'll spend all the time gossiping rather than
selling. Make a note of key points. They'll come in
handy the next time you talk to them.
Listen carefully to what the
caller is saying. Ask them open questions (ones that can't
be answered yes or no) so you're clear what they're looking /
hoping for. This should be a conversation - with them
speaking as much as you. Don't let it degenerate into a
monologue. Try to tune your comments to fit in with their
train of thought. Find ways to agree with them.
Simply dropping in the occasional "Yes" helps build a
rapport. Even if you have to disagree with them try to say
"Yes, but ...".
When you've told them about the
product and its benefits, and they seem to be interested, you
come to the crunch point - asking them to buy. Sales
people call this "closing the sale". Don't
approach this head on. "Do you want to buy one?"
comes across as aggressive - and allows them to answer
Much better to ask them a
question that implies they have decided to buy. Like
"How many would you like", "Which colour would
you like?", "How would you like this
delivering?", or "How would you like to pay?".
Usually they'll just answer the question and you can move
swiftly on to capturing their order details.
Even if they baulk at this
question all is not lost. They'll probably say "I
don't know" or "I haven't decided". You
just switch back into your sales pitch and try to close the sale
when they've had a bit more time.
If you don't have the enough
time to make the sales pitch - eg. you have to get the kids out
of school - explain the problem, take the caller's name and
phone number, and sort out a mutually convenient time to call
them back. You should call them (and pay the call charges)
because you're the one causing the problem. Whatever you
promise to do - do it! This is essential to build up their
At the end, thank them for
their call - and say goodbye. Then wait for a second so
they can hang up first (otherwise they may think you're glad to
be rid of them). You'd be surprised how many people forget
these simple courtesies.
If you've promised to send the
caller an information pack then get it on its way today!
Follow the guidance below about replying to letters, faxes and
If you've taken an order from
the caller then move it on to payment collection and delivery
promptly. If possible despatch the order today. Fast
delivery is always very impressive and makes them well-disposed
towards further purchases.
Letters, Faxes and Emails
First rule - strike while the
iron is hot! Your customer has seen your leaflet and taken
the time to ask for more information about your product.
It's vitally important to reply quickly while they're still
keen. Aim to post, fax or email your reply the same day.
If illness or absence delays your response then apologise!
Keep an accurate record of who
has responded and what you have sent to them - with dates.
Store their personal details securely - and don't give this
information away to anyone else.
What are you going to put in
the reply? Make sure it includes everything the customer
needs to make their purchase decision and return their order.
Where possible, use the
standard brochures, price lists and order forms produced by the
company who supplies your products. They're usually well
printed on glossy paper with nice pictures. And the
wording has usually been carefully crafted to present the
product in a good light, explain the offer accurately, and
comply with the law. Substitute your own material at your
Make sure your name and contact
details appear on the material you send out - even if you have
to add a sticky label to each item. Adding a short
personalised letter or note is a nice touch that can endear you
to the customer. But write it neatly (or type it) on
quality paper - or you can undo all that goodwill at a stroke.
The same goes for the envelope. Appearances really matter
If you're replying by fax or
email then take your time to get the wording right. Also
lay out the text so it's easy to read and the page looks
visually attractive. You'll only get this one chance to
make your pitch so prepare it with the same care as you lavished
on the original leaflet.
You can use graphics on faxes
to improve their appearance but check what they look like after
faxing. Shades of grey get changed to black or white which
can have some unfortunate effects.
If you have a PC with a modem,
try sending your faxes direct from the PC. The appearance
at the receiving end is often much better than if you send from
a low-cost fax machine.
If you're replying by letter,
make sure you put enough stamps on it. Having the postman
knock on their door to demand excess postage will put a customer
right off you. Check the weight of the sealed envelope on
your kitchen scales if you're in any doubt.
If you can afford it, use first
class postage for replies. Second class may be cheaper but
it allows the customer 24 hours longer to cool off and gives the
impression you're less serious about wanting their business.
With some schemes,
the customer sends their payment to the company and orders are
delivered direct to the customer. This is the quickest,
cheapest, and least error-prone approach.
With other schemes
the network marketer has to collect payment from the customer
and then pay the company. The company delivers the order
to the networker who forwards it to the customer. If your
scheme involves you in payments and deliveries then here are a
few points to remember.
When you receive a
cheque, make sure it's completed correctly. The right
date. The right payee (the company or you depending on the
scheme). The right amount (in words and in figures).
Signed (with the right name). Make sure the customer has
put their cheque guarantee card number on the back of the
If you receive a
payment by credit card or debit card (and your company accepts
them) make sure you have all the necessary details.
Cardholder name? Card number? Expiry date?
Issue number (Switch cards only)? Amount to be charged to
the account? Cardholder's address (as recorded by the card
company)? Delivery address (if different)? Cardholder signature
(not possible for telephone orders)?
Send cheques and card payments to the company (or your bank) as
soon as possible. Send the order paperwork to the company
at the same time together with any payment due.
As soon as you
receive the goods, check the contents against the customer's
order. Chase the company immediately if there is anything
wrong or missing. Despatch the goods to the customer or
call them to arrange a convenient time for personal delivery.
Your customers will be more inclined to buy again if you get the
goods to them promptly.
to put a new order form in with the delivery so it's easy for
your customer to order again.
Your campaign will
have given you the names and contact details of paying customers
(even if you didn't recover your costs). Record these
people in your customer list and guard it jealously.
captured a customer, follow up every few weeks/months.
Send them the latest brochure when it's updated. Or phone
them for a brief chat (but back off if they don't seem keen to
be called). Your aim is to encourage them to buy again.
Remember, it's much easier to get further orders than to find
now worked out what leaflets to distribute where - and what to
do with the responses. However, it's possible to design a
leafleting campaign that successfully sells products to
customers - but ends up losing you money! So, before you
leap into action, take a short breather and conduct a Sanity
Check on your plans.
At the end of your
campaign you should review how well it worked so you can learn
how to do better in future. Count up how many responses
your leaflet produced (and, if you're two stepping, how many
orders). Work out the value of the orders taken and your
commission / profit. Then take away your costs. Did
you recover your costs? Earn a bit of extra cash?
Were the response
rate, order rate and average order value what you predicted
before you started? If they were higher - well done, your
campaign design worked better than expected. Remember that
publication and the key elements of your leaflet. They're
probably worth using again.
If your campaign
didn't do as well as you hoped, have you any clues as to why it
went wrong? Should you use that distribution option again?
Was there something wrong with the leaflet? Keep a note of
what happened, and bear this hard-won learning in mind for