Unlike most people, I love to keep marketing flyers.
But I keep them for a reason that may surprise you. As a copywriter, it’s a good opportunity for me to study what’s going on in the offline marketing world.
I often find myself scrutinising the copy, the images and the call to action. I rack my brain for ways to improve it.
And I’ll tell you this: I have a feeling that most flyers I see aren’t getting a positive return on their investment.
Because if you’re like most people, your first instinct is to throw it away.mYou’re likely not interested in the offer and you’ll wonder:
Who is this? Can I trust them? Is this spam?
That’s why flyers are notoriously hard to use. Most of us treat it like spam emails — straight to the bin! And once it’s considered as spam, conversion plummets.
The One Advantage
Copywriting legend Gary Halbert used to say that the only advantage he needs to profit from a hamburger stand was a starving audience.
So if a company is giving out these flyers randomly like what I’m seeing here, it’s probably not targeted at the correct audience.
I’ve even heard horror stories of staff throwing flyers into the bin just because they can’t give them out by the end of the day. So why do companies still insist on giving out flyers?
Because with proper planning and execution, flyer distribution is a cheap and fast way to test the market. Indeed, in this digital age of advertising, physical flyers could be the differentiating factor.
But it all starts with finding the correct audience. In this article, let’s take a look at one flyer I found:
Some context: I got this in Singapore. The private tuition market is huge here. Even though the education system is robust enough, some parents think that tuition will give their child an extra edge.
I’ll share my thoughts and take a stab at the copy as if I’m the copywriter.
Disclaimer: This is purely a creative exercise. I do not know if my ideas will improve conversions. I’ve also blurred out names in this example.
Let’s get started.
How To Write A Flyer
Even before writing a word down, you need to know where your target audience hangs out.
Without any potential buyers, no world-class copy or offer will make you sales. Looking at what’s inside the flyer, the target audience is most likely parents of kids aged between 8 to 18. Right away, I’m not the target audience because I don’t have kids (yet). So the advertising expense is wasted on me.
But perhaps one thing the flyer did right was to distribute it in my neighborhood, where there are many young families staying here. What else would I have done to improve their targeting? Instead of distributing them randomly, how about giving them out to families walking out from the swimming pool on a weekend?
Swimming classes are popular over here. It’s common for parents to send their kids for classes at a young age. If these families are willing to spend on swimming lessons…I’m pretty sure they will be willing to invest in their child’s education too. That’s just one example. There are definitely many more ways to improve targeting with flyers but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Let’s go over the copy now.
Writing persuasive copy for the flyer
Nobody loves being sold to. You see a flyer and immediately, you know there will be an incoming sales pitch. Naturally, you’ll be wary of it. Which is why sometimes, it’s an uphill battle to sell to someone using a flyer.
But for the sake of our exercise, let’s assume that someone is interested in the flyer. Can we turn it into something more persuasive? Here’s the original copy on the front of the flyer:
We have coached more than 1000 students over the years, coping and doing well in their studies. Proven methodology in helping students ace their examinations. While others show testimonials, we only show RESULTS!
WHY CHOOSE THE KNOWLEDGE KEY?
Experienced and dedicated teachers
Concise and exclusive worksheets and notes
Tech, Lead, Excel Approach
Competitive and reasonable fees
Notice it’s all about the company? There’s nothing about the reader and everything about the company. If I plugged this into any other tuition company’s marketing, there won’t be any difference.
In copywriting, it’s always about the prospect. So let’s try and rewrite it through the ‘what’s in it for them’ lens. I have 3 questions to help me with that:
- Why should they trust me?
- Why should they do it now?
- What is in it for them?
Here’s what I might have written:
If you’ve tried everything to help your child excel in school but still see no results, know that it has nothing to do with you.
You may not realise it…but the MOE syllabus is getting tougher each year.
And the tricky marking scheme makes it harder, even if your child knew exactly what the answer was.
That’s why at ABC Tuition Centre, we do things a little differently. Not only do we break down complex topics into easy-to-understand terms, we give your child a proven methodology tackle challenging questions.
