The leaflet: marketing’s stealthy ninja

The humble leaflet, or flyer – however you wish to refer to it –  flits in and out of ours lives with such frequency, that it is only when we really think about it that we can appreciate just how important this little marketing tool is.

As with all things that are simple and actually work, it is easy to take them for granted.  Like cat’s eyes on the road or a corkscrew, and even some friends.

So what makes the flyer work? What makes this little piece of paper so effective in this digital age of fancy, schmancy marketing? Why can we just not give it up?

Because it’s a ninja, that’s why.

You read that right, a ninja. Throw anything at the flyer and it will kick it out of the court with minimal effort. Several hundred years in and the leaflet is still going strong, whilst other forms of marketing only dream of a minute in its pedestal.

And here are a few of my reasonings:


Opponent 1: Identity crisis –

Like all ninjas, the leaflet has to go by many disguises in order to get its task completed and sometimes people can get confused. Some of the names that people use for this wonder product are –

  • Leaflet
  • Flyer
  • Handbill
  • Pamphlet
  • Circular
  • Brochure
  • Handout
  • Program

We have discussed this little issue in a previous post  . So of course, you may not realise that what you are using is a flyer as it is being referred to as a pamphlet instead. But the fact is, most of the time, it’s a leaflet by any other name.


Opponent 2: People’s opinions –

Mention the word leaflet or flyer and people get an instant image of someone handing them out on the street, or of something you take very little notice of when it’s put in a shopping bag.  But I argue if you think back on when you have gone anywhere and asked for information, such as a price list, directions, information on a course of treatment or other, what are you usually handed? That’s right, in the majority of cases, a leaflet. Leaflets can be made from all sorts of materials and luxury papers and come in many forms. Take away menu? Dental practice price list? Hair dresser offers? Exciting things to do in Stoke-On- Trent? All come under the ‘leaflet’ banner.



Opponent 3: Online marketing –

As a marketing and content bod, I come across the ‘next big thing’ in marketing every other day, and trust me, if people are referring to it as the next big thing, it’s already over. It sometimes seems like everyone is chasing views, shares and likes, which is great if your core audience is that way inclined. But if it isn’t, what do you do? How do you reach them? How do you give them the information that they need?

Some people use the internet when they have free time, others spend it fly fishing.  Not everyone is the same and not everyone uses the internet the same way. Therefore you cannot reach everyone who would be interested in your product or offer in the time frame you have set if you rely solely on the internet. What you can do is some flyering through their letterboxes and give your audience all the information that you want, when you want.


Opponent 4: Direct mail –

If you are anything like me, you can spot junk mail a mile away. The difference between a junk letter and a flyer is simple. One is already opened with the information ready to be viewed and processed quickly, and the other needs to be opened, then read once its contents have been revealed. That is two levels of visual pitching before the person you are trying to reach has even decided to read the letter, let alone process the information you want them to. That’s twice the work and more cost.

The leaflet gets picked up and glanced at, even automatically scan read. Should it be a menu or promoting services of future use, it can be put in the kitchen drawer for later (we all have one of those drawers) Letters? Once read, where do you store them? Where do your junk letters end up?

Give me a B…I…N.

So what do you people think – am I justified in my leaflet love? Or am I completely missing another amazing product? Let us know below! If you simply want to join in with the flyer appreciation, feel free to #showitoff and share your designs and uses of them with us socially. We are even giving away a weekly prize for our favourite. Nice, huh?



David Brookes
24 Apr 2014 22:28
Leaflets can be useful if given to the correct customers :-)
Bernard Carney
25 Apr 2014 16:03
I married a flyer. Over the years we had two leaflets
they never relied on handouts to make their own way in this World. Just follow the right program in life and be forever proud of being a STOKIE handbill.
C Hiazos
27 Apr 2014 23:35
Good point, David.

But my issue with flyers is that you tend to have to kiss alotta frogs to find the prince.

Using up a lot of resources for minimal returns
Alex Wilkie
28 Apr 2014 09:29
still a useful tool
28 Apr 2014 20:06
Still part of the marketing mix.
Stuart Glegg
29 Apr 2014 17:07
250gsm silk flyer is a staple for me
Benjamin Hughes
02 May 2014 10:50
I've always used a good thick uncoated/recycled paper for that awesome natural feel. :)
07 May 2014 16:23
haha, this is a little odd, but I used to collect leaflets when i was a kid. I vividly remember sitting and pricing them all up to try and flog them at a car boot sale. 10p for a single sheet leaflet. 25p for a pamphlet. Ahh, memories.
08 May 2014 11:15
Hurrah! My leaflet love is then justified. Make sure to share your designs with us as well. I love to see what people use leaflets for.
09 Mar 2016 12:20
I find them useful for distributing at shows and events along with a business card

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