One of my favorite periodicals is published by a grocery store: it’s Fearless Flyer, a monthly, 4-page publication from Trader Joe’s. Fearless Flyer is a delight, I read every word, and it makes me want to buy what Trader Joe’s is selling.
The two-color Fearless Flyer uses off-white, sepia-tinged paper, with soy-based inks and old-time line drawings. In each issue, Fearless Flyer employs six copywriting practices you can use to improve your sales:
1. Provide timely information. Fearless Flyer is always tied to the season. For example, the November 2013 issue is dedicated entirely to Thanksgiving.
2. Use details. Fearless Flyer includes LOTS of relevant product detail, which is almost unheard of in supermarket advertising. For example, Fearless Flyer dedicates 189 words in the November issue to its “All Natural Fresh, Young Turkeys” item — roughly 180 words more than typical grocery advertising would dedicate to turkeys.
3. Know your audience. Fearless Flyer writes for two kinds of customers: those who want to cook and those who want to serve “ready made” fare.
In the November issue, they address a third audience: people who will be guests at Thanksgiving. Trader Joe’s offers bouquets guests can give to the holiday hosts and offers suggested greetings. For example, “I just want you to know that I love you and your turkey.”
4. Provide helpful touches. The back page includes a handy shopping list that includes every item in that month’s Flyer.
5. Use a pinch of humor. In the November issue, for example, there’s a pie section and its headline reads Pπe.
6. Sell on features and benefits, not price. You won’t find any Fearless Flyer prices printed in 90-point fonts. The emphasis is placed on features, benefits, and quality — not price.