Email #Fail

Email #Fail

Email is here to stay, like it or loathe it we all use it in some shape or form.

For businesses it can be a blessing as it provides an instant way of sending information to your customers.  If that information is an invoice, reminder or just some general customer service information, email is a tool that when used correctly provides a great method of communication.

But as you may have guessed this is #fail month here at Ayrshire Leaflet Distribution we are looking at the mistakes and the things that can go wrong with a marketing or other form of email.

To start I will embarrass myself somewhat just to prove I am not above the odd #fail or two.

I am the secretary of a local community group and as such have to organise all the meetings.  For the July meeting we changed the date so I e-mailed the committee members to let everyone know.  However, thanks to auto-fill instead of one member receiving the notification my relative in Canada who happens to have the same name!

I never noticed the .ca instead of the .co.uk at the end of the address!

In this case everyone saw the funny side and no real harm was done.  It could have been so much worse!

The Servers are Down again – call tech support…..

This is not so much marketing related but we thought it was too good to pass up as our opening shot!

email 1
Yes email is great for mass communication but NOT when the email system is out of service!

Who hit the wrong button then!

Email is used to great effect in the world of marketing but sometimes, just now and then, someone somewhere gets it horrendously wrong.

Unless you were living under a rock you will know that on 18th September 2014, Scotland held a referendum on independence from the rest of the UK – the people voted No to this.  However the retailer Made.com decided to send this out to its customers on 19th September 2014.

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Yes, this was sent just hours after the final result of the referendum was announced that Scotland had rejected independence!

In the interest of fairness, Made.com, upon realising its mistake promptly sent out the following as an apology:

made-britain

Great they admitted their mistake but I think (personal opinion) that the “its great to have you back”  a little disrespectful as if you think about it Scotland never left the UK in the first place.  I will leave that thought with you to mull over!

To reply to all or not reply-to-all…..

We cannot in all decency do a post about email foul ups without a section on the most infamous way to get noticed in a firm for all the wrong reasons!

Hitting reply to all without realising it!

Now this little button is a great way to get a message out to lots of people who need to know your message quickly – but use it wisely as this HR worker found out (NB – do not read this while eating – you have been warned).

A recounting of a tale that actually happened in my office!

  • Accidentally clog the office bathroom to the point of overflowing
  • Covertly sneak into the other bathroom, retrieve plunger, and attempt crisis control
  • Find plunger requires the insane amount of upper arm strength to be effective.  Shamefully visit colleagues in HR and Accounts to get assistance
  • Accounts Clerk fixes toilet
  • Drop brief email to both parties with mention of incident thanking them for their help

This is where it goes wrong

  • HR rep accidentally responds to that email by replying to all on a different thread, this thread includes one of the highest managers in the firm
  • HR rep calls me in a panic to apologise as the manager HAS to know about the bathroom incident
  • Concoct a less embarrassing version of events to tell the manager
  • Die in my office very quietly avoiding everyone for the rest of the week!

Not the most pleasant of stories, but at least this one was kept in the office and was more embarrassing than irresponsible.

Speaking of irresponsible behaviour –

One day in a previous job a colleague came across an image of a shirtless man holding his hands in front of his chest.

However as part of the man’s thumb looked a little like another piece of the male anatomy he decided to screen shot this part and email it round his colleagues.

Unfortunately, instead of a small list of 3 or 4 people, he selected a distribution list that covered the WHOLE ORGANISATION, including the CEO, overseas workers and so on.

The result of this was that the following morning I arrived at the office and the person who was responsible was nowhere in sight,  Later that morning, I was informed by my manager that my co-worker was fired on the spot for inappropriate conduct and accessing pornographic material on work IT systems!

This proves that although it is fun to send silly pictures around the office – take care.  Even a wrongly worded email can get you in serious trouble!

A co worker of mine was trying to motivate their sales office saying to get your hands dirty and if we had any difficulties closing a sale the girls should shake their little asses and close the sale.

Unfortunately again due to a reply all to the WRONG distribution list, this motivational message reached our CEO. 

She found herself out of a job pretty quickly!

And Finally…

We close this little section with a little cartoon which i think we can all relate to

Capture

We have all done it – had a moan about something via email but included the person we are complaining about in the email address list!


