How To Create Fliers That Sell

Ad Fail to Ad Success

The difference between success and failure can vary. In science it can be invisible to the naked eye and can only be measured with super billion dollar microscopes. In engineering it can be measured in millimeters with a simple tape measure that costs peanuts. I advertising it can be just a handful of words that come free and can easily, be swiftly put down on paper.

Some years ago I was emailed for to critique a full letter from a client. The letter was great I mean really great. However his sales were not what they should be. I noticed just a small box at the end of the letter in the offer. This WAS his problem. I advised him and showed him what he should write. He applied those changes. (by the way he had paid about $500 for this 10 minutes of advice – look at the numbers and ask yourself was it good value for money?)

His excited email back to me said exactly the following …

"Alan you won't believe it. After we talked (for 10 MINUTES!) and you advised me to make those changes in less than 24 hours I sold 14 units. That's a total turnover of $69,958.00... with one single email, in 24 hours, with your advice. Thanks, Worth every penny!"

Greg Milner, CEO Salon Marketing Services

If I remember correctly I advised Greg to change around a dozen words. His previous fail went to success as you can see above. So I wanted to give you a quick actual example of a before and after or fail to success advert I worked on recently. Let me set the picture up for you.

Grace has a hairdressing salon that is a start-up. I know she won’t mind me saying she had to close her first salon due to a lack of business. This time she didn’t want to make the investment into a salon and at the same time wanted to reduce her risk as much as possible.

Here is the advert she asked me to look at (sorry but it's the only size we have)


  • Two thirds is a gorgeous looking girl
  • On large panel is the salon name
  • Bottom left has a 20% off service voucher
  • The rest of the flyer tells the reader what services they offer.

When looking at a flier, letter, advert or any advertising my question is always the same …

“Why would anyone look, read and take action based on what they see?”

The girl has not enough relevance to take so much of the advert. The name of the salon so early on the read also has no relevance to the reader The service list means nothing to the reader they can see that anywhere The salon details at the bottom no longer mean anything and are unlikely to get even a look at. There is NO reason for a prospect to look, read or take action on this flier. It’s a FAIL!

So when creating a new flier the first thing I did was

  • Research the market place
  • Discover the number one problem that isn’t being solved
  • Detail the solution being offered by the salon
  • Create a flier that does 3 things
  • Catches the eye
  • Packed with eye food using strong graphics and thought food using strong words.
  • All the graphics feed the problem.
  • All the words feed and offer a solution to the problem.
  • The uniqueness of the salon is littered all the way through the copy
  • The call to action, offers, price point and price comparison boost and added power and triggers in the call to action
  • The call to action or what to do now is crystal clear.


The flier created a huge windfall and continues to work for the salon, day in, day out!

If you’d like any of your marketing materials critique get in touch right now, we’d be happy to give you a quote!


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