Our team of ex-MOE teachers will also show your child exactly what the examiners are looking for.
So when it’s time for the exams, it’ll be a walk in the park.
More than 1000 happy students have picked us as their preferred tuition centre and there’s a good reason: We deliver results while making studying fun!
[Testimonial 1 with results]
[Testimonial 2 with results]
Why choose us?
We have a team of ex-MOE teachers with over 10 years of experience. We know what the examiners are looking for and the topics that will likely to be tested.
Concise notes and worksheets that maximise your child’s knowledge retention.
Enthusiastic teaching style keeps the lessons interesting so your child pays full attention.
Go beyond the textbooks — we teach using real-life applications so your child knows how to apply his or her new-found knowledge.
In my first paragraph, I established rapport and build trust by agreeing with what is happening in schools right now. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert in the education sector. I found this through a 10-minute research on Google.
Next, I took the blame off the parents. I focused on what most parents truly want: seeing their child get good results in the final examinations.
I also did a subtle “Us” vs “MOE (Ministry of Education)” angle and framed it as something the tuition can help with. You’ll also see that I wrote to parents because they are the ones deciding and paying for the tuition!
It’s alsogreat that the original flyer mentioned that they “coached more than 1000 students” for credibility but they could have gone deeper. How were their lives different after going through tuition? What were the parents struggling with before sending their child to tuition? Could it be that they don’t have the time to teach their child?
Or could it be they felt helpless because the questions are beyond their abilities? What did the students enjoy most about the tuition?
Finding answers to these raise the stakes so high that tuition now becomes critical instead of a “nice to have”.
(I mean, they have a ‘Wall of Fame’ — I’m sure it’s a goldmine for success stories.)
Getting real, specific testimonials will strengthen their credibility. Lastly, I expanded the bullets to emphasize on the benefits. The bullets they used are generic and lack depth. Some are confusing too — “Clinic Sessions” is unclear and I don’t know what ‘Teach, Lead, Excel approach’ means.
Let’s flip the flyer over:
On the second page, we see the same problem: There are lots of ‘telling’ and not so much of ‘showing’. There is only one usage of “you”. It’s wordy, vague and doesn’t highlight their service. For instance, they talk about “enhancing these attributes”. What does that mean for the parents? What does a “conducive environment” look like for the students?
This section could also be the perfect place to talk more about their results using testimonials and what makes them unique.
Call to Action or CTA
Finally, you’ll want the prospect to take action after reading your exciting copy. Always tell them what to do next if they’re interested to buy.
But don’t just stop there because that’s not enough. Prospects need a good enough reason to take action now. An offer so irresistible that it’ll look like it’s their loss for not taking up your offer.
If you think about it, every buying decision puts a lot of risk on the prospect. You’re expecting them to trust you, pick up the phone, talk to you and punch in their credit card details.
That’s a lot of commitment and effort on their part!
What kind of irresistible offer for a tuition center? Things like…
- A trial lesson for new students
- A discount off the first few lessons
- 1-on-1 consultation to see which classes are best suited for the student
- A guarantee (eg. students need to prove they did the work and if they don’t get results, they will be refunded)
- Bonuses (extra lessons, notes or workbooks)
An upfront investment to implement these tactics could earn you a customer for life.
The point is: Give prospects irresistible offers to knock them off the fence.
This flyer does have a CTA, but it’s only visible if you opened up the flyer.
I’d put a clear, concise call to action on the last page. Something along the lines of…
“Whatsapp/Call/Text us as 12345678 to secure your first 2 lessons for free!”
Again, make the CTA visible and easy for prospects…
Because once they get frustrated with the checkout process, they will give up and you lost a customer.
Ready to start writing your next flyer?
Flyers aren’t easy because they are intrusive and typically associated with spam. But with good distribution and planning, it could be an excellent marketing tool for your business.
Before you start your next flyer campaign, think about where you should distribute it, what you’ll write in it and always track your ROI.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. And if you come across any interesting flyers, send them to me at hello at alexkopy dot com. I’d love to take a look and perhaps have another go at it!