Does Flyering Work For Small Business? Here’s What You Should Know

Strategic marketing

Every business needs to get the word out there about who they are and what they do.

Between social networks and online deal sites, digital platforms are popular for reaching customers.

But traditional aspects of the promotional mix are by no means dead.

For instance, let’s take a look at flyers, and see how one of the oldest methods around shapes up for a modern day business…

Well, what’s the point?

If you want customers, you’re going to have to let people know that you exist.

Sure, you have a website, a Facebook page and maybe even physical premises. But believe it or not, some people take very little notice of things that aren’t right in front of them.

Our attention spans are shorter than they have ever been. Which means you have to work harder than ever before to be noticed, not to mention understood. Using multiple channels, various approaches and a mixture of both traditional and modern practices will increase your visibility, which can never be a bad thing.

As with any promotional tool, your target audience is key. Capturing offline customers can add huge value to your business and win you a vital competitive edge. They can help you to cover the bases that many modern day businesses overlook.

Flyers have long been used for a range of purposes. From announcing the arrival of a new business to providing special offers. They are a succinct, adaptable and familiar way of communicating.

But do flyers still work?

Yes. But only if you get them right.

Marketing emails can be deleted before they are opened, social feed algorithms can dilute your audience and slow internet connections can increase your site bounce rate.

Straight off the bat, printed media isn’t affected by any of those obstacles, making it an ever-dependent method that many top businesses still use,to positive effect.

Consider your online activity today – have you scrolled past chunks of information and promotions without fully processing it? Probably.

Now consider your last encounter with a flyer – did you throw it away without at least reading what it was about? Highly unlikely.

Our patience with printed media vs. our online behaviour has been explored in many studies, with the majority concluding that we read more intensively on paper than we do on screen.

You want your customers to be as attentive as possible when reading about your business, so clearly printed media is a route to be explored.

But if you’re going to do it, you need to get it right.

Flyering, the right way

More often than not, your flyer acts as a first impression, which is something that you know you can’t get wrong.

As with any promotional tool, there is no guarantee of success. But it is very easy to measure your ROI with flyers by adding special codes and reference points – helping you to curb costs and make changes if you’re not enjoying a great reaction.

Slim down the chances of having your flyer ignored by considering these vital tips:

Pick your priority points

A typical flyer size can be anything from A7 to A4, depending on its purpose. Even at the bigger end of that scale, you don’t have enough room to tell your whole story or to show off your entire product line. But more importantly, people don’t have the time to read it.

If you want your flyer to make an impact, you have to pick the points you make and limit them to a select handful.

Do you want to push a certain product? Or offer a special discount? Whichever your main message is, treat it with respect and give it a little space. Your flyer will be much easier to digest if your customer can instantly see what it is trying to say.

Keep your style simple

It’s not just your message that should be simple, the design of your flyer is vital to its success.

If you’re not able to enlist the help of a designer, you can follow a few simple rules to help you go a long way:

  • Print in full colour
  • Stick to two fonts (max)
  • Align accurately
  • Split into headings and body copy
  • Make it easy to read

Don’t overcomplicate your design with lots of imagery and text effects. The easier it is to understand, and cleaner it is to look at, the more chance your customer will take in what it’s trying to say.

Make a little effort

So you’ve picked your most important messages and designed a simple, effective flyer. Now the worst thing you can do is to ruin it all when it comes to production. Cheap, faded photocopied flyers will speak volumes about your business’ attitude towards quality.

That doesn’t mean you need the finest quality paper or special printing effects.

You can still produce cost-effective flyers without cutting corners. Just shop around and do your research to make sure you are doing your message justice.

Say something worthwhile

People will easily forget the name of your business, and even what you are trying to sell, but they won’t so readily dismiss what your flyer is offering them.

Using this platform to promote special offers will bring you two great benefits – encouraging your customer to engage with your business, and giving you a tool for measuring your flyer’s success.

Be seen in the right places

Your flyer is only ever going to bring you business if it is distributed appropriately. Think about your target customer – where they live, how they shop, what they read…

Your flyer isn’t going to jump out and wave itself in front of people’s face (sorry to tell you). So when you consider your distribution strategy, think creatively, and remember that you are up against it when it comes to getting people to take notice.

Link it back to you

When you are using flyers, your ultimate goal is to have an effect. That might not always be sales – it might be website traffic, social media fans or enquiries. Set yourself up to measure any effect by ensuring your flyer links your customer right back to you.

Your website address, social handles and contact details can all feature without taking too much away from your simple design, and they will help you to see how successful your flyering is.

Go on then, fly high…

Whether flyers are already a part of your promotional mix or they’re a method you are considering, they have the potential to excel your business in a traditionally tried and tested way.

Despite being largely affordable, having a scattergun approach to flyering is a very quick way to lose money, especially for a small business.

The key to their success is considering every single stage of the process.

From effective design and clear purpose through to whose hands they will ultimately end up in.

But one of the real benefits of flyering is the ability to measure their success and adapt accordingly. The reactive nature, and quick production turnaround of them can be used to many businesses advantage.

So that’s what you need to know – why not give it a go.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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