That is it for this post – but since this is the last post in fail month we thought we would share a few tips so you do not end up on blogs like this in the future

  1. When composing an email – write the email BEFORE adding who is to receive it.  This saves everyone getting a half-finished email if you inadvertently hit send.
  2. NEVER, EVER use reply to all.  Try using the forward button then retyping the people who are to receive the email.  A little more time-consuming but those extra seconds are so worth it!
  3. NEVER, EVER reply to something when you are angry.  By all means type a reply (on a word document or notepad).  Once you have finished it, leave for half an hour and only if you feel the same way after that time get a colleague to check the email – THEN send it.
  4. Get second opinions – I am always asking co-workers to double-check an email or a letter before sending it.  This gives a fresh pair of eyes on a situation and they may have a better way to word things.
  5. When creating designs make sure that the message you want to come across actually comes across.  Ask someone else, a colleague or a trusted client or someone outside the trade.
  6. Tread very carefully on social media, triple check every single word you post and if you run a business page make sure you know who you are logged in as. I doubt your customers (or staff) would want to see that video of you downing shots in a bar then throwing up on your business page now would they!

There are many more ways to perform a faceplant while marketing, performing customer service or within work in general.  I hope you had as much fun reading these as I had researching and writing them.

By all means share your experiences of any fails you have experienced or even admitted to yourself – its ok we won’t judge.

Over the next 2 weeks we will look at the more innovative ways major and smaller companies use leaflets and other forms of marketing to their advantage and made it work.  We hope to inspire you to try something a little different

In the meantime, if you want to take advantage of our services or find our more about our 10,000 free leaflets offer, just get in touch with us on 01563 257120 to arrange an appointment for a no obligation visit to your premises.

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Service #Fail

Service #Fail

A big part of our business at Ayrshire Leaflet Distribution is marketing, however a more important aspect of any business is the actual service you provide.  This is so important, more so when it is in relation to complaints.

Good service is key in all areas of business – a customer who received excellent service will not hesitate to use your firm again.  95% of customers who receive BAD service will tell the world and anyone else who will listen about their experience.  I will admit that I have done that and am sure you have as well.

A good example is Scotrail – just now there is are rail strike happening within Scotland.  Whenever I’ve seen a post on their Facebook page regarding the strike – the comments spike with criticism and moans about the service in general.   However, they take the time to response to around 90% of comments left, even if it is just an acknowledgement of thanks.

Get your service right and you can reap the rewards in both customer loyalty and increase your customer base.  Get it wrong and the minimum you are looking at is losing a customer!

Although, sometimes staff have to work in difficult circumstances – as shown below!

The Customer Is Always Right!

The mantra of all customer facing staff, it is drilled into them from day 1.  But it’s not always true!

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I need to return this camera.”

Me: “Sure, was it not working?”

Customer: “I just don’t want it, okay?”

Me: “Okay. Have you opened the box yet?”

Customer: “Why does that matter?”

Me: “Well, as the sticker on the box says, if the box is opened and you return it, I have to charge you a restocking fee.”

Customer: “Oh. No… no, it hasn’t been opened.”

(I look and the box has been clearly opened, with a torn seal.)

Me: “Uh… are you sure it hasn’t been opened?”

Customer: ¬†”LOOK! ARE YOU CALLING ME A F***ING LIAR? Where is your manager?¬†I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars here and this is how I’m treated?!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you just–”

Customer: “THESE PEOPLE CALL CUSTOMERS LIARS! DON’T SHOP HERE!”

Me: “Ma’am, I believe you! I will return it!”

Customer: “That’s right you will!”

Me: “Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “It’s in the box.”

I can see many people smiling at that little script and its true – customer facing staff are the ones who are the face of what ever company they work for.  However, when one goes rogue the fireworks start!

Not My Department

There is nothing worse when calling a firm to ask something and you get fired around the office like a hot potato.

Customer – *asks question*

Rep – Sorry, I don’t know, but you can call this number to get that information.

Customer – No problem, can you tell the office hours for that section

Rep – Certainly, its 8am until 4pm, Monday to Friday

Customer – What time zone is that

Rep – Sorry, I don’t have access to that information (Hangs up)

This is a lesson in responsibility – when you don’t know something it is fair enough to admit it, personally I will admire a representative who says I dont know over one who stumbles around looking for (more often than not) inaccurate information.

Every customer is an opportunity to impress, focus on them and if you dont know something, tell the customer but add in but I will find out for you, and arrange to call them back.  This will demonstrate that you are willing to learn and you take pride in serving your customers.

