Whether you’re a dog groomer, dog walker or pet sitter – you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to bring in more clients.
Everyone I’ve met in the pet industry know that rack cards and flyers are some of the most effective ways to get new clients – but pet parents are pickier than ever with who they choose to look after their pets, and even though the pet industry is booming – the competition is fierce.
So what you really need for your pet business is a leaflet that will be so targeted to your ideal audience that they cannot resist picking it up AND it will look so good it knocks the socks off your competitors.
Have you ever thought about what makes a pet business leaflet really effective?
Then again, I’m a bit of a leaflet geek. When I worked in the marketing department for one of the biggest tourist attractions brands in the world, I was responsible for creating the leaflets for no less than eight global attractions – so for four years I was living, breathing and dreaming about leaflets and rack cards. So I guess you could say I’m a real leaflet geek!
So before you head on over to get your usual leaflet or rack card re-printed, have a look at these 18 pro tips to make your pet business leaflet stand out from the crowd and deliver leads.
Pet Business Flyer Checklist
An effective pet business flyer or rack card must grab the attention of the pet parents you’re looking to target, create interest in the service you’re selling and most importantly induce action by clearly indicating what you want them to do next.
So whether you’re designing your leaflet yourself from scratch, are thinking about simply re-printing the same old flyer again – or you’re hiring a professional design agency to design it for you, make sure you read these 18 pro tips first.
1. Why are you Creating a Leaflet?
First things first: Spend a little time thinking about why are you making a leaflet in the first place. If you have already written a marketing plan for your pet business you will probably have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve with the leaflet.
- Who are you trying to reach with your leaflet?
- Why will people pick it up?
- What do you want your customers to do after picking it up?
2. Don’t Forget the Basics
You’d be surprised how many small pet business forget to include the most basic information in their leaflet.
Make sure yours include the following:
- company logo
- your tagline
- your post address
- email address
- phone number
- web address
- social media URLs
3. Write about Benefits – Not Features
A common mistake pet biz people do is to simply list all the services they supply. Of course you should include information about the services you provide, but focus your copy around benefits instead of features.
No one gets excited by a list of boring features – and still, most of the pet biz flyers around still contain long lists of things they do instead of showing what difference they can make in their clients lives. So instead of saying ‘we walk dogs’ explain how the owners of even the most exuberant of dogs come home to a happy and calm dog after work when you’ve walked their pooch.
Compare the following two examples.
Available Services in your area
- Dog Walking
- Day Care
We walk and look after your dog while you’re at work or on holiday – so you can come home to a happy exercised pooch ready for snuggles. Ask about our Dog Walking, Day Care and Boarding services.
The second option sounds more interesting and engaging doesn’t it? Its because the copy focuses on benefits, and not features.
4. Make sure you answer these Two Questions
Imagine for a moment that you’re the client, looking to hire a dog walker, or a groomer to look after their beloved pet. Would you trust just about anyone? How would you choose one service supplier over and above another? Most clients really only have two questions.
– What’s in it for me?
– Why should we choose you over and above your competitors?
If you’ve done your homework you know exactly what makes your customers ‘tick’ (is it a discount, or reassurance you’re a trust worthy pet carer?), and you have positioned your business in such a way that your company is the only reasonable choice available for your client.
5. Less is More
As tempting as it may be, avoid including big blocks of text talking about your services as research has shown people are put off by too much text.
Remember that your goal is not to tell your customers everything – but only enough to generate enough interest so they seek out more information by calling, emailing or visiting your website.
Instead of making your flyer look like an essay, use bullet points, subheadings and images to break up the text. Blank space is also your friend and makes it easier for your customers to navigate the important information and calls to action that you have included.
6. Good Photography is your best friend
Using good quality photos is incredibly important to grab your target audience’s interest and establish yourself as an authority. You can’t just pick any cute pet photo though, it needs to be relevant and unique to your business.
Hiring a professional photographer to shoot some photos of you and your staff at work is probably cheaper than you think and could be a very good investment, as you would be able to use the photos for everything from your website to flyers, rack cards and business cards.
An alternative could be to ask a friend with a good camera take some photos of you while you’re walking, grooming or treating your 4-legged clients.
I would always recommend using your own photography, over and above stock photos as it will add credibility to your leaflet (everyone will know the good looking model in the stock photo isn’t you!).
Whichever route you choose to go down, make sure you always avoid microsoft’s clipart images (they look awful) and images you’ve found on google (someone else owns the copyright).
- Make sure you use high resolution images so they don’t get pixelated.
- Don’t stretch your photos
- One strong image is better than a hundred little ones.
