How to Layout a Flyer

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Nothing wastes your money more than flyers that fail to attract attention. The flyer is one of the least expensive marketing tools, and one of the easiest to produce. The layout should flow smoothly, guiding the reader from headline to copy. Pictures work with headlines in creating a unified sales concept more powerfully than either pictures or words alone. First, develop a concept--a headline plus a visual--then write your body copy, stressing the key points of your product in a clear and concise manner.

Things You'll Need

  • Page layout program
  • Pictures or graphics (optional)
  • Write an enticing headline that promises the reader a benefit or reward for reading the rest of the flyer. Make the headline clear and precise, getting to the point simply and quickly. Be as specific as possible. “Lose 20 Pounds in Four Weeks” is a better headline than “Lose Weight Fast.”

  • Choose photos or graphics that support the headline and form a total selling concept. Use visuals that complement the theme of the headline and draw the reader’s attention.

  • Sketch a rough layout including the headline, graphical elements and the body copy area using a grid system to help determine the best positions. Sketch several preliminary layouts until your eye moves easily throughout the page.

  • Write the copy for your flyer. Provide new and valuable information readers will find useful. Write in a friendly, conversational style addressing the reader as “you.” Keep your sentences short and straightforward, organizing your selling points in order of relative importance. Use bullets, breakers and numbers to divide copy into shorter sections.

  • Place the headline, copy and graphic elements on the page according to your sketched grid layout, or use the standard flyer grid layout of a top block for the headline, a two-column block for graphics and body copy, and a bottom block for the address information.

  • Proofread all copy, especially your address and phone number. Remove redundant words, wordy phrases, the passive voice, run-on sentences, unnecessary adjectives and other poor stylistic habits before printing.

Tips & Warnings

  • The grid system allows you to organize content on a page, using a combination of guides, margins, columns and rows.
  • The most important part of a flyer is the headline, with the lead paragraph the second most important.
  • Start selling from the first line of copy.
  • Use the most pertinent facts and describe them in a clear, concise and straightforward manner.
  • The average sentence should fall between 6 and 16 words in length. Break large sentences into two or more separate sentences when possible; and vary your sentence length to make your writing flow and avoid dull copy.
  • Use mechanical techniques, such as yellow highlighting or underlining, to emphasize words or phrases in copy; however, use this technique sparingly.
  • Simple words communicate more effectively than large words. Big words annoy and distract the reader.
  • Avoid blind headlines that do not mean anything unless you read the rest of the copy underneath.
  • Avoid gimmicks, wordplay, puns, and other copywriter’s tricks. They may make your advertising amusing, but they do not sell products.
  • Avoid negative words. Instead of “Contains No Sugar”, write, “100% Sugar-Free.”
  • Avoid long sentences. They are more difficult to read than short sentences.
  • Avoid technical jargon unless 95 percent of your readers will understand.
  • Avoid pompous words and fancy phrases.

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References

  • “The Copywriters Handbook”; Robert W. Bly; 2006
  • Photo Credit advertising image by Boguslaw Mazur from Fotolia.com
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