One Customer + Two Representatives = A whole heap of trouble

In general a call/visit for some service is a 1 to 1 meeting.  You have one contact to deal with your enquiry and they should take individual responsibility as mentioned above. Sometimes it does take more than one person to sort an issue – but please avoid doing something like this –

(The hotel I work at has 78 rooms total and when we have big events or large groups coming all in the same night we’ll schedule two front desk clerks. When we know we will have a large amount of rooms sold to the same group of people like this, we usually hold four rooms under our manager’s name for emergency situations. Tonight I check-in a guest. I always ask if the number of nights and room type are correct, but not every guest pays attention to this. This is the case with one of our guests and shortly after checking-in my coworker answers a call from their room while I’m checking another guest in.)

Coworker: “It says right here that you are supposed to have a single king bed, not a room with two queens and I have no other rooms available tonight because we are sold out.”

(Guest speaks a bit on the other end which I can’t hear.)

Coworker: “As I said, I am sold out of rooms tonight; I have nowhere else to change your rooms.”

(Guest speaks again.)

Coworker: “Yes, I know, but I don’t have a room with two queen beds I can put you into because we are sold out.”

(I’m finished with my guest and try to point to my manager’s name in the arrival list which she ignores.)

Coworker: “There really is nothing else I can do. We are sold out tonight.”

(I try to get her attention again and point to my manager’s name so I don’t interrupt the phone call. My coworker nods that she sees it, but yet again she tells the guest she can’t do anything for her, then hangs up on the guest without notice, which is frowned upon.)

Me: “[Coworker], you know that the rooms held under [Manager] are for situations like that so we can keep the guests happy, and fix any issues like this that might come up. Why didn’t you change the room types for her? We have two queens available under [Manager] right here.”

Coworker: “She told me she had the room type changed. It’s not our fault she changed it, so we shouldn’t have to do anything.”

(Again this is not something that would be acceptable at our location or company, something she should know by now since she’s worked here twice as long as I have.)

Me: “Which guest was it?”

Coworker: “Don’t worry about it; let her deal with what she’s got herself into.”

(I am worried, because I know that the guest could post a bad review which would cause management to look into the issue, the chances of my name being listed are high since I work at a faster pace, and I don’t want to get in trouble for it. She refuses to tell me any information on who it was and I sigh internally. Moments later the guest comes down.)

Guest: “I called a while ago about changing my room type; there is only one bed in there and I asked for two queen beds before we drove into town. There is no way my husband, two coworkers, and I could possibly all sleep in one bed!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, ma’am. What room number are you in?”

Guest: “[Room Number]. Is there anything you can do for me? I know your coworker said that you are sold out, but I’ve worked in a hotel myself and sometimes you guys will hold rooms for things like this. Do you guys do something like that here?”

(I go to look into the issue under the information given to me and go to try to comfort the guest and reassure her that I will look into the matter and make sure I have the room type she needs for all four nights she is staying here when my coworker comes over and interrupts me.)

Coworker: “It shows when you made the reservation 20 days ago that you had it as a room with two queens and later changed it to a single king. We don’t have the rooms available to change it for you. It’s your fault, not ours, that you decided to change it.”

(I’m shocked, I’ve never heard her BLAME a guest before. She’s never been good at rewording things to at least sound polite but never BLAME the guest. I look and I do see that it went from two queens to a single king, but it could have easily been a misunderstanding when things were made or adjusted. The guest understandably has a look of shock on her face when she hears my coworker’s words.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I will look into the issue for you and see what I can do. I know I have a room with two queens available for you tonight, but I have to make sure I have all nights available for you.”

Guest: “That’s okay, I understand. Thank you for looking into making this change for me. We certainly can’t sleep four adults in one bed and I need to make other plans if we can’t make these changes.”

Coworker: “We don’t have the rooms to change you around. It’s not our fault you changed it to a king.”

Guest: “But I didn’t change it to a king. I changed it to two queens.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, about all of the confusion. I will get this sorted out for you.”

Coworker: “It’s not our fault you changed it to a single king. We are sold out. You’ll just have to deal with the room you have.”

(This circle of me apologizing and my coworker continuously digging herself into a hole for no reason kept happening for a couple of minutes before the guest decided to ignore my coworker and thanked me again for helping, but still looking worried over my coworker’s words and behavior. I was able to change her to the room she needed without any issues, making sure I apologized for the inconvenience several times. The guest was very understanding and assured me she was just happy I didn’t listen to my coworker and managed to make the adjustment for her, all the while my coworker kept insisting we were not at fault.)

