Published July 5, 2024
13 min read

Introduction to leaflet advertising

Think leaflet advertising is a thing of the past? Think again.

In a world where online marketing seems to be the norm, it’s easy to overlook the enduring power of traditional advertising methods. However, leaflet advertising has stood the test of time and continues to be a relevant and effective strategy. So marketers ignore it at their peril!

Leaflet advertising offers a unique opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level. It’s a tangible, cost-effective way to reach out and make a lasting impression. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large corporation, leaflet advertising can be a real game-changer.

In this guide, the experts at Blue Media Marketing share everything you need to know about this tried and tested marketing strategy. Throughout, we’ll share years of insight and best practice, but if you want to use leaflet marketing and there is something we haven’t covered, let us know!

What is leaflet advertising?

Leaflet marketing is a time-honoured method of promoting goods and services. Sidestepping the digital clutter by using tangible, printed materials, leaflets are more memorable than online advertising.

Leaflet advertising covers a wide range of marketing communications and distribution methods. But whether it’s a vibrant flier, an informative pamphlet, or a sleek brochure, it’s always a great way to engage potential customers.

From door-to-door drops to event giveaways and direct mail campaigns, the goal remains the same: placing your message directly into the hands of your desired audience.

Here are just some of the most common marketing formats used in leaflet marketing campaigns:

  • Leaflets/Flyers. Cost-effective and simple, these are the most common choices for most leaflet advertising campaigns.
  • Postcards. Small yet impactful, postcards are perfect for announcing special promotions and discounts, grabbing attention with their compact design.
  • Brochures/Pamphlets. Ideal for conveying comprehensive details about a business, product range, or service, these are frequently used in both B2B and B2C campaigns.
  • Catalogues. Showcasing a range of products, catalogues are especially suitable for businesses targeting specific sectors, and for product-led companies such as furniture and fashion brands.
  • Samples. Adding product samples or discount coupons/vouchers is an excellent strategy to motivate potential customers to try your offerings.

Top Tip: While traditional, more scattergun methods of leaflet distribution may no longer be as effective, a strategic approach will ensure your leaflets reach the right people, at the right time, in a memorable way. Design, print quality, data, targeting and personalisation are crucial if you want to make a significant impact with your leaflet marketing efforts.

Compelling leaflet marketing statistics

Leaflet advertising is a tried and tested way to get your message in front of those who matter most. And encourage them to take action.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. The industry stats don’t lie:

  • A whopping 95% of mail is engaged with and has some form of physical interaction from consumers. (JICMAIL)
  • 89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing – more than any other marketing channel (Data & Marketing Association)
  • 87% of recipients describe mail as believable (Royal Mail
  • 45% of people keep leaflets on a pinboard or in the kitchen drawer (Data & Marketing Association)
  • With a minimum distribution spend of just £200, businesses could reach 8,000 potential new customers with door-to-door leaflet distribution (Royal Mail
  • The proportion of direct mail driving web visits is growing 50% year-on-year. (Data & Marketing Association)

The 3 main leaflet marketing methods

Leaflet marketing comes in various forms. Whether you want to blanket a neighbourhood, drum up potential event attendees, or connect with other businesses, there’s a format and distribution method that fits your needs.

The best approach for your next leaflet advertising campaign will depend on who you want to talk to and what you want to say (amongst other things).

By understanding the available options, you can choose the most appropriate strategy for your business. Ensuring your message reaches the right people in the most impactful way.

  1. Door-to-door leaflet advertising

    Ideal for reaching a broad audience within a defined location, door-to-door leaflet marketing involves distributing leaflets directly to households within a targeted area.

    When done well, it allows for cost-effective distribution, while creating an immediate impact within the community.Door-to-door leaflet advertising is great for:

    • Promoting a new local store 
    • Offering deals on local services
    • Announcing a community event

    But if you want to make your advertising count, you can’t rely on generic, one-size-fits-all leaflet campaigns.

    Instead, by strategically selecting the most relevant postcodes, you will ensure your message lands at the doorsteps of those most likely to be interested in your business.

    Top Tip: Solus and Shared are the two most popular door-to-door leaflet distribution methods. With Solus, your leaflets are distributed individually, without other promotional collateral, so they are more likely to stand out. With Shared, your leaflets are delivered alongside marketing material from other businesses at a lower delivery cost. The correct distribution method is critical to your leaflet marketing campaign’s success. Talk to us at Blue Market Media, and we’ll ensure the right approach for you.

  2. Business-to-business leaflet advertising

    Business-to-business (B2B) leaflet marketing involves distributing leaflets directly to potential business customers at their workplace, either by mail or through in-person visits.

    B2B leaflet marketing is ideal for companies that offer a wide range of products or services, including office supplies, professional services, or industrial equipment.