7. Use Power Words
Use power words to supercharge your marketing copy. Professional copy writers have always known that certain words and phrases create more interest and convert into more sales.
Here’s a link to the 30 magic marketing words you should consider using in your pet business leaflet.
8. What’s Your Call to Action?
Speaking of words. Have you thought about what you want your customer to do after they pick up one of your leaflets?
Have you made it absolutely, abundantly crystal clear to them?
Your leaflet must always include a strong call to action. I’ve seen way too many pet biz leaflets with wishy washy passive calls to actions like: ‘for more information call us on …’, or ‘check out our website…’ These phrases have been used so much that I doubt anyone actually reads them, or acts on them anymore.
Instead, put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment – what would make them want to call you or visit your website?
- Book a Free Consultation Today and get a bag of home baked dog treats
- Call us to book your appointment today and get 10% off your first visit when quoting ‘First Time Bath’
- Book your holiday dog care one month in advance and get one weekend free.
- Book your dog’s grooming today and get an extra free bath -’ quote rubber duck’
- Visit our website and download your $10 vouchers.
- Bring this leaflet for an instant 20% off your dog’s first spa session
9. Turn your leaflet into a lead magnet!
Imagine if your leaflet could be turned into a lead capturing magnet, wouldn’t that be great?
With a little imagination you could use the leftover space on the back of your leaflet to drive traffic to your website and build your mailing list. Offer your customers something really useful that you could send them via email, or that they could download from your website after they’ve signed up for your newsletter.
Here are some examples:
- Get our FREE E-book 10 ways to keep your dog’s coat mat free when signing up for our newsletter.
- Get a voucher for a free nailcut when signing up for our newsletter.
- Get Access to our FREE E-book
Mailing lists are important to pet businesses as you can use email to communicate offers, news and generally staying in touch with your customers.
If you’re not convinced a mailing list is needed for your pet business, then have a look at my article: ‘Why Email Marketing is More Important than Ever for Pet Businesses’
Masterclass: Include a QR Quick response code on the back of your leaflet and link it directly to your ‘opt in page’ or the page where your offer or discount is hosted on your website.
10. What’s your distribution strategy?
Have you thought about how you are going to distribute your flyer or rack card? Start by identifying a handful of people in your local pet network that could help you distribute your leaflet.
- Your local dog groomer
- Your local vet clinic
- Your local dog trainer
- Your local dog walker/day care
- Your local pet photographer
- Your local dog bakery
- Your local dog park
- Your local pet store
Dog groomers often get asked by their customers about local dog walkers and vets, and vice versa – and if they have access to your leaflet, chances are high that you will get a high quality referral.
Master class: Create a joint leaflet with your top referrer. For example – if you know that your leaflets get picked up all the time at your local vets, why not join forces and offer a discount to their customers if they try your services?
Better still if you can agree to include both your logos on the leaflet so it is obvious that they recommend you.
11. Write positively ‘I do’, instead of ‘I don’t’
Sometimes it can be really tempting to tell your customers all the things that you don’t do, but I always recommend sticking to what you do.
As an example ‘I won’t leave your dog in a hot car’ sounds less attractive than ‘Our dog taxi is air conditioned’.
12. Good Quality Print is Important
The quality of your printed leaflet or rack card will tell your customer a lot about your brand and the quality of the product or service that you supply.
A cheap looking home printed leaflet leaves your customer with the impression that you don’t invest in quality and probably won’t invest in the time and effort it takes to look after their pet either. Print your leaflet on the best quality paper you can afford.
13. Pick a Readable Font and Font Size
When you’re designing a leaflet make sure you stick to one or two font types maximum, and a Font size of at least 12 points: any smaller than this, and text becomes difficult to read.
Masterclass: Big brands want their brand image to stay consistent and they stick to the same font and color scheme wherever they appear. Does your brand have a color scheme and fonts that you use all the time for advertising, leaflets and your website?
14. DON’T SCREAM AT YOUR AUDIENCE WITH ALL CAPS or exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!
Because it just looks really bad and unprofessional.
15. Social Proof and Qualifications
Always include relevant trade qualifications, third party validations, testimonials and insurance details. This will help address your customers’ objections and build trust even before you meet them.
16. Someone else will always be cheaper
Don’t be tempted to make the leaflet all about price – someone else will always undercut you. Instead, focus on quality, service and your USP.
17. Don’t waste the back page
Never, ever leave the back page of your rack card empty. Use the space to let your customers know where to find you, and where they can park. Or get creative and write a short top tips article, case study or list customer testimonials.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful – I would love to hear about your best pet biz leaflet tips in the comments below!