There is no follow-up as to what happened to the co-worker in this story, I can only hope that the good rep said something about it.  The hospitality industry relies heavily on feedback, TripAdvisor being the main one, so one blip and the internet is set alight!  I dont even need to mention the fact that the guest worked in the same industry (always the trickest of customers regardless of what industry you work in as they know what you are talking about)

Mind Your Language

Contacting a call centre with an enquiry is a lottery.  For every 10 good reps you get, there is one just going through the motions for their pay every month!

Finding a problem with a piece of equipment I recently purchased I decided to call the company for help.

The first person I spoke to insisted that the fault was with me and nothing could be done.  When I said that until I powered up the faulty equipment everything was fine – he just laughed!

Doing what any sensible customer would do I then asked for the supervisor – I got a two letter expletive (use your imagination!) and was promptly hung up on.

Calling straight back I got the polar opposite, this second operator bent over backwards to resolve my problem and did.

After this I thanked them and then told them of my previous experience.  All of a sudden the operator asked me to hold and the supervisor came on the line.  This lovely lady asked for 24 hours and she would resolve the issue completely.

15 (yes FIFTEEN) minutes later I got a call saying that after listening to my first call the operator had been fired immediately and the second operator had been instantly promoted.

If you read this and you happen to work in a call centre, just remember the calls are recorded to protect you from abusive situations AND the customer – watch what you say and how you say it.

Extreme Reaction

We all have a bad day, but (if this is true) I have faith that no one reading this will copy this

Having filled his car with fuel in an independent petrol station the customer went to the cashier to pay using his fuel card.

 The cashier very politely explained that they did not take that particular card.

Although embarrassed the customer offered to contact his bank to arrange a transfer as he had no other means of payment on him at that time.

In that split second the mood changed and the cashier flipped, accused the driver of trying to steal fuel and drew a loaded shotgun on him!

Another one for the Staff

To finish off we will give another point to the staff – especially the poor representative who had to deal with this customer –

Following the purchase of a dishwasher the customer returned to the store to complain about the new appliance.

When asked what the fault was the customer exclaimed – “It’s a clear fault as when I switched it on the water sprays but the dishes don’t spin”

No words can describe what I thought when I read this tale – and I have no idea how the poor clerk kept a straight face when told this fact and how they responded!


The key message here is how you treat your customers can have both positive and negative effects on your business.  Good businesses actually welcome complaints and have a solid system in place.  People complain so easily but if you ever experience service that made you happy – tell the firm about it, even if it is in an email or letter (remember those!).  It can be a good morale boost for a team of staff who face nothing but negativity in their work.

That’s it for another week – next week we plan to look at the joys of what goes wrong when you use email for your marketing and service.

In the meantime if you want to ask anything about our service at Ayrshire Leaflet Distribution just give us a call on 01563 257120 or visit our Facebook page.

Get Your Business Noticed

Get Your Business Noticed

As we have been saying leaflet distribution is one of the most effective ways of getting noticed and increasing sales.

We have been helping local businesses boost their profits for over 7 years now and are one of the most trustworthy leaflet delivery companies in the country.

Having delivered well over a million leaflets for our clients we have all the knowledge and experience to ensure that we can help you maximise the power of leaflet marketing.

Now we are determined to make things every more attractive for you with this unbelievable offer  of supplying you with 10,000 free leaflets as well as providing free leaflet design saving you even more money.

This is a genuine offer – there are no catches, gimmicks or inflated delivery costs just a fantastic opportunity to promote your business to 10,000 homes within Ayrshire.

Your leaflets will be A5 in size (15cm by 21cm) and you can have double sided or single sided – that is your choice!

Once you place your order, our designer will get all the information from you and create your leaflet to your specification.  A word of caution though – strict deadlines will be place, fail to meet them and our designer will still create your leaflet but to his specification.

Once printed we will arrange for your leaflets to be distributed to 10,000 homes within Ayrshire, this can be done in a town of your choice – you are still in control.

They will be distributed as part of a shared distribution but rest assured we will ensure that your leaflet will not be partnered with a competitors or other similar industry/brand to your own.

All you need to pay for this service is our standard shared distribution fee which is £45 + VAT per 1,000 leaflets.  If you think about it that equates to 0.5p for the design, print and distribution of each leaflet!

All distributions will be tracked by our GPS trackers as standard.

If this is something you think would benefit your business – we can arrange a no-obligation visit to your premises, just give us a call on 01563 257120.

 

Social #Fail

Social #Fail

As I had so much fun researching last week’s topic the decision was made to make July a month of fails!  Covering all sorts of media from social to physical.

