Is your door drop flyer in the recycled paper bin, within a few seconds?

by graham on 06/12/2011

It is said you only have 2.8 seconds to gain the attention and interest of the reader when that reader first looks at your door drop piece.

Does that scare you? Well, it bloody well should…

This represents one hell of a difficult challenge, even for the most accomplished and knowledgeable creative team. But, it’s the way it’s going.

What’s more, you can bet your sweet life that this will be down to under 2.5 seconds in the next couple of years…

Let’s face facts. Your promotional leaflet will not stimulate sales if it is not read. And, it will not be read, if it doesn’t ‘grab’ the reader’s attention.

To do that, it has to be created and written correctly. That means by an industry professional. Someone who understands how ‘force communication’ really works.

Don’t create it yourself. The odds are, you’ll make a dog’s breakfast of it. Every week, I see examples of door drop flyers that have been created by people who have no idea of what they are doing.

Maybe yours was amongst them?

There is no sensible alternative to using a professional who works with – and understands – copy and images every day. Yes, it will cost you more.

But, it isn’t what it costs that matters. Not at all. It’s what it delivers.

They will know more than you. Accept it.

Your promotional message must offer a relevance to the reader. It must also offer a real benefit. And it must be simple and easy to understand. And the headline and offer should be ‘stoppers’.

The master, John Caples, explained this superbly many years ago…

“Don’t make your promotional literature simple because you think people are low in intelligence. Some are smart and some are not smart. The point is that people are thinking about other things when they see your promotion. It will not get their full attention or intelligence. It will only get a fraction of it. People won’t study your promotion carefully. They can’t be bothered. And so you have to make your promotions simple.”

But, even if your door drop piece has relevance, benefit and simplicity in spades and a strong headline and offer – and it MUST – it can still fail.

Because, it has to attract in visual and layout terms as well.

And this is where a huge proportion of budget and time is wasted. Due entirely to lack of knowledge and understanding of what works and what doesn’t…

In 1994, David Ogilvy wrote that an average ad is only read by 4% of the people. Nearly 18 years on, I would suggest that this is now down to 3% or perhaps even less.

Almost certainly, your door drop flyer will attract the same low level of attention.

So, playmates, this means that 97 out of 100 homes you are paying a lot of money to reach – aren’t even hearing you, because they miss your message completely.

It’s invisible to them…

Not the fault of the medium. It’s almost certainly down to you.

Or let’s say the responsibility is shared by whoever created your message in the first place (shared of course, because you will probably have signed it off…)

Blind leading the blind? Only you can answer that.

If it’s a creative person or art director who hasn’t studied the creative process relating to contemporary communication (the vast majority these days fall under this heading), then all that person is interested in, is how the creative looks.

“Does it look good? Yes, it looks fantastic. OK then, let’s run it …”

Bozos. Lots of them around. They hold incredibly naïve views.

For one, they regard copy as a mere element in the design. They are wrong. For another, the decision about the font is relatively unimportant to them. Wrong again. And thirdly, they treat the overall layout as nothing more than an aesthetic decision.

That’s so wrong, it’s a crime.

David Ogilvy once said that people like this should all be boiled in oil. I totally agree. I would like to light the fire.

These days, you will know that it’s getting tougher by the day to get those elusive response levels up, whatever media route you choose. The good old days are gone. I suspect they will never return. So, we better get used to it.

However, there are disciplines you can adopt – and knowledge that you can use – that at least might give you a fighting chance.

When it comes to creating and writing your flyer, engage your brain.

And use a pro.

This article was written by...

– who has written 60 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

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