Is Flyer Advertising Effective?

Before you go to the trouble of designing, writing, and printing advertising flyers, you probably want to know if this old-school method of generating interest in your business actually works. Nobody wants to spend hours standing in the hot sun giving flyers to people who will immediately throw them away!

Even though modern marketing strategies focus mostly on digital strategies, the answer to, “Do flyers work,” is a resounding yes. There is a reason why this marketing method survived for so many years. The old strategy of passing out flyer material is a great way to make contact with potential customers, stand out, and distribute information about your company to a wide audience.

Of course, the effectiveness of your flyer campaign will depend on a few different factors, including the design and distribution strategy. As long as you follow the guidelines for running an effective flyer marketing campaign, you will find that it is very effective.

How Effective Are Flyers for Marketing?

Before incorporating any marketing strategy into your business, whether you’re expanding into digital or thinking of printing out flyers, you want to know how effective it will be. After all, there’s no point in sinking all your efforts into an advertising method that most of the public will just ignore.

The good news is that flyers are among the most effective forms of advertising in terms of generating interest. According to some studies, over 75% of people who get a flyer at least glance at the message they receive. Many of those same people hold on to the flyers they receive or share them with neighbors.

The importance of this statistic cannot be overstated. Today’s consumers are bombarded with advertising from all directions—and that means they also become experts at tuning out advertisements. About 81% of consumers just ignore printed ads in media and even more scroll past digital ads without looking.

Just getting people’s attention is very important, but your flyer marketing strategy will also lead to more conversions than digital or print ads. Thanks to these statistics, you can see that flyers are very effective indeed!

Why Are Flyers So Effective?

Why flyers? What is it about these pieces of print media that enable them to cut through the noise of advertising and attract potential customers? There are actually a few reasons that explain the effectiveness of this advertising method.

Flyers are tangible. It’s harder to ignore a piece of paper in the mail or on the door than it is to ignore a printed ad in a circular. The physical reminder of your business will make it stick in people’s minds. If you use eye-catching designs and text, your message will stick in people’s minds even more.

Flyers make it easier to target the people who are most likely to be your paying customers. While digital ad targeting is becoming more and more sophisticated, there’s nothing like drawing a radius around your business and going out to meet your neighbors. Plus, flyers allow you to reach people who may tune out other advertising methods, whether intentionally or unintentionally, because they don’t use the Internet or buy newspapers.

The effectiveness of flyers contrasts with their relatively low cost. Printing and designing flyers is inexpensive. If you distribute the flyers by hand, you don’t even have to pay for distribution costs. For businesses that are just starting out, this makes flyers a vital advertising method. Not only do flyers work, but they also work without affecting your bottom line.

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More About Advertising Flyers

Now that you know more about why flyers work, you should learn more about this advertising method in general.

Flyers are paper advertisements that contain information about a business. They come in several different sizes and formats. You can print full-page flyers that are full of information about your business or narrow rack card flyers that are easy to hand out and tuck into people’s bags. You also have plenty of options in terms of distribution methods and delivery strategies.

The history of flyers goes back to the history of mass printing and literacy. For centuries, flyers were vital for communication, marketing, and even political campaigning. Even though much of the advertising economy has shifted to digital, nobody can deny that flyers are still an effective way to reach large groups of people.

How to Make a Great Advertising Flyer

No matter which size or format you decide on for your flyers, one thing stays the same: you have to design an effective flyer for the campaign to actually work. Luckily, the principles for creating an effective flyer are pretty simple.

A flyer’s advertising is a highly visual medium that relies on strong design to draw in the viewer’s attention. Use bright, contrasting colors that are not garish or clashing to draw people’s attention. Try to use the same colors that you use in the rest of your brand’s marketing to maintain a consistent visual identity. If someone has seen your business storefront or online marketing before, you want them to feel a sense of familiarity when they see your flyers.

Another important part of designing your print flyers is your choice of images. Most of the space on your flyer should be dedicated to an eye-catching image. Use a high-quality photo taken by a professional or a crisp design that clearly shows the reader what you are trying to sell. For example, if you are advertising for a landscaping business, use a photo of a gorgeously maintained lawn.

Design is important, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect the text. The design is one way to get people’s attention, but you can also intrigue people with a clever, catchy headline. The rest of your text should tell people enough information about your business that they see how you can help improve their lives. Include vital information, such as operating hours and contact information, but avoid overloading the reader.

