A recipe for depressing consumers and marketers alike! Here they are laid out on my kitchen counter:

The quality of “stuffing” in our letter boxes certainly justifies this paper waste being called Junk Mail! Here’s a sample from just one day, which is typical of type and quality SME (small medium enterprise) Junk Mail versus big retailer catalogs.

These are 2 distribution companies:

1. Letterbox Deals which comes in a brochure format – this one had around 30 pages and 27 Advertisers

2. Business Link, which is Local Advertising company which sells the space, prints and then distributes into mailbox – they had 21 advertisers all as loose leaf or brochures in different sizes and formats.

The overall standard of these and all other junk mail I have ever received is pathetic.

Most rules of design and copywritng have been broken / ignored (fact is the owners of these brands just don’t know what they don’t know).

Letterbox Deals – 8 out of 27 were just reasonable, or at least acceptable.

Business Link – 1 out of 21 was good (and it was a Franchise – Step Into Life), 1 was ok, the rest a perfect example of what not to do when it comes to Copywriting and Design.

The ratio of terrible to reasonable is the same in your local newspaper, Manufacturer’s Monthly and most other trade mags.

Interestingly the standard in North America (USA and Canada) is much higher, due to the more competitive nature of their markets.

The only reason most of these businesses are still alive is because their competition is just as bad and consumers have effectively no choice!

And here’s the bit that makes me happy – business owners who get this will prosper with the proper content strategy: by developing a brand, communicating clearly, effectively and utilizing basic communication principles.