Walk down a suburban street in any developed industrialized nation and one thing will be remarkably constant: The letterboxes will be full, often overflowing. And they won’t just contain addressed, posted mail. The bulk of the material will often be brochures and flyers advertising businesses and services, many of them local.
Certainly, many people find this fact of modern life extremely annoying. Sometimes more than half the houses in a street will have signs angrily demanding that there be no junk mail!.
But this phenomenon proves something: Those flyers and brochures must be working! Otherwise businesses wouldn’t be paying to have them produced and distributed.
Without a doubt flyers and brochures have distinct advantages over other methods of advertising: Here are a few:
1) They are comparatively cheap to produce flyers particularly so. Certainly, glossy multi-page brochures can be very costly, but basic one page black and white flyers are very inexpensive and can still work well. As long as they are clear and large enough to catch the resident’s eye, they can get your product or service noticed.
2) You can target the geographic areas that you want. Ultimately all business is local business. But some businesses are more local than others! Businesses that cater to a geographically specific market tend to get a very good response from flyers and brochures.
An example would be a pub or bar wanting to promote a one-off or regular theme night. Placing several thousand flyers in letterboxes around the venue would be a great way of telling people about this event. People do tend to be more likely to go to something that is close to where they live, after all.
3) Just as you can target runs geographically, you can also target them demographically. Say a pool table company is using brochures to get leads. There would be little point in targeting units, since they generally wouldn’t be large enough to contain the product. And pool tables are not cheap! So, the best results would come from a large run through middle to high income suburbs — houses only.
Of course it can be difficult finding distributors who can do a drop in this way. Most of the big distribution companies offer value but on a large scale. You must pay for a large drop, your promotional material is rolled up with several others, and no thought is put into which letterboxes are chosen! However, there are smaller distributors who can thoughtfully target your material. They are just less well known, and harder to find, that’s all.
4) You can put special offers on them. A flyer that says something like, Present this and get a ten percent discount on any item in the store! is a good choice. The incentive itself can increase sales. Secondly, it’s a great way of tracking the campaign, since the number of actual discounts can be recorded accurately.
5) People hang onto them. This is one definite advantage over newspaper advertising. Of course, many more people will see an ad placed in the paper. But to keep your contact details they have to cut the ad out, highlight it, or write it down usually along with a lot of others. A flyer or brochure, however, contains all the details and