Finally, no flyer is complete without a strong call to action. Before you launch your campaign, you should be very clear about what you want people to do—should they visit your store? Call you? State your call to action clearly. Flyers are most effective when you have an incentive or a special offer, such as a discount for bringing in the flyer or an urgent sale that customers should go to before it’s too late.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Flyer Marketing

Your flyer marketing strategy should also include a strategy for tracking the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Tracking the effectiveness can help you gather information for future campaigns by looking at what works and what doesn’t.

You have a few options for tracking the success of your advertising flyers, ranging from the highly digital to the old school. However, all of these strategies will benefit from a few tips. The most important is to understand what a successful flyer campaign looks like to you. Are you trying to get more visitors or to sell a particular product? Once you know what you are trying to achieve, you know what you have to track.

The other key to success is to begin measuring the effectiveness of your campaign immediately. You never know when your customer conversions will start, so be ready with your tracking information as soon as you distribute your first flyers. You want a clear picture of the success of your campaign, not to be worried that you’re failing but you just started tracking too late.

Measuring Traffic

The easiest way to track the effectiveness of your flyers is to just measure how much traffic you get, both in-store and online if you direct customers to a website, before and after flyer distributions. If you notice a significant jump in visitors around the time that you distributed your flyers, then you can see that your idea is working.

This method is the easiest, but it is also the least sophisticated. You can never know for sure how many of your new visitors came due to your flyers (unless they tell you) and how many came because of another reason.

Harness Technology

Even though flyers are an old-school method of advertising, you can still use technology to your advantage. Add a special website URL or a QR code to each flyer, then track how many people visit those links. Once you set up the link, all you have to do is sit back and watch the visitor numbers.

However, this method requires a certain amount of tech-savvy to know how to create personalized links. It also is not as effective if your goal is something more physical, such as getting more visitors to your store.

Create a Coupon

A highly effective method to get more visitors and to track the success of your flyer is to offer a coupon or a discount if people bring the flyers to the store. You can even use this method for online sales by equipping each flyer with a unique code that gives customers a discount. While creating a discount requires some additional effort at the beginning, for example when setting out clear terms and conditions, it goes a long way toward getting more people interested in your business.

How to Pass Out Flyers

Once you have your flyers designed and printed, and you have a strategy for giving them out and tracking their success, the only thing left is to actually pass them out. There are a few methods that you can use for passing out flyer you can use, depending on your resources and strategies.

In-Person Handouts

One tried-and-true method is to stand on the street near your business and hand out flyers to passersby. Before doing this, check local regulations about soliciting so you don’t get in trouble for disturbing the peace.

This is a great way to build personal relationships with potential customers because you can talk to them about your business as you hand out flyers. However, you need to have the stamina to stand outside for several hours and the resources so that abandoning your main duties won’t hurt your business.

click to book a demo version
Click to book a demo version

Door-to-Door Distribution

Another method of reaching customers directly is to distribute flyers door-to-door. This is particularly effective if you have door hanger flyers. Most areas allow businesses to distribute flyers to houses as long as you don’t ring people’s doorbells and disturb them, but check local rules before you go into the field to make sure.

You can distribute flyers yourself, pay your employees to do it, or hire a contractor to do it for you. If you’re running a political campaign, you can even get your volunteers to give out flyers during their canvassing shifts. Door-to-door distribution requires some resources and coordination but is a great way to reach people in your target audience.

An alternative to going door-to-door is to go car-to-car and place flyers under the windshield wipers of parked cars. Hit streets near your business so you probably reach people that live or work near you.

Through the Mail

Finally, you can also send flyers through the mail. You can get a list of addresses in your area and print them directly onto your flyers. Then, distributing the flyers is as easy as paying for postage and going to the post office.

Sending flyers through the mail is easier than hitting the pavement, but it is more expensive because you have to pay for postage. If you don’t want to pay just to mail out flyers, you can try to merge flyers with another package. For example, put a flyer advertising new products in with existing orders or coordinate with a local newspaper to slip flyers in with the paper.


Don’t believe anyone who tells you print advertising is not effective anymore. Handing out flyers is one of the most effective marketing strategies. People are more likely to look at flyers and share them with friends than they do with any other method of advertising.

As long as you have a well-crafted marketing strategy, complete with eye-catching design, a great distribution plan, and a method for tracking your success, flyers can bring in a lot of traffic to your business.

Shelly Parker

Shelly Parker