What makes an effective business flyer? – a Small Business guide

Nine out of 10 of us remember a business flyer through our letterbox. But designing an effective business flyer needs careful thought, says Simon Cooper

Advertising your small business using products, services and promotions can be integral to getting that groundswell of support you need. A business flyer is an especially effective way of getting a customer’s attention.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 89 per cent of people remember a flyer which has been dropped through their door.

That’s a staggering statistic and one that shows how effective flyers are at getting through to an audience when they’re handed out. At the very least, flyers guarantee your brand is put in front of your target market’s eyes, for a reasonable cost.

Use the right design, colours, fonts and messaging, and you can create an invaluable marketing tool that’ll help make your promotion a success.

>See also: 4 small business digital marketing trends you need to know in 2020

#1 – Before designing, planning is vital

To create a business flyer that makes an impact, it’s vital to understand:

  • Who you’re advertising to
  • What you’re promoting
  • When your promotion is happening
  • Where it’s happening
  • How it will benefit people

Knowing the answers to these questions will help to focus your flyer design and campaign – giving you a better chance of a higher return on your investment.

A common mistake small companies make is skipping this planning stage. This leads to rushed design and distribution, resulting in a lower response rate.

Deciding what you want to achieve with your business flyers is also important. It could be x number of attendees at your event, or however x many products sold. Try to make it something trackable, so you can measure the effectiveness of the flyers at the end of your campaign.

#2 – Choose the right message for the right audience

Knowing the purpose of your flyer is one thing, but conveying that in your brand voice, to the right audience, is another.

We’ll cover how to compose your copy shortly. But one thing that can affect the impact of your flyers is targeting the wrong audience. Knowing who your audience is, what they need, and where they gather is essential. Only then can you learn how to deliver the right message in the right place at the right time.

Market research is incredibly valuable, and it’s something you should be doing all the time using data, surveys, feedback forms etc.

Find out your audience’s:

  • Location – consider how you will have to adapt your wording and distribution
  • Interests – tailor the language and imagery you use to align with your audience
  • Needs – use messaging that appeals to a problem you could solve for your audience

#3 – Write persuasive copy that sells your promotion

The art of persuasion is something all small businesses should master in their marketing. Speaking directly to customers and providing the information they need is essential. The copy on your flyers should include these three essentials:

  • Attention-grabbing headlines – use impactful words that get your message across
  • Benefit-led text – avoid complex language and tell the reader what they’ll gain
  • Clear ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) – make clear what the next step is for the reader

Successful flyers use this combination to increase their chances of engagement with the people who read them.

By using language that sells, you can emphasise the benefits of your products, services or event to the reader. Then, by clearly signposting the next steps for the reader, you can encourage them to act and increase the chances of getting that return on your investment.

>See also: How to get 1,000 followers on your small business Instagram

#4 – Pick the right layout, colours and imagery

Flyers come in all shapes, sizes and colours. To make your flyer a success, use design that guarantees it’ll stand out from the crowd. Sometimes, choosing an alternative shape or colour scheme can be the difference.

Use a combination of images and text. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of people are visual learners, so using imagery and graphics that convey your message can help to make your business flyer more effective.

But it’s also vital to balance this with supporting text that transmits all the necessary information. That way you will ensure people who read it know exactly what you’re advertising and what action to take next.

As a rule, your design should focus on:

  • Layout – ensure an ordered flow, where headlines and CTAs take prominence
  • Colours – follow brand colours as much as possible, but make your design stand out
  • Fonts – use legible fonts that fit in with your branding and promotion
  • Images – relevant visuals that tell the story of your advertisement

Professional design is paramount. If you don’t have the confidence or time to tackle it yourself, employing a graphic designer or printing service is recommended.

#5 – Don’t forget the small stuff either

The supporting details of your promotion are just as important as the main headlines and CTAs. Try to be brief, remember, you’re working with limited space.

Make sure your flyer includes:

  • Company contact info: address, social tags, email, phone number
  • Event details: date, time, location, attendees or features
  • Product details: pricing, discounts, specifications

Remember, the smallest details can be the difference between someone interacting with your business or discarding your flyer without acting.

#6 – Distributing them in the right places

When it comes to the performance of flyers for business, distribution is crucial. Where, when and how you hand them out can be the difference between a flyer that’s retained and acted on, and one that’s simply discarded.

Using your audience insights, think about where they’re most likely to be – and when. Target those times and places if you’re distributing flyers on the streets. For instance, handing them out to commuters outside a train station.

Similarly, if you’re conducting a door drop, use your market research to target worthwhile postcodes. That way you’re hitting a geographical areas and demographics that are productive for your brand.

Before distributing leaflets, remember to obtain the necessary permits for door drops and flyering.

Think about your business flyer

In summary, the effectiveness of your flyers depends upon how you plan, design and distribute them. By taking the time to think about what you want to achieve, understanding your audience and creating a professional design, you can create flyers that are an invaluable and inexpensive marketing tool.

Simon Cooper is managing director of Solopress

Further reading on marketing

6 hacks to improve your small business digital marketing

Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper is managing director of Solopress.