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One of the purest of the guerrilla marketing weapons is fliers. What makes the flier so pure-and so effective?
It gets action if you use it properly.
It is astonishingly inexpensive; we're talking pennies apiece here.
It lets you use color in a sea of black and white.
It is the essence of simplicity and flexibility if you do it right.
What should your goal be in creating a flier? A flier is supposed to make a clear and persuasive offer, create a sense of urgency, get right to the point, tell the prospect what he or she is to do now, and tie in with your business's identity.
Should a flier have a special time-limited offer? It doesn't really have to, but you do want to hear a bang for your bucks-and you'll probably hear only silence if you don't have an element of urgency.
Fliers can be distributed in a variety of locations: posted on community bulletin boards, handed out on street corners, placed under car windshields, made part of your billings or other regular mailings, and placed on the counters and in the windows of your many marketing partners.
The most important part of any ad is the headline. Well, think of the flier as all headline. Be sure to include your offer, the date it ends, your address or phone number, and the major benefits you offer. Hold back on listing a myriad of benefits. One ultrapowerful benefit should do the trick.
Even if your offer is not accepted, you haven't lost much money. You will have placed your name in front of your public and increased awareness of your firm. But if I know you, your offer will be too good to miss. Same for your profits.
Sometimes one tiny tweak is all it takes to revitalize your marketing program. If your sales seem to be stagnating, try some (or all) of these ideas on for size:
Investigate shopping cart marketing. Shopping carts with placards heralding products or promotions are all over the place-and they're a great way to boost sales.
Remember that giving is getting. Guerrillas recognize the power of freebies. You own a restaurant? Give away free appetizers. A dry cleaner? Give $5 worth of cleaning free. You get the idea.
Consider holding a retail auction. Growing numbers of retailers have weekly auctions of returned and slightly damaged merchandise. It's fun and generates a lot of in-store traffic.
Light the back of your store. If you increase the amount of light at the back of your store, more customers will be attracted there, and they will stay in the store longer.
Learn the power of small details such as decimal points and zeros. To minimize prices, write "Only $80." To maximize savings, write "Save $80."
One of the best guerrilla advertising venues: the still ads that flash on movie screens before the previews start. It's pure guerrilla advertising because it's local, targeted, inexpensive and projects your business as part of the community.
Trying to reach older customers? Don't talk down to them; don't patronize them; don't treat them as "cute" or assume they've lost their mental agility. Speak clearly and loudly enough for them. Make sure visuals in your written materials are clear and that type is large enough for aging eyes to read.
Jay Conrad Levinson is author of the internationally acclaimed Guerrilla Marketing series ofbooks and co-founder of Guerrilla Marketing International. For information on the Guerrilla Marketing Newsletter and other products and services, write to P.O. Box 1336, Mill Valley, CA 94942; call (800) 748-6444; or visit the Web site at http://www.gmarketing.com.