Today we have to look at social media fails – its appears that everyone and their dog has a Facebook account, Twitter feed, LinkedIn, Bebo, MySpace – I could go on!

I often wonder the thought process of some people who feel compelled to post EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of their daily  life – getting up, dressed, eating, and even trips to the toilet (thankfully no one has yet posted a video of that last one on my friends list, but if any of my Facebook friends read this – that is not a challenge!)

Naturally anything that is tangible like a leaflet can easily be photographed and published on Social Media for the world to see.

An innovative unusual piece of marketing through someone’s door can also find its way onto social media as people like companies who try different things and do them well!

The whole purpose of this is to highlight the importance of making sure your marketing be it leaflet based or digital based is fit for purpose and by using companies like Ayrshire Leaflet Distribution for your leaflet based marketing, ensures you do not end up featured on blogs like this!

Blackberry Vs Iphone

The age-old debate of what phone to use.  Personally I do not care, as long as I can do what I want to do (social media, email, SMS, the odd app and phone calls) I am happy to use any phone on the market.

But back in January 2015, Blackberry committed a major faux pas on Twitter.

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Look very carefully at the arrow.  Yes, you can plainly see that Blackberry are advertising use of twitter on their phones – by sending that tweet using one of its biggest competitors!

Within minutes eagle-eyed people were calling them out on it – the tweet was deleted very quickly.

Now this is tame compared to what can happen on social media – no one was hurt or offended here other than the pride of the person in charge of Blackberry’s twitter account that day!

It gets worse!

Offend your customers???

There are people out there in the world that are famous purely for offending people to create chaos (Katie Hopkins anyone???).  The last thing your marketing material wants to do is offend your customers but…….

The video game industry is a cut-throat business, with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo vying for that top dog status.  So when Sony decided to create a campaign to launch their new White Playstation Portable system they decided to play on the colour theme and produced this.

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The idea was fine but the execution #failed.  Instead of it being seen as an alternative colour for the system a lot of people saw it as racist.  A lesson in using race as a metaphor was learnt here.  The advert was quickly withdrawn from publication but not before a major backlash on Facebook & Twitter.

Unsuitable for Family Viewing…..

Targeted marketing works wonders if you get it right.  If your brand is aimed at children its great to use primary colours and simple language so the kids notice it and start the pestering of parents!

But, as Burger King in Singapore found out – do not  forget who your main consumers are!

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Use your imagination!

Nothing too bad about it for grown adults – Carry On humour (if you do not know what that is google it!).  Consider this – being a fast food restaurant and their main market is families it did not go down well at all!

Although this ad was not released outside Singapore thanks to social media it was seen world-wide and the chain saw a massive drop in sales in 2010 after this and a few other offensive adverts!

Hashtag disaster

Wikipedia defines a hashtag as a label used on social media and blogging sites to make finding certain topics or themes easier.

For example, run a search using the tag #Euro2016 will bring up results relating to any social media post on the European Football Championships which ended on Sunday. (Well done to Portugal by the way!)  But it does not always work out…..

In November 2015, Australia’s Victoria Taxi Association decided to get feedback from its customers. Launching a #YourTaxis campaign across Twitter and Facebook, however, it backfired as unfortunately they got their timing wrong.  There were numerous news reports of horror stories of what some taxi drivers were doing in their cabs.

This hashtag was used to share stories regarding violent incidents and sadly sexually abusive acts happening instead of the customer feedback exercise.  Some may argue that they got feedback but it was not what they were looking for.  No doubt this caused a drop in taxi use due to the ‘one rogue driver can tar the whole fleet’ sentiment.

This is a true sense of what creating a hashtag can do to hurt a business, by all means do it but make sure you are prepared for the answers!

Another example of this can come from using an existing tag to promote your business.  The danger with this is not know what the hashtag you are piggybacking off was started for.

In August 2014 the US pizza chain DiGiorno, decided to piggyback off a hashtag of #WhyIStayed to promote its products.  Unfortunately, what they didn’t realise was that particular hashtag had been created to publicise a discussion on domestic abuse – Why I Stayed with Him/Her.  Naturally, it backfired spectacularly, as people saw it as insensitive and making light of a horrible issue in the world.  

To the firms credit, once they realised what they had done they issued an apology AND removed all trace of their use of the hashtag.  

The lesson here is if you get it wrong – ADMIT you got it wrong and make it right!

