The WORST Marketing I’ve Ever Seen In My Life!

This ‘flyer’ came through the office door the other day, and it caught my attention.

Not because it was so good, but because it burnt my eyes with its lack of effectiveness as a marketing tool.

Let’s have a look at what went wrong – so you can make sure you don’t do anything similar!

1. The top-left corner (which is prime real estate on any direct mail, and often the first place people’s eyes are drawn to) is filled with a generic white chef’s hat.

This is clearly part of the logo of ‘Top Munch’, and as such it should be way down at the bottom of the flyer. If anywhere at all. No-one is going to call or order because of the chef’s hat, so let’s move it to the bottom and shrink it down.

2. The top-right of the flyer (another prime spot), contains this company’s business address. No, you will never need to visit them. No, it serves no purpose at all on the flyer. No, it should not be taking up valuable space on this marketing tool.

3. The main headline of the flyer is small, hidden, and VERY un-interesting. Your headline needs to grab the reader’s attention by the throat. This is more of a limp handshake.

4. The sub-heading of this marketing piece (the purpose of which is to get businesses to order food from the company), instructs the reader to DISREGARD the flyer if they already have food facilities on-site. So the very first thing we’re doing is telling the reader to ignore what we’re about to say — not a great start.

5. They then go on to APOLOGISE for any inconvenience caused by the marketing piece. Needless to say, this is not the message we want to lead with…

6. There are two images on the flyer, the most prominent of which is a food hygiene rating of FOUR out of five.

Why on God’s green earth would you want to advertise your LACK of perfect hygiene? If it were five out of five, I might understand – but FOUR?

7. ‘Dear Customer,’ First of all, this is not going out to existing customers (perhaps it’s just wishful thinking!).

And second, even if you don’t know the name of the recipient, this letter is clearly going out to businesses on the Birmingham Business Park – so why not address it as ‘Dear Fellow Birmingham Business’, or perhaps start the flyer with ‘Attention: Birmingham Business Park Residents’. Call out to your audience, so they pay attention to the flyer.

8. The general format of the flyer leaves much to be desired. No real design, small font, and underlined text which makes the key messages harder to read. This is a flyer. It needs to GRAB attention. You might not be able to tell, but the food hygiene rating was printed in colour. Well, as any printer will tell you, once you’ve used ANY colour you’re paying for a full-colour print – so, why not cover the flyer in colours, images, and highlighted keywords etc?

The cost would be the same, and the effectiveness would go through the roof!

9. This one confused me. It looks like a button. But on a flyer. ‘Details Online’… but WHERE!? Put the exact URL you want people to go to at this point of the flyer – not a retro ‘non-button’.

10. The grammatical error does the flyer no favours. Proofread ALL your marketing carefully!

11. Listing food is one thing, but add some images of the food. Make the reader’s mouth water, and get their attention with imagery.

12. The main Call To Action of the flyer is an instruction to order your food.

So to make this really hard for their audience, they’ve provided two separate phone numbers and hidden them in the main text.

These should be BIG, BOLD, and bright red – not put somewhere where they will easily get missed.

13. Writing about the business and the business owner in the third person makes my stomach churn. It works alright on the ‘About Us’ page of a website, but not on a flyer that’s signed off at the end by the business itself!

14. We look forward to HOPEFULLY hearing from you – even they’re not certain!

15. As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to sign off your marketing from the Sales & Marketing department.

16. The MAIN image on this flyer is an advert for another business! I can tell you that this flyer has resulted in TWO taxi bookings and ZERO food orders. Do NOT give up your prime real estate by including another advert for a completely different business.

Attention is hard enough to get nowadays, so when you get it – don’t share it!

17. This flyer is single-sided on cheap A4 paper. In my experience, the cost difference between a full-colour single-sided page and a full-colour double-sided page is minimal to none. You should NEVER go single-sided on a flyer, because you don’t want people to see a blank page and throw it away.

Hand a flyer to 100 people and watch what happens next – you’ll see all 100 of them skim the flyer, and then turn it over. That’s how people read flyers, and when they do that here, they’re going to see a blank page and then bin the thing. Plus, the cheap stock makes the flyer feel worthless from the start. It’s a classic case of trying to cut corners and save on costs, at the expense of conversions.

Don’t go for what’s cheap. Go for what works.

Having said ALL of that, never forget that the badly written, poorly produced piece of marketing will always outperform the brilliantly produced piece that never gets sent – which is why I bet they got SOME response.

After all, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King…

Article By Kevin Cope

1 thought on “The WORST Marketing I’ve Ever Seen In My Life!”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience