Are flyers still effective?

Person Holding Flyers

For decades, Flyers have been used, with great success, to help businesses promote their products and services. But are Flyers effective in the digital age?

Official DMA stats suggest they are, showing almost 50% of people read addressed mail and more than 60% read door drops.

Let’s delve deeper into what makes them a priceless marketing tool.


What is a flyer?

A Flyer is a paper advertisement, often printed in bulk for distribution on a large scale in public places, through the post or directly handed out. The purpose of a Leaflet is often to promote a business, service or event.

We’ve outlined the door drop and addressed mail statistics, but what do these terms mean?

These are the two main types of Flyers:

  • Door drops – These Flyers don’t have an address and aren’t addressed to a ‘householder’ or ‘occupant’.
  • Addressed mail – This type of Flyer is a mail item that is addressed to a specific individual in the household.


History of Flyers and Leaflets

The history of Flyers goes back many years and is a fascinating story.

Before the invention of printing, rich merchants in Renaissance Italy would commit important information to handwritten paper newsletters. These would be passed around, detailing the latest news on wars and the economy.

As soon as printing was invented, campaigners began to use printed materials to communicate.

Flyers and Leaflets were also used in the battle for Women’s Suffrage in the early 1900s when activists campaigned for the female vote. Improving technology made Flyers easier to print and distribute.

This development continued across the middle of the 20th century – from wartime propaganda and public service information to the DIY fanzines of punk music in the 1970s.

Andy Simons, Curator of Modern British Collections at the British Library, said: “During the 1970s, photocopying came of age and made it easier for those who had something to say to use printed material to do so.”


Do Flyers work?

Put simply, yes. According to DMA statistics, Flyers are still an effective marketing tool across both addressed mail and door drop Leaflet distribution methods to reach your target audience. Here are the big numbers that back it up.

Addressed mail

  • 57% of people opened an addressed Flyer when it just arrived
  • 8% opened it within a 28-day period
  • 5% read/looked/glanced at it and 23% did so within a 28-day period
  • Leaflets and Flyers are revisited 6 times, on average

Door drops

  • 5% read/looked/glanced at an unaddressed Flyer arriving through their door
  • 16% put it aside to look at later

Besides their ability to get eyes on your business, product or service, Flyers are also:

  • Cost-effective
  • Available in a range of different Leaflet sizes
  • Let you be creative with their design


Who uses Flyers today?

It’s not just club promoters who use Flyer marketing today. Large and small businesses, individual entrepreneurs, non-profit organisations and politicians all use them for marketing.

It’s easy to see why. Not only are they an affordable way of getting key messages to your audience, but they can also target specific demographics and are easy to read.

Here are just a few examples of how Flyer printing can be used:

  • Coffee shops hand out Flyers in busy areas to divert people in their direction. Include information like location and discounts.
  • Hairdressers offering new services often utilise sending out Flyers to give the recipient a special introductory offer.
  • Tattoo artists use promotional materials such as Flyers to not only promote their shop and offers, but also to showcase their art.
  • Local politicians often use campaign Leaflets to clearly communicate their policies and show voters they are active in the community.
  • Personal trainers use Flyers to promote a new programme, boot camps or to advertise their qualifications and services.

A well-designed Leaflet is invaluable when promoting your business. If you invest time in planning the content and design, you’ll ensure the Flyer is visually-stunning and has high readability.

A great way of maximising the impact of your Leaflet is to include an eye-catching offer and call to action – find more useful information in our guide on how to create a Leaflet, written by our team of knowledgable graphic designers.


Why use Flyers?

There are several reasons why Flyers can be extremely effective at promoting your business, event, product or service.

  • An affordable way to promote – Business Flyers are a cost-effective way of spreading your brand message – inexpensive to print and distribute.
  • Quick turnaround – They can be printed at short notice. Share new offers or important news with the people who need to know fast.
  • Great for new store openings – Tell local people you’re opening nearby. Use a well-designed Flyer to introduce yourself to potential customers.
  • Perfect for events – Promote an upcoming event at short notice – for example an unexpected meeting for a local political party or charity football match.
  • Complements digital – Printed media can work alongside your digital marketing, each reinforcing the message of the other. Social media is a particularly effective way of joining your online and offline marketing strategies.
  • Easy to measure success – QR codes, specific URLs and Leaflet numbers can all be tracked, making it a measurable form of marketing.
  • The physical part of your brand – Leaflets are something people can touch. Tangible marketing material that won’t get lost in a folder full of emails.

You’ve learned the benefits of Flyers in the digital age. But before getting your message out there, you need a distribution strategy – explore how to hand out Flyers.