Have you ever felt compelled to read leaflets thrust at you from over-eager salesmen at conferences? Chances are you might glance a few over before the copy bores you. But it’s more likely they end up stuffed carelessly into your goody bag never to be read again.
That’s exactly what Andy from kokino-marvo wanted to avoid when he hired me as copywriter for four leaflets to market his new consultancy business in Leeds.
kokino-marvo analyse and predict customer behaviour then help small businesses improve their processes to match (if you’d like to know more about decision science read this Yorkshire Post advertorial). It’s powerful stuff, but the problem is most small businesses don’t know it’s available or think it’s too expensive.
Such uninformed prospective clients lurk at events like the Yorkshire Mafia conference. And that’s exactly where kokino-marvo set-up camp with their exhibition stands: ready to educate, inform and inspire with new opportunities they offer. But they need the right tools to help: well-written marketing collateral like leaflets and pop-up exhibition stands.
A copywriter’s secret is research
After a day of alarming research I discovered that most of the competition are out to bore prospective clients senseless. With corporate jargon seemingly flung at leaflets in the hope that whatever didn’t drip off would stick and form a narrative. Here’s a flavour of what I was up against:
Of course scientific copywriting like that has an appropriate time and a place. But it isn’t on a leaflet meant to convince a busy decision-maker to buy something.
How we solved the problem
So I took a deep breath and planned out four leaflets to set the world right again with copywriting that:
- Empathises with the reader’s problem
- Quickly explains how kokino-marvo’s service solves that problem
- Enthuses about the service through positive headings and outcome driven copywriting
- Introduces kokino-marvo, what’s unique about them and how they can help (without being self-aggrandising)
- Stimulates interest in the service and a strong call-to-action (what to do next)
Bold headings upfront reduce the risk of a leaflet going unread in a goody bag. They’re iced with benefits to motivate readers: things like more sales, stronger cash flow and better customer experience. And these themes are recurrent throughout the leaflet copywriting.
You talk to people, not businesses
My favourite technique to engage a reader with my copywriting is a single flowing narrative written in an active voice (“you”, “your”, “we” etc.) It talks to them, in their terms, about their problems and threads them through the leaflet. It shows the reader you understand their problems before you talk about how you can solve them.
And that’s exactly what I saw the kokino-marvo team doing at the Yorkshire Mafia conference on Tuesday. I popped in to take a few photographs of the leaflets in situ and ask how they were faring. Andy said people were snapping them up (no over-eager thrusting going on!) Some even came to the stand as a direct result of reading the Yorkshire Post advertorial I wrote in advance of the conference. Very happy with that.
Reflections as a copywriter
Copywriting four leaflets, an advertorial and four exhibition stands over two weeks was always going to be a tall order. But I love a challenge, especially one set by a client who’s enthusiastic about a service they believe in.
But what really pressed my buttons was an opportunity to wage war on jargon. I enjoyed getting my teeth into translating technical information into plain English. And creating easily understood copywriting that sells.