Why do postcards and flyers suck?

The truth is the device is not what sucks, it’s what’s written on it
that sucks.

I always find myself defending these forms of ads because those
who have had no ‘luck’ with them, condemn it.

One time I sent out 10,000 flyers and got 2 calls… that is a fail. I
took the exact same flyer (which was b/w with no pictures) and
changed just the headline and altered the offer a bit.

I printed off just 160 and passed them out. I got 4 new clients

Sadly, I did not use my brain the first time around and TEST the
dang thing. I just sent them out.

Far too many of us just think ‘If I build it they will come’. If they
need/want our services any ad will do. Sorry, it does not work that

Sometimes we just think if we send out thousands of ads we should
get something… again, not great logic.

I have a carpet cleaning client that sent out 10,000 postcards he
had made and had ZERO response. Even through the EDDM service it still
cost him over $1400… not including design.

I created his next postcard and we mailed 1000- grossed $2640 and
added 12 new customers.

NOBODY knows what ad is going to work… there are far too many
variables. I do not even allow people I create ads for go large
until it is tested.

I have a couple postcards I did for WCR in the WCRA members area,
I believe they all made more than $100,000 in sales. That said I
would [U]never[/U] tell someone they are a ‘sure thing’.

I typically use a flyer as a test dummy. If my cheapy flyer can
get a good response I know the foundation of the ad is solid. Then
I can adapt it to a postcard, and test that.

Anyway, just some thoughts and a little rant :slight_smile:

Great idea

I agree, I had alot of hits the first time I put out flyers because of the content and pics I think. I put out less then 100 and got a total of 5 jobs on a Island I targeted round where i live.

I hand out bussines cards now as flyers. Ive found them to be more effective easyier to hold on to for the customer and cheaper then flyers. Me and my helpers hand them out in key spots or after jobs in the neiborhood we serviced to help spread our name and to gain future work in the area… But i do know of spots where you have to send postcards/flyers because they look down on posting them on there door or knocking so i see that angle as well.

I spent the morning putting out the “girl on a couch” WCRA flier. I discovered a hazard I had not planned on. I was putting them in the newspaper box and did not see a wasp nest inside a box. They were ****ed. I got stung only once which was a miracle. I was scream at my wife to drive away. I’ll bet it looked funny. That’s what I get for trying to save postage. I hope I get some calls to make it worth the pain.

I sent 1100 this spring and got only 2 new customers.on the end I lost $100 so I guess not so bad for 1-st time sender :slight_smile:

results can depend on weather. delivered on a rainy day will always be bad but on a bright sunny day good results follow .Also a leaflet arriving on a Saturday works much better than on a Monday i have found

I agreeing usually do it on Sat and Sun morning.

[COLOR=#333333]…Sometimes we just think if we send out thousands of ads we should[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333]get something… again, not great logic…Paul McQuillan

Thanks Paul this is true, volume does not matter. Test small, split test, tweak the message/ offers, track and repeat is lesson learned. Granted I have not done EDDM. I have done the following over the last few years and witnessed all together weak returns, barely 1:1. Although evidently not weak enough for me to try try again. Thought I would share the “hit my head against the wall plan” These numbers include up selling and cross selling. Used the little girl “don’t fall of the ladder daddy” for the first two and the little boy [/COLOR][COLOR=#333333]“don’t fall of the ladder daddy” for #3. All had the same message/ offers. [/COLOR][COLOR=#333333]

[/COLOR]#1 Mailed a postcard as part of an ensemble of businesses(much like Val Pack) 50,000 pieces sent to resi props with home value and occupations within a high end demographic[SIZE=3]. [/SIZE]Spent $2,250. Earned $1,795
#2 [/COLOR]Circular Ad Magazine went to 200,000 homes. No demographic Paid: $1,500 Earned: $890[COLOR=#333333]

#3 [/COLOR]Clipper Magazine Circular Home Section 300,000 homes. No demographics Paid: $2,107 Earned:$2,268

I learn lessons slow. Turned over the rocks in my head before the year started to find vehicles to practice postcards and flyers on a smaller level … and I’ve been happy with the returns.


[COLOR=#333333]One time I sent out 10,000 flyers and got 2 calls… that is a fail. I [/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333]took the exact same flyer (which was b/w with no pictures) and[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333]changed just the headline and altered the offer a bit.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]I printed off just 160 and passed them out. I got 4 new clients[/COLOR]

I get hung up on the graphic design, the color scheme etc. While those factors are important, I think you are correct in realizing how important the message is. You need a sort of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs for your marketing material with ascending levels of priority IMO.

At the base of your pyramid should be message/meaning, then the actual wording (copy), then all the design elements (use of negative space, color schemes etc). As far as pictures go, I think that they can be more than just decorations. Pictures can convey meaning and emotion in ways words can’t.

So much of the aspirational marketing wouldn’t be possible without a good picture of that perfect house or housewife, family etc.

I put out 5000 at end of July with the same design as last year just a different deal. It was free screen cleaning with every in/out window cleaning. Last year I did 10% off and it worked out great I got about 25 customers this year 2… Bad idea people seem to respond more to a % off deal. 1000 dollar lesson. Haha

Flyers saved my @ss so many times. It is almost like printing money.

Not many forms of advertising allow you to create and distribute
an offer for your services so easily and cheaply.

Are they perfect? No. Are there certain issues with them? Yep

That said, there is NO form of advertising without obstacles

Wee said Paul. I agree with you 100%. Your really the reason I started using flyers.

Which particular cards in the wcra did you specifically design?

Fliers are the best, when you run out of time to put them out graduate to mailings…

Direct Mail still kills it for us… But I get complaints from people everyday saying it doesn’t work… If I had to pinpoint the #1 reason they fail for people:

They are putting them in the wrong neighborhoods. Be as highly targeted as you can. Make sure they get to the people most likely to use your service.

as Kevin D says, if the ‘why you’ is not clear enough one is just reminding them to call “their” window cleaner instead

Yea thats a great point. Generic messages waste your money and waste the potential customers time.

I had the opportunity to help a friend get his own business off to a start and i told him that when going store to store never ask them “if” or “who” is their window cleaner.

You want ALL the attention on YOU and your goal is never to remind them of their current window cleaner.

Vast majority do not have a window cleaner (residential), and it is still
important to give them reasons we should be that company.

That is secondary to ‘why should I read this ad?’ :slight_smile:

I will agree that the majority do not have a revolving service set up with a window cleaner but it’s probably safe to say that the last company they used is [I]their[/I] window cleaner.

I know for the demographic I target and where i live the majority to have a window cleaner and I don’t want to remind them to call them.

The problem is most copy the other guys crappy ad (or good ad) and strengthens ‘their message’
[U]only[/U] if they advertise more to that group than the other company does.

Conversely, if the other company does not differentiate themselves and advertise less, they
could reinforce our message.

All that being said the hardest part of our ad is to convince someone to give up 60 seconds
of their life to read the darn thing. That my friends is the tricky part.