Losing control

Investing in your staff and keeping them happy is important – but remember making an employee disgruntled while they are in charge of social media is a dangerous combination. This is demonstrated by some HMV employee who decided to publish the following:

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Yes – you are reading that right, the social media team went rogue and live tweeted the firing of over 60 members of staff.  This, although entertaining for HMV’s followers, turned in to a disaster for the firm with the amount of bad publicity that they got for it.

Personal Social Media

More and more these days businesses are using social media to check out potential employees.

I remember one story that an employee who called in sick one day, posted about a wild night out they had the night before forgetting that they had most of their colleauges on their friends list (including the boss).  I would like to point out that the firm in question was happy for staff to use social media during the work day, as long as it was not to excessive levels.

Needless to say the boss saw it and when that employee went to work the next day – they were issued with their P45! (For you readers from elsewhere in the world – they got fired!!)

We are more focussing on businesses but if you were recruiting would you want to hire someone who posted this……

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Is it just me but I don’t think Facebook is the place to let your kids know your marriage is over!
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Check your spelling – for the love of man CHECK YOUR SPELLING!

When you do get the job you want – please do not do what a 16-year-old did after working for 3 weeks in her marketing job.  Apparently she posted that said that her job was dull – no company was mentioned however a co-worker saw it and reported it to upper-management. Result – she was fired!

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Finally, I think someone relies on their technology WAY too much!

All in all the fails above just how powerful social media is – as a relative newcomer promoting our work on social media we know that all it takes is 1 moment of stupidity to be shamed in a blog like this.

Yes the companies concerned received more attention because of these mistakes, but would you prefer attention with the potential of lost loyalty or trade or attention which leads to new business and increased footfall!

The main rule is – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU POST, check it then check it again, then check it again – once its out there no matter how quick you delete an offensive/idiotic/just plain wrong post someone somewhere will have seen it and shared it!

If nothing else we hope we have made you smile and if just one of you decides not to post that embarrassing picture after reading this our work on the blog is done!

If you want to talk to us about planning a leaflet distribution for your business within the KA postcode area, just give us a call on 01563 257120 or drop us an email at ian@ayrshireleafletdistribution.co.uk

Don’t #fail

Don’t #fail

With everything that has happened in the UK over the past fortnight – you would be forgiven for wanting to hide under a rock till it blows over!

With that in mind this week we thought we would share some of the lighter side of marketing.  Every industry has the same pitfalls, some of them are hidden from view behind office doors, but if you let your advertising go a little wrong the whole world will see it thanks to the power of social media and hashtags!

After a little research, some laughter and some “you have to be kidding me” moments we have picked a few marketing fails to share with you all.

Spelling Counts

In this world there are people who obsess over language and its correct use.  They obviously weren’t part of the following #fails

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A double whammy to start us off!
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I think someone has an apostrophe problem!

Placement

Although we deal with leaflets over magazine adverts – the principles of good design still apply.  Especially where the advert is placed in relation to other articles!

Marketing-Fail-Ad-Placement-Fail
Well what can I say here!
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The issue in the headline is horrible but you think that the editor/proofreader may have suggested a different advert to take up the space below!

Highlighting the Obvious

Space is limited in adverts/leaflets/billboards so you want to make sure you use the space effectively.  Sometimes that works and works really well, other times it just makes you think why they even bothered!

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No words can express what I thought when I saw this one!
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Top line – all good, great advice for us all to follow and the use of mobiles while driving is illegal in a lot of countries now too.  Bottom line not so clever!

Layout

Just as placement in magazines is important – the layout of your design when viewed on its own is just as important.  This also applies to WHERE your ad is being put as in the first image!

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QR codes are a great way to get traffic to your website – but not if you have to risk life and limb to get it scanned!
Ad-Placement-fail
Need I say anything about this – you would think that someone would have realised the error BEFORE it went to print

I’m sure there are thousands more examples of fails in the world of marketing – one that jumps out at me is the ab exercise firm that premiered its advert featuring Ronaldo, immediately AFTER his tirade against Iceland (during the EURO 2016 football championships) – not good timing!

We hope you enjoyed a lighter look at the world of marketing but if you want to AVOID all of these just get in touch with us to arrange an appointment and we can make sure your leaflet campaign doesn’t fall turn into a #fail.

 

 

 

Preparation, Prepare, Prep!

Preparation, Prepare, Prep!

Life is fickle, we know that, we (in general) accept it.  There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours organising things and then find you missed that one detail which sends the project into freefall!