    By focusing on prospective business buyers’ unique needs and challenges, your leaflets can provide tailored solutions that resonate with decision-makers and influencers, fostering valuable relationships and driving sales.

    Because B2B brands aren’t just talking to businesses, they’re talking to the people who work in them.

    You can use B2B leaflet advertising at various stages of the sales funnel to nurture leads, build relationships, and drive conversions:

    1. Top-of-funnel. Leaflet advertising can be a highly effective tool for businesses looking to introduce their brand and create awareness.
    2. Mid-funnel. Once your potential buyers know who you are, it’s time to build trust, educate them further about what you do, and position your offerings as solutions to their pain points.
    3. Bottom-of-funnel. At this stage, your potential buyers know who you are and what you can do for them. So it’s time to get them across the finish line.
  3. Hand-to-hand leaflet advertising

    Hand-to-hand leaflet marketing involves directly engaging with potential customers. Marketing materials are distributed in bustling areas like shopping centres, train stations, or event venues, making it an excellent choice for time-sensitive promotions, sale offers, or event invitations.

    Hand-to-hand leaflet advertising is particularly effective if you want to create a connection with your audience.

    As well as allowing for immediate feedback and engagement, the personal method of distribution can also leave a lasting impression on potential customers. But giving out large quantities of leaflets in person doesn’t mean you can’t be strategic.

    Unless you’re in a location where everyone is a potential customer, don’t distribute your leaflets willy-nilly.

    Instead, identify your desired audience and locations and focus your efforts accordingly.

    For example, if you own a new women’s fashion boutique, you might want to include the following in your leaflet distribution strategy:

    • Location: Position yourself near stores that complement your business, such as beauty salons, high-end shoe stores, or popular women’s clothing brands. At Fashion-Related Events: If there are any fashion shows, pop-up events, or makeup demos happening in the shopping centre, distribute your leaflets there where attendees have a demonstrated interest in fashion.
    • Customer: Look for shoppers who are already browsing similar fashion stores or who appear fashion-conscious. Politely approach them and briefly explain what makes your boutique special before handing them a leaflet.
    • Offer: Include a special promotion on your leaflet, such as a discount on their first purchase or an exclusive invite to a VIP shopping event. This adds value and increases the likelihood that they will visit your store.
    • Multi-Channel: Add a QR code to your leaflet that links to your boutique’s social media pages or a special landing page with more information and online promotions. This can engage tech-savvy shoppers and drive online interaction.

When to use leaflet marketing

The best time to use leaflet marketing depends on your business’s goals and the nature of your message.

If you’re running a local business, distributing leaflets door-to-door can help you effectively announce grand openings, seasonal sales, or special promotions.

For companies with a more extensive reach, leaflets handed out at trade shows, fairs, or busy public places can capture the attention of a diverse audience.

Additionally, when you need to update local customers about changes in your business, leaflet drops can ensure your message is delivered straight to their hands.

8 reasons why B2B & B2C brands choose leaflet marketing

  1. Promote a service and acquire new customers

    Leaflets are perfect for publicising your products and services. Compact yet informative, they help educate potential customers and encourage them to buy what you are selling.

    Whether you’re introducing new products or highlighting time-tested expertise, leaflets should engage recipients and start them on the journey towards becoming a new customer.

  2. To share information in local areas

    Whether launching a new store, changing your business hours, relocating, having a sale, or introducing new products, leaflets ensure your updates effectively reach local customers.

    Leaflets are also ideal for broadcasting public sector messages in the local community – from rallying political support to keeping residents informed during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. To retain existing customers

    Leaflet distribution isn’t just for acquiring new customers; you can also use it to re-engage, nurture, and retain existing clientele.

    Repeat business is essential for long-term success, and leaflets serve as effective touchpoints for reconnecting with loyal patrons, reminding them of the value your business offers and reaffirming their relationship with your brand.

    By strategically incorporating targeted messaging and personalised offers into your leaflet campaigns, you can tailor your outreach efforts to match the preferences and interests of existing customers, further solidifying their loyalty.

  4. Announce special events

    From store openings to community drop-ins, leaflets help you quickly spread the word about upcoming events, ensuring high levels of attendance and engagement.

    Leaflets capture attention and pique curiosity, prompting recipients to take notice and mark their calendars.

    And while distributing leaflets in bustling spaces such as shopping centres can ensure widespread exposure and engagement, adding a personal touch to event invitations and sending them in the post can make recipients feel even more valued, ultimately contributing to the event’s success.

  5. Enhance brand awareness

    Regular leaflet campaigns will keep your brand top-of-mind, reinforcing your presence and creating familiarity among current and potential customers.

    The repeat exposure to your brand helps establish familiarity and trust, making it more likely that recipients will turn to your business when they need your products or services.

    Moreover, regular leaflet campaigns provide opportunities to showcase different aspects of your brand, such as new products, services, or promotions.

  6. Offer promotional discounts

    Including coupons or exclusive deals in your leaflets encourages recipients to engage with your business.

    These discounts appeal to consumers’ desire for savings and value, prompting them to visit your store or website to redeem the offer. Promotional discounts can also build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.

  7. Support your wider marketing campaigns

    Leaflet distribution can complement your online and social media marketing efforts, providing a multi-channel approach that maximises your reach and impact.

    For example, a recipient who sees your advertisement on social media may be more likely to take action if they later receive a leaflet promoting the same offer or promotion.

  8. Widen your customer base

    Leaflet distribution allows you to reach audiences that may not be easily accessible through online channels.

Not everyone is active on social media or regularly checks their email, but nearly everyone encounters physical printed materials in their daily lives.

6 key benefits of leaflet marketing

There are significant benefits to using leaflet marketing. Especially when you use a clever combination of demographic and location targeting, creative magic, and an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour.

But to maximise success rates, boost ROI, and achieve your desired marketing outcomes, you have to know what you are doing.

Here are just some of the potential benefits of a well-executed leaflet marketing campaign:

  1. Cost-effective marketing 

    One of the most significant benefits of leaflet marketing is its cost-effectiveness compared to other types of advertising such as television, radio, and online ads.

    This benefit makes it an ideal choice for small businesses, local businesses, and startups with limited marketing budgets.

    By producing high-quality leaflets in bulk, you can maximise your reach without breaking the bank, significantly reducing the price per leaflet.

    And if you want to stretch your budget even further, targeting can help you to generate the best possible ROI.

  2. Tangible collateral that boosts response rates

    When a leaflet is delivered directly to someone’s home or business, it has a high chance of being noticed and read, thus heightening brand exposure and engagement.

    Also, as leaflets are tangible, people often keep them for future reference, pin them on notice boards, or share them with friends and family – meaning your message stays in their minds longer than a fleeting digital ad might.

    Leaflets are less forgettable than digital advertisements, with mail having a 35% better recall than social media advertising and 49% more than email. (Royal Mail)

  3. Targeted advertising that maximises engagement

    You can distribute leaflets in specific towns or streets, at local events, or through direct mail to households that fit your target demographic.

    Advanced Mosaic data from Experian and Geoplan software ensure that your marketing material never gets lost in random letterboxes.

    This approach increases the likelihood that your message will resonate with recipients, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

  4. GDPR-compliant marketing

    Door drops involve the delivery of promotional materials to addresses in a particular area, such as all the houses on a street or in a neighbourhood, without targeting specific individuals.

    This differs from direct mail, which is addressed to specific people and usually based on personal data.

    As door drops do not use personal data, there is no need to worry about GDPR.

  5. Measurable results to track ROI

    You need to be sure that your leaflet marketing is delivering, and by incorporating unique codes on your leaflets, you can track how many people respond to your campaigns.

    This provides valuable insights into your marketing efforts and helps you make intelligent, data-driven decisions to improve future campaigns.

  6. Proven channel that has never gone out of fashion

    Experts have traced the earliest examples of leaflet advertising back to ancient civilisations.

    For example, a Buddhist text printed in 868 AD called the "Diamond Sutra” included a woodblock printed flyer promoting copies of the text.

    Over the years, countless B2B and B2C businesses have successfully used leaflets to drive traffic, increase sales, and build brand awareness.

    Today, this enduring success underscores the value and effectiveness of leaflet marketing and has solidified its role as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

The 10 best practices for leaflet advertising success

Leaflet marketing can be a powerful and effective audience engagement tool. But to ensure your door drops don’t end up in the bin, you must be strategic.

Here are ten essential steps to create an impactful leaflet marketing campaign that drives results.

  1. Determine your campaign goals

    Let’s start with the basics. What do you want your leaflets to do? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, promote a special offer, or generate sales?

    Before designing your leaflet, you must set clear, measurable goals for your campaign. Once you know what you want to achieve, keep this in mind when shaping your leaflets’ content, design, and distribution strategy.

  2. Define your target audience

    An understanding of your target audience underpins all effective marketing. Consider who you are trying to reach with your leaflets by establishing their demographics, interests, and behaviours.

    Once you know your ideal customer, you can tailor your message and design to appeal directly to them. The more specific you are, the more likely your leaflets will resonate and prompt action.

  3. Make it personal

    It’s easy to add personalisation to a direct mail campaign because you know exactly who you are talking to.

    Likewise, addressing recipients by their names can also improve engagement and response rates. But what if you don’t have an individual’s information to rely on?

    The good news is that you can create an effective leaflet campaign without relying on personal data (meaning you don’t have to worry about GDPR!).

    You can still run a targeted campaign by strategically delivering to those postcodes where your ideal customers live and incorporating what you know about them into your leaflet design and messaging.

  4. Get the timing and frequency right 

    Timing and frequency are crucial to the success of your leaflet campaigns. Determine the best time to distribute your leaflets based on your audience’s behaviour and your campaign goals.

    For example: 

    • If you’re promoting a seasonal sale, ensure your leaflets are distributed well before the event.
    • If you are sending out offers from a local takeaway, make sure the leaflet lands on a Friday to maximise sales over the weekend.
  5. Focus on quality design

    Design plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of advertising leaflets. Well-designed flyers capture attention and make a positive first impression, while successful design ensures your message is clear and concise.

    Good design should also evoke emotions and create a connection with your target audience.

    Amongst other things, critical elements for an effective leaflet design include a clear and compelling headline, engaging visuals, key branding elements, persuasive and easy-to-read text, and a strong call to action.

  6. Create a strong offer

    Your leaflet should include a compelling offer that motivates the reader to take action. Whether it’s a discount, a free trial, or an exclusive event invitation, ensure the offer is clear and enticing.

    Highlight the benefits and create a sense of urgency to encourage an immediate response. Add phrases like "limited time offer," "act now," or "while supplies last" to drive quicker responses.

    Even if you are not running a specific promotion, you can still use compelling and persuasive language to prompt quick action.

    Additionally, consider the frequency of your distributions. A single drop might not be enough, but repeated exposure can reinforce your message and boost results.

  7. Use a compelling CTA

    As we have established, when planning an impactful leaflet campaign, you have to decide what you want the recipients to do.

    Armed with this information, you then ensure your direct mail succinctly communicates the desired action without confusion. This is done via a clear call-to-action (CTA). For example:

    • Show this leaflet to get 20% off your first purchase
    • Use code LEAFLET20 for an exclusive discount online
    • Exclusive invite: VIP shopping night! Present this leaflet for entry
    • This week only: 10% off all items with this leaflet
    • Sign up for our loyalty program using this code and earn rewards!
    • Book a free consultation today! Call us or visit our website.

    But CTAs don’t just tell recipients what to do, with the addition of unique codes and tracking links, they also give you an easy way to evaluate your campaign’s success.

  8. Use high-quality paper

    The quality of the paper you use matters, with 50% of consumers agreeing that low-quality paper/packaging is likely to give your mail piece a negative impression (Direct Mail Industry Report).

    High-quality paper doesn’t just feel more substantial and professional; it also results in more durable and long-lasting products.

    This is particularly beneficial for items that may be handled frequently. In addition to higher-quality paper, you should also ensure quality ink so your message is not lost should it get wet!

  9. Use a trusted delivery partner

    Undependable leaflet distribution companies won’t get your leaflets to your potential customers. That’s why you should consider our proven delivery network for your leaflet drops.

    One of our partners, Royal Mail, has several benefits over other delivery companies and has earned its reputation for being an extremely reliable and efficient delivery partner.

    Delivering to almost 30 million homes and businesses across the UK, Royal Mail covers those hard-to-reach rural addresses and security-controlled flats that other companies struggle with.

    There’s something impactful about receiving a well-designed leaflet delivered by Royal Mail. So, when someone gets a door drop from Royal Mail, they are more likely to read and keep it.

  10. Track your campaign’s performance

    Measuring the success of your leaflet campaign is essential. Trackable elements such as unique codes, QR codes, or custom landing pages will help monitor responses.

    As well as gaining insights into what worked and what didn’t, you can use this understanding to optimise and improve future campaigns.Book your leaflet campaign with Blue Market Media

Book your leaflet marketing campaign with Blue Market Media

Blue Market Media offers a comprehensive solution to all your leaflet advertising needs.

Through our trusted distribution network, we ensure your leaflets reach your potential customers on time every time. By sending your advertising with the household post, we also ensure your messages are read, not dismissed as junk mail.

Offering a complete turnkey service, we work with you to ensure the successful strategy, design, copy, print and distribution of your leaflet advertising campaigns.

With top-notch services that won’t let your business down, our commitment to customer excellence means you can trust us to provide exceptional service, impressive ROI, and premium results.

Whether you want to send out 10k or 500k+ leaflets in your next campaign, we offer a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that our competitors can’t match.

  • Turnkey Service – we manage design, print and distribution.
  • National Reach – of up to 30 million properties across all UK postcodes.
  • Customer Profiling – maximise ROI by only reaching your target audience.
  • Fast Turnaround – quick and efficient turnaround for all leaflet campaigns.
  • Campaign Reporting – detailed leaflet distribution reporting and analysis.

Call us today at 020 3538 9753 or complete our website enquiry form to book your free leaflet advertising consultation.

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