Using a dog walking flyer to advertise is a great way to attract pet parents to your pet sitting business. It’s important to design and structure your flyer so that it appeals to the people in your target market. One of the phrases you’ll find on most marketing blogs is “make sure your advertisement has a purpose”. This means that you need to answer the question “who am I trying to reach with this ad, and what am I trying to get them to do?” Once you have answered this question, you’ll be able to apply marketing best practices and create a winning dog walking flyer.
Lead with the Benefit
The headline of your flyer needs to pull the pet parent in and entice them to keep reading. At Scout, we use a method called “leading with the benefit”. Just ask yourself “why do pet parents need my services?” Start by identifying your target market for this flyer. Before becoming a dog walker, I worked long hours and often needed last-minute walking and overnight services. As a result, I started my pet sitting business, Walk It Like A Dog, 10 years go. My plan was to cater to people who needed those services. The benefit I provide is that they can work long hours and still have a companion pet.
With a target market of young professionals who work long, unpredictable hours, my headline would be, “We Will Walk Your Dog While You’re at Work”. It seems almost too simple, but if you’re a pet parent who needs their dog walked while you’re at work, then this dog walking flyer is going to speak to you, and you’ll keep reading.
A sub-heading is useful to convey additional information, but remember to keep your target market in mind. We can expand on the example above by adding the following sub-heading: “Last minute appointments!”. This headline now speaks to people who work a lot and need last-minute appointments. You may be thinking, “This headline is pretty specific”, and you would be right. A single ad can’t be everything to everyone. You’ll need to do a lot of testing to see what resonates with pet parents in your area. You may need more than one flyer to reach everyone. We’ll talk about A/B testing later in this article.
Make Your Sales Pitch
Once you’ve drawn in your potential customer with a headline that solves their problem, they will be ready to commit more time to read your dog walking flyer. Now it’s time to make your sales pitch. Why should this person hire you to walk their dog? I might say something like: “Walk It Like a Dog has been providing professional dog walking services for over 10 years. Our professional staff is well trained, punctual and friendly. All of our dog walkers are insured, bonded, and certified by [insert any certifications you have here].” Now your potential customer knows why they should hire you.
Once you’ve sold your business, you need a call to action. The pet parent should be thinking, “This company sounds great!, How do I hire them?”. That’s what the call to action is for. Something like “Call to Schedule a Meet and Greet” or “Download our Pet Sitting App to Sign Up” lets the customer know what to do next.
Include Social Proof in Your Dog Walking Flyer
Social proof is a very powerful tool. People are more likely to use your services if they know someone else had a good experience. Go to your reviews page and grab a quote to add to your dog walking flyer. At Scout, we asked a few of our customers if they would provide a headshot or logo we could use along with their quote. If someone is willing to help with that, it makes the social proof your providing even more trustworthy. Here is an example from our website, but this could easily be adapted for a flyer.
Attach a Keepsake to Your Dog Walking Flyer
Chances are the person looking at your dog walking flyer isn’t going to contact you at that exact moment. For this reason, I like to give them something to take with them. If possible attach your business card or use the tear-off tags at the bottom so they will have it for later. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you just want them to take your information so they can contact you at their convenience. If you have a website or your own app, you can embed the web address in a QR code on your flyer. Anyone with a smartphone can scan the image on your flyer and it will take them to your site or mobile app.
A/B Test Your Dog Walking Flyer
You may have heard the sales term “Always be closing.” made famous in Glengarry Glen Ross. In marketing, we have a similar phrase, “Always be testing.” I mentioned earlier that you will need to test your dog walking flyer. This means you’ll design a main flyer, and then create a second, similar, flyer with only one difference. Then, you’ll pick the winning flyer and change one new aspect of it. For example, we have a flyer designed with the headline “We Will Walk Your Dog While You’re at Work”, and the sub-headline “Last Minute Appointments Available”. To A/B test this flyer, you might change it to say “We Will Walk Your Dog While You’re at Work” with the sub-headline, “Conveniently Schedule Using our App”.
Once you have 2 versions of your dog walking flyer, you’ll need a way to track which flyer your customer saw. Offering a free walk with a signup code is an easy way to do that. Don’t think of it as giving away a walk, it’s more like paying for valuable information. You could also just ask them where they saw it. If you’re placing your flyer at vet offices, use the main flyer at half the offices and use the second flyer at the other half. This goes for any location where you typically put flyers. After a month, whichever flyer got the most customers is the winner. That's your new main flyer and next time you print them, and you can change another aspect. Over time you’ll get a sense of what type of services pet parents in your area are looking for and what resonates with them.
Dog walking flyers are a tried and true advertising channel for dog walkers and pet sitters. With so many people focused on digital methods like Google and Facebook, having a physical advertisement can garner attention from pet parents in a less saturated environment. Having less competition for your customer's eyeballs can help your flyer stand out. Using best practices you can create, distribute, test and optimize your tangible ads to get the best results at the lowest cost.