How to Write a Flyer that Sells

When creating a promotional flyer, a common mistake is to focus almost exclusively on photos, images and other design elements. This is understandable; one of the major perks of flyers is that they demonstrate a product, service or business visually in ways that a letter can’t. But it’s equally important to know how to write an effective flyer that persuades people to take action.

A great promotional flyer for your business communicates a message to its audience, and the best way to do that is with words. Without effective writing, someone who sees your flyer won’t know what your product is, where to get it, or why they should even buy it.

But before we get into what to write on a flyer, let’s briefly discuss what a flyer actually is.

Flyers vs. brochures

There’s often a little confusion and vagueness when people use the terms “brochure” or “flyer.” Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, but based on the generally accepted definition, they’re actually quite different.

A brochure is a piece of printed promotional literature, usually either folded in a bi- or tri-fold arrangement or stitched into a booklet. A flyer, on the other hand, is a single-page unfolded leaflet.

Trifold Brochure vs Flyer

Because a brochure is made up of multiple “panels,” it’s often easier to implement more text in a brochure and still have it look spatially comfortable. This is why copywriting is especially important to consider when creating a flyer. To write a flyer that’s effective, it’s vital to make every word count.

Flyer writing tips

Want to learn how to write a flyer that prospects can’t resist? Here are a few good tips to keep in mind.

  1. Capture their attention
    Yellow Tape Flyer

    This flyer makes a bold statement with a very noticeable headline (to humorous effect). Source: Yellow Tape

    You’ve only got a few seconds to grab a potential customer’s attention before they gloss right over your flyer. Don’t bury the lead. There’s no better way to catch your prospect’s eye than with a prominent headline; it’s arguably the most important part of your flyer.

    There are a few different tactics you can use to write an effective flyer headline, but it’s best to play to the advantages of your business. Find your greatest benefit and place it front and center.

    This is even more effective if you’re able to offer something especially compelling, such as “Lose 30 Pounds in 2 Months!” or “Free PS3 When You Answer This Survey!”

  2. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes
    Topnotch Flyer

    This flyer lists some features and qualities of the company, but there's zero indication of the benefits customers receive. Even a headline as simple as "Get healthy, feel great!" would be an improvement. Source: Topnotch Health Club

    Imagine for a moment that you’re not a copywriter or designer. Pretend that you’re a potential customer. Identify the problem your consumers need to solve, the benefits they’re looking for, and the reservations they might have about buying your product or service.

    All of these should be addressed in your flyer’s writing. Don’t simply list off the features that you find most impressive about your product or business. Deal with your prospects’ needs and objections directly.

    Also remember not to write in too technical terms. Too much jargon and industry-specific language will turn layman readers off.

  3. Call them to action
    What exactly is it that you want your prospect to do? Buy a product, sign up for a service, visit your website, or something else entirely? Don’t leave any room for ambiguity.

    Make your call to action explicitly clear, and place it somewhere it’s sure to be noticed. You might also want to position it near a statement detailing the benefit the reader will receive. So, for example: “Receive a free gift when you visit our website!”

    Be sure to include some way for them to reach you, be it a phone number, address, or URL.

  4. Use testimonials
    Use the praise of satisfied customers to your advantage. A credible testimonial can be extremely effective when you want to persuade people to seek out your business.

    Reach out to your best customers and ask for testimonials or endorsements. Don’t make these too long; you don’t need a full letter of recommendation. A short, snappy sound byte that speaks to the quality of your product will suffice.

  5. Don’t overstuff words
    Laptop Giving Flyer

    Bullet points, bolded words and phrases and proper spacing make this flyer both informative and easy to read. Also notice the very clear call to action at the end. Source: Flickr user e3fricka

    Overstuffing your promotional flyer with words can make it very intimidating to read, particularly if your text isn’t properly spaced with line breaks or bullet points. Keep it light and easy to digest.

    Remember that you’re writing a flyer, not an encyclopedia. As you improve your copywriting skills, you’ll hopefully learn how to write a flyer that says as much as possible in as few words as possible.

  6. It all comes down to “you”
    “You” is one of the most powerful words you can use to write an effective flyer. People take extra notice when they feel like you’re speaking directly to them. More to the point, they want to know how your product or service will benefit them.

    Using the words “you” and “your” (especially in your headline) is a great way to get your prospect interested.

  7. Put the heat on
    Ever stood in line at a store on Black Friday or obsessively refreshed an online auction? Then you’ve experienced a very valuable promotional tool: urgency.

    A little pressure can go a long way. Simply indicating a time limit or a “limited supply” can really boost the response you get from your flyers. For example, try offering a discount that’s only good until a specific date.

  8. Stand out from the crowd
    Flyers are such a popular form of promotion and marketing (especially in urban, high-traffic areas) that some prospects will completely tune them out. It’s a good idea to offer something unique and outstanding that makes your flyer rise above the white noise of advertising.

    What makes your business unique, and why should a customer choose you over someone else? Identify your unique selling proposition, and try to incorporate this into how you write your promotional flyer.

  9. Don’t forget the back
    People often create flyers that are completely blank on the back. This may be perfectly fine for your purposes (especially if you’re posting the flyers on walls and such), but you might want to put that extra space to good use. If done properly, a double-sided flyer can double your promotional power.

    Your most important information should definitely go on the front side (indicated by your most eye-catching elements, including a noticeable headline). Don’t put anything on the back that will compete with what’s on the front; instead, add supporting information such as a price list, menu, FAQ, map or schedule (depending on what you’re promoting). You could also turn the back of your flyer into a coupon, redeemable for a discount at your place of business.

  10. Proofread, proofread, proofread
    When a reader discovers a spelling or grammar mistake in a flyer, it completely interrupts their concentration. It might even make them stop reading. At the very least, it’s bound to lessen your authority in their eyes.

    Maybe it goes without saying, but you should always check and double-check your flyer for spelling or grammatical errors. They happen to the best of us, and even the tiniest of mistakes can ruin a flyer’s effectiveness.

Conclusion

You certainly shouldn’t neglect the overall look and design of your flyer, but the words you use and how you use them are equally important. Let your writing speak to the unique quality and benefits of your product or service.

If you can learn how to write a flyer with skill and panache, you’re practically guaranteed to see a rise in sales.

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How to Write a Flyer that Sells

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