How to get big results with super-cheap fliers.
by Dr. Kevin Nunley

Rita started her home-based business after a long illness. Her insurance wouldn't cover all her medical costs. She figured she could bridge the difference by selling her popular gift mugs.

Friends and the hospital staff had been delighted with them. She found herself busily filling orders for her customers' relatives and associates.

"Wow," she thought. "This could be the answer to my prayers. Selling my gift mugs could earn the extra money I need each month."

One problem remained. In order to make the plan work, Rita needed lots of new customers. Word-of-mouth from friends and past clients was wonderful, but she needed a more powerful way to get the word out quickly.

A man at an ad agency told her to have nice brochures printed, mail them to hundreds of businesses, and place a weekly ad in the Sunday newspaper.

"But you don't understand," she protested. "Anything I spend on marketing has to come out of the grocery money. I can't afford any of the conventional marketing options you're talking about."

It's a situation that most of us have been in at one time or another. All the wonderful marketing ideas the experts talk about--radio ads, mass mailings, card decks--all take money. They require more money than we can spend without sinking down the debt drain.

Here's one of my favorite solutions to the "no money" marketing crunch. For about 20 dollars you can have your corner copy shop print up 1000 fliers. A cheaper, more effective way to market has never been invented. A well-designed flier is like a full-page ad delivered directly to your carefully targeted prospect. No multi-thousand dollar newspaper ad can make that claim.

Keep your flier copy simple and to the point. Your prospect may only glance at it before tossing it in the trash. You must make your offer within the first three seconds as her eyes run over the page. Start with a banner headline that sells the benefits your product, service, or organization will bring the prospect. Let them know how their life will be easier, happier, or more successful after they have bought from you.

Instruct the potential customer how to buy what you sell. A short "call me today!" or "stop by our store at lunch!" greatly increases your response. Include your name, phone, fax, email, website, location, hours--and anything else that makes it super easy for the prospect to contact you.

It costs no more to have your flier copied on colored paper, so choose a color that grabs attention but won't make your copy hard to read. Lighter colors are best.

Many successful fliers have no pictures. Line drawings are easily copied. A photo needs to be half-toned first to give a clear photocopied reproduction. Your copy shop can prepare the photo for you. Also pay attention to the quality of the copier. Some of the newer, better maintained machines turn out photo copies that look as good as offset. The better copy shops often charge slightly more, and you may find the increase in copy quality well worth the slight increase in price.

Many shops have machines that staple rubber bands to each copy. This makes it easy to attach your flier to door knobs at homes and businesses. Be aggressive, but polite, when distributing your flier. Leave no stone unturned. Drop the fliers off on car windshields, under doors, on counters, light poles, community and office bulletin boards, and at schools.

Enlist the help of young people and youth groups to go door to door for you. Tell others with fliers that you will pass their's around if they do the same with you.

I once put one of my fliers on a light pole in San Francisco. A year later a friend called in hysterics. "You're in StarTrek IV!" While shooting on location, the movie crew had left my flier in the background of a scene. There was my photo and flier displayed prominently between Spock and Kirk. My message reached millions world-wide for the cost of a single copy--2 cents.

And that's my two cents about fliers--one of the world's cheapest publicity weapons.

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at Reach him from his site via email.

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