With a little planning and forethought a leaflet campaign can be the biggest driver of business in a local community.  Without that planning, it can be a disaster waiting to happen.

This blog will highlight a few little things that you should consider carefully you can make a leaflet design & subsequent distribution achieve the best results possible.

Copyright

Ugly word at times copyright, but we are legally bound to respect others intellectual property.  It is so easy to be caught out these days.  This is more of an issue than ever before, as a lot of household names have become very protective of their logos.

The majority of large firms and organisations are happy for people to use their branding – AS LONG AS YOU GET PERMISSION FROM THEM.

CASE STUDY

Fred Harris runs a popular sports shop in town and online and decided to link in with the Rio Olympic Games being held in August to boost sales.

He has a leaflet designed which features the iconic Olympic Rings design we all know (if not just google Olympic Rings and you will instantly recognise it), he thinks that I’m only a small shop it won’t matter!

From a post of his leaflet on Facebook it proves to be very popular and it gets shared all round the globe unfortunately it grabs the attention of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) who are not happy at the use of their logo without permission, and despite repeated requests to Mr Harris nothing changes so they take him to court over breach of copyright.

I could only speculate as to what happens next, so I contacted the IOC with this scenario and they very kindly took the time to reply to me with this information:

Where there is an infringement we take a pragmatic approach to ensure there is an appropriate response. When there is a concerted effort to create an unauthorized commercial association with the Olympic Games or the Olympic properties then we will take swift action, and if necessary legal action. We do not comment on the number of cases or the details of specific cases.

International Olympic Committee – June 2016

If you are ever in any doubt about using a brand name logo, either don’t do it or ask permission.  By asking permission of the company concerned, they can give you guidance on using their logo and correct use of it, and most companies are happy to allow you to provided you are clear to them what you want to use it for!

Whats the worst they can say to a request other than no!

“The copyright bargain: A balance between protection for the artist and rights for the consumer”

Robin Goss

Make Your Marketing Standout

How many products and services do you recognise instantly through a logo, style or even music?

That is why major companies spend thousands of pounds on marketing. You don’t need to have that big a budget but a little money invested in a good leaflet will give you hat advantage is what is a competitive marketplace.

Colour can be key in giving a ‘vibe’ of your business. If you want to know more about how colour can affect people’s perceptions in marketing, go here – https://goo.gl/ISgaRl some of the points they make are very interesting.

Although we don’t have printing facilities ourselves we have contact with local designers & printer who more than willing to assist clients to make their marketing material as good as it can be.

At the end of the day the most important person who has to be happy with the design is you – designers are there to advise, but at the end of the day you have to like what you want to distribute.

If YOU don’t like it – why are you bothering to send it out.

“If dogs don’t like your dog food: The packaging doesn’t matter”

Killing Giants by Stephen Denny

Pick The Right Distribution Company

Obviously we are naturally going to say if you are looking for a distribution in Ayrshire choose us. In such a competitive marketplace it is still a good point to raise as blogs theses days reach around the world. A lot of the points we raise can apply with leaflet distribution across the country (dare I say globe!).

Don’t just pick the first one you come to – as with anything, get quotes, research the firm. Look at who they are using to distribute leaflets – is it teenagers or adults, and are they being paid fairly. Think about it would you seriously walk about for 6 hours, carrying heavy leaflets (1,000 of these things can weigh up to 3 kg if not more) in all weathers, and only being paid £15 for the full day! That works out at only £2.50 per hour!

Like many distribution firms we ensure that our distributors are paid fairly and are paid in line with current legislation.  (As of April 2016 that is £7.20 per hour).

Cowboy companies exist in all industries.  They will promise the earth but once you pay them they disappear leaving you out-of-pocket and harming your reputation as a responsible business in the community

“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”

James Goldsmith

.Being Unprepared For The Rush

Ok, so you have planned to get your message out there, recruited a reputable distribution firm (us hopefully!) and got everything in place.

One thing that many companies forget about is should your campaign work, can you deal with the increased volume of traffic?

If a customer wants to redeem an offer they want to be able to do it quickly or have any questions answered as soon as possible – not hang about in a queue (in person or on the phone).  Give your prospective customers the best experience possible and even if they don’t buy anything from that offer you will have planted the seed for the future.

This highlights the pitfall of a mass flood of a town/postcode – everyone gets the leaflet at the same time and potentially visit/call you at the same time.  Stagger the distribution, remember we at Ayrshire Leaflet Distribution can store your full stock of leaflets until you tell us when and where you want them delivered.

Allowing extra staff to focus on phone calls – putting an extra staff member on the shop floor  are two options.

If this is not an option for you, you need to be sensible about your own capabilities of dealing with enquiries.  If you are a true one man band, by all means state a preference for times for enquiries – if you know you have a quiet period from 9am till Noon, why not advertise that as the best time to contact you about the offer.

At least with that information any potential customers will know your availability to deal with enquiries.  Be honest with your customers – they will appreciate it!

“He who demands well, should fulfill his demands well.”

Hebraic Proverb


And that’s it for this week, just a few ideas to make any leaflet distribution you plan to run work for you.

If you have any other tips that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

Reading this blog has inspired you to try a leaflet distribution of your own for your business why not get in touch with us and see if we can help you.  Either call us on 01563 257120 or drop us an email at ian@ayrshireleafletdistribution.co.uk to find out more.

Plan it, Sort it, Deliver it (3)

Plan it, Sort it, Deliver it (3)

Welcome back to the final part of our look into how a distribution runs from start to finish!

As you know by now we are dealing with a fictional order from Joe at My Bike Shop, he has planned it (part 1) and we have sorted it (part 2).  So the natural progression is to get the leaflets delivered!

DELIVER IT!

I went into detail about deliveries and our use of GPS Trackers last week, so I wont repeat myself – if you want to read about this just click the link below:

We know where your leaflets are…..

Once Joe’s leaflets are delivered the trackers are returned to the office and checked.

Should we find any irregularities on the tracker they would be dealt with.  Any missed streets would be caught up with at no extra cost to Joe, as long as we have the leaflets to do so.

You might think, well thats it.  Joe’s leaflets are out there, he just needs to sit back and wait for the response.

You would be wrong, once the trackers are back the file is passed to Alan our Customer Care Representative, this is the last link in the chain.

Once the distribution is complete Joe will receive a maximum of 2 phone calls/emails from Alan.  The first, usually within 48 hours of completion,  is confirmation that the job is complete and on which day it was done.  This is also the point that Joe will find out how many leaflets he has left (if any!).

Stock level information is important, if you are planning a long campaign over 2 or 3 months or are using the same leaflet for a larger area, you really need to know stock levels.  The last thing you want is to run out of leaflets of a campaign that is paying off.  This stock information allows you to plan ahead, so you know you have enough to achieve your aims.

The second is  our new Customer Care Call.  Alan will generally email Joe over the following week to conduct a short survey.  The reason for an email over a call means that Joe can focus on his main priority, his business, then take time to complete the survey.  The survey itself may take only 5 minutes to complete, but for a shop owner 5 minutes away from the business is a long time.

We make a point of not chasing customers who receive surveys they are optional to every customer who receives one.

Lets say, for argument, Joe is happy and returns the survey.  Thats it, Alan closes the file and aside from the invoice and payment the job is complete.  A note is made not to send another survey for at least 6 months should Joe use us again.

This survey allows Joe to say what he thinks about the service he received.  The option to speak to Alan directly is open to him as well, but we use a paper survey purely as a lot of people like to think about things like this rather than be pressured into a quick answer.

All feedback, for all firms is important and I would encourage you to always complete a feedback survey.  In general, its 5 minutes of your time, why not fill it in and have a cuppa at the same time!

“Silent customers can be deadly.  Encourage them to complain”

Ron Kaufman

All we (or any firm) want is an honestaccount about the way you were dealt with.  Use these forms to highlight minor things that didn’t work, offer suggestions for improvement or to praise a member of staff you dealt with.  So many people focus on the negative side of feedback, but remember a kind word about a staff member may result in a reward for that member of staff, an overall morale boost and (in my opinion) it makes you feel good.

On the flip side a small survey is not the place to raise a major complaint or similar.  If you feel something is really wrong, please contact us immediately.  You will be surprised how much easier it is to sort a complaint while a distribution is in progress.  We can easily temporaily halt a distribution but if you leave it too long to raise a major issue the danger is that all your leaflets are out and we cant get them back!

I hope the past 3 days have been interesting for you.  I guess the overall message from this is – if you want to know something ask us, whats the worst we can say!

If you want to speak to us further about how a leaflet distribution can help your business in Ayrshire, just give us a call on 01563 257120 or drop Ian an email on ian@ayrshireleafletdistribution.co.uk to see what we can do for you!  If you visit our facebook page you can also get a £25 discount on your next distribution just by liking us and sharing the post at the top of the wall.