A well-designed menu leaflet distributed to your target market will attract new customers, re-enforce your brand with your existing clientele and allow you to communicate with your local area in a physical tangible way – something they can hold in their hand and not look at on a screen. Even a discarded leaflet might fall into the right hands – unlike a deleted email!
Your menu leaflet campaign can be described in three major ways.
• Measurable – Your leaflet asks people to engage with your business.
• Direct – A leaflet reaches your customer in their home.
• Cost-effective – You can find new customers for as little as 5p per household.
These three things will gain you more customers and a more diverse brand awareness.
Social media and other digital techniques are now a huge part of your marketing plan, but neglecting the traditional methods like menu leaflets would be a mistake. Combining new media with the old is the best way to increase business. Leaflets will work even when there are power cuts, when phone batteries die and when the wifi stops working. Here are just some of the benefits of using leaflets in your marketing and a few reasons as to why leaflet distribution can be the most effective and results-focused means of marketing your business.
Leaflets Are Solid
As leaflets are tangible, there is no chance of them being deleted or missed because it’s in the ‘junk folder’. Emails are a one-way road to miscommunication, and as they are so limited in first-glance information, are quite often deleted without even being opened. A leaflet is in their hand, so you’ve already made an impression stronger than that of a social media status or a ‘spam’ email.
Leaflets are Targeted Directly to Your Demographic
A leaflet reaches your customer in their home – it’s not a phone call that will annoy them or a jingle constantly repeated on the radio. You can opt for a certain type of demographic or local area to be targeted, which means that only potential and suitable customers will be included rather than a random selection. This type of marketing ensures a much more specific and effective response.
A good leaflet stands out. Generally arriving with the rest of the daily post, it’s colourful and can grab attention with an eye-popping deal. It can make an offer that people will want to take advantage of – something like a coupon or an opportunity to win a free service.
A Leaflet can Engage with the Audience
Whether your selected audience phone you as soon as they see the leaflet, or return your postcard the next day, a leaflet requests contact and asks the viewer to engage with the business in some way. Request some sort of feedback, or if you include vouchers or coupons, provide a fair expiry date, as not everyone will be in a position to act upon the leaflet right away.
Leaflets are Cost-Effective
Leaflets are possibly the most inexpensive way to put your business directly into the hands of the people you’re targeting. Every leaflet strengthens your company by bringing you more details about your customer, so be sure to build your marketing and sales expertise as your business grows. No other marketing medium can promise the large-scale coverage and targeted marketing of a leaflet campaign.
Getting a Leaflet Campaign up and Running
You’re convinced menu leaflets are the way to go – how do you set about making it happen? For a good menu leaflet campaign, you have three key decisions to make: content, style and distribution. What do you want on your leaflet? How do you want it presented? And who do you want it to delivered to, and how often?
To get the best out of a leaflet campaign, it’s essential to have a strong business brand, conveyed attractively on the leaflet.
Robert Moyles of Cubic Design, which specialises in menu leaflets, says: “Ideally, you want to customise the leaflet – maybe with your business logo, and certainly with the lettering, and photos and signature dishes which signify your brand.”
A leaflet should always have a promotional deal – this could be for a midweek special, or an offer of an extra dish on presentation of the leaflet. The customer should feel they’re getting something by responding to the advertising. And any deal tied in with using the leaflet lets the business know how successful the leafleting campaign has been.
Says Moyles: “We consult with businesses on what might work as a promo deal. I’d advise looking at periods of the week, generally the early week, where business is slower, and at menu items which might need a bit of a push. You wouldn’t offer a deal on a burger on Friday night! As long as the customer feels they’re getting some preferential treatment.”
A leaflet should be as attractive and clearly designed as possible (see box, Tips on leaflet design). Every detail has to be right.
Menu leaflets, like all graphic design items, are subject to trend and fashion, and they can date quite rapidly. Think of leaflets from the 1990s – the fonts, spacing, images that we use now are all quite different. To avoid looking dated and past-it, you need to keep on-trend. Pay attention to what’s currently on the market. Retro is fine; dated isn’t.
At Cubic Design, they offer 12 menu templates (as well as a bespoke service), and businesses can customise using those templates. They revamp and refresh the templates every three years: “We just finished a full revamp,” says Moyles, “we look at what’s out there and we also listen to our customers. We look at every detail – fonts and how the leaflets are folded; small tweaks make all the difference. It’s important to be consistent but to stay ahead of the design curve.”
Moyles doesn’t advise changing the look with every leaflet run: “You want to get across your brand identity and embed it. The way to do this is through an immediately identifiable leaflet so I always advise sticking to the same template for the first three runs. After that you can start making tweaks.”
Obviously you want to get your leaflets to all the homes and offices in your region. How often you leaflet depends on your location. Moyles advises that “businesses in Dublin or large built-up urban areas should look at leafleting three to six times a year; those in less population dense areas can get by with once or twice a year.”
Getting content, style and distribution right for a successful leafleting campaign requires work and commitment. A good graphic design and printing company is obviously essential. It’s helpful to go with a company that has experience in the quick service sector and takes on a consultative role as well. Cubic Design uses its nine years’ experience to work with fast-food owners on what would work best for their business; they also offer a distribution service “which is something we developed at the behest of takeaway owners,” says Moyles.