Historically, they have nobly fought the cause for religious, political and social reform. In contemporary times they have taken on a less controversial role in disseminating information to the masses, but no less meaningful. The world may be at its pinnacle in digital communication and yet this lowly form of direct marketing has the power to reach people in a way no other medium can.
The success of leaflet or flyer distribution is in its low cost and uncomplicated method of spreading the word to as many people as possible in a tangible and direct way. Literally placing information into the hand of those you wish to communicate with means you are half way to moving them to action. Despite being bombarded every day by an inexhaustible supply of information to our handheld devices, a sense of expectation and reliability is gained from receiving the written word directly to your person.
What exactly is a leaflet or flyer printing and just how powerful are they as a marketing tool?
WHAT DO FLYERS LOOK LIKE?
They come under the guise of a weird and wonderful selection of labels; flyer, handbill, handout, circular, pamphlet, advertisement, plug … the list goes on but essentially describes the small slip of paper advertisement intended for wide distribution within a public place or directly to an individual. How often have we been wandering around town to be met by a character in fancy dress who thrusts a single paper rectangle into our hands from the stash in his bag? More often than not, we read the main heading and make a split-second decision to keep or discard it. The flyer has achieved its purpose in reaching the target with information giving them an opportunity to act on what they learn.
Typically, an unfolded single sheet printed on one side and approximately 8.5 “x 11” in size, flyers are designed with one objective; to get noticed. They can also be folded or placed into an envelope for mailing through customers doors but are usually handed directly to passers-by on the street. They can be printed in any colour although nowadays they most commonly come in full colour to look professional and contain a simple to the point message drawing attention to an event, product or service.
WHY USE FLYERS?
An extension of word of mouth advertising, leaflets and flyers are historically an effective way to communicate with your chosen public. During the English Civil Wars (from 1642 -1651) both the ‘Roundheads’ and ‘Cavaliers’ used printed leaflets to rally troops and to undermine the opposition. The reasons why? They were quick, easy and cost effective to produce, light on manpower and guaranteed to reach the intended persons.
Little has changed today in both the way we design and print the flyers and our reasons for continuing to produce them. In comparison to virtually any other form of advertising they are still the cheapest to print, the easiest to formulate, possibly reaching an even greater audience too. There is less demand on staff time in terms of planning and logistics, capturing a longer attention span from the recipient. People can’t help but check out what the leaflet contains, albeit instantaneous, just in case there is some form of reward or discount. They don’t like to miss out on a freebie!
The most attractive reason to use leaflet distribution is you don’t have to be a genius to come up with an effective message.
HOW TO MAKE FLYERS?
You have two options. Ask someone to design one for you or go the DIY route.
If you fancy getting creative yourself there are several online flyer layouts to custom make your own. Canva’s free flyer maker enables you to download professionally designed guides which you adapt to your own preferences. Guidance is given through each simple step with options for background, images, fonts and text. It’s recommended to outsource printing if you’re distributing substantial numbers of leaflets.
On the other hand, if staff and time are lacking contact a local printer offering professional design advice and service. You can share with them your vision in the design brief and they will take care of the rest in a very short space of time.
Ask yourself two important questions.
1) Who are you targeting specifically?
2) What are you trying to tell them?
Once you are clear on your audience and objectives for using leaflets the message will become obvious. Keep your design simple, eye catching and readable. Your design should:
- Be creative. Make your flyer stand out with a powerful image, striking colour or an unusual format such as folded or double-sided.
- Be clearly understood. The key question or message should stand out, catch attention and motivate to action.
- Be simple. Keep text to a minimum (less than 100 words). The font should be legible, appropriate and sectioned. Use bullet points to keep the message clear and to the point.
- Be high quality. Printing, reproduction and images should look professional and organised.
- Be persuasive and friendly in tone. Build purchasing confidence by checking spelling and grammar. Ensure your leaflet reflects well on your business competence.
- Be informative. Provide additional information such as your company name, logo and contact details.
- Be rewarding. Include an incentive for the user such as coupon codes and discount vouchers.
- Be measurable. Leaflet numbers, QR codes and URLs help to monitor how effective the leaflets have been.
HOW MANY FLYERS TO PRINT?
Leaflet distribution is a bit of an unknown quantity when weighing up how many to spread across the neighbourhood. If you bank on an approximate take up rate of about 3-5%* (although there are a number of variables which could alter this figure either way) then the amount you print needs to be substantial. A sample test of a small but round number, say 100, will show you how successful your message is and how responsive your public are. Take the flyers personally from door to door to ensure less are wasted and see how many are used based on returned vouchers, used URLs or point of sale figures. If there is a tangible response to the leaflets, then repeat the process increasing the number printed or reuse the design making a few necessary tweaks.
WHERE TO DISTRIBUTE THE FLYERS?
The flyers you produce need to be available wherever your chosen public may reside, hang out or pass by. This may be:
- In the street
- Under windscreen wipers
- Affixed to telegraph poles or walls
- Attached to bulletin boards
- In cafes, universities, laundrettes, meeting houses
- Inserted into newspapers
- Posted through residences
- Offered in the street, or instore
- Copied and sent via email
Never underestimate the power of these small, low profile yet highly effective marketing tools. They are still very relevant in our digital world and play an unmistakably prominent role in creating a good impression on customers, engaging with them, communicating with them and motivating them to take up the offer.
CAN WE HELP WITH YOUR FLYER & LEAFLET DESIGN?
Roller Banners UK design and print flyers in 24 hours in a variety of sizes, paper stocks, and turnaround times. Options include full colour printing, folding, next day delivery and printing of your own artwork and design. Alternatively choose the low cost, fixed price graphic design service where the experts do the leg work. Call us today on (02380) 700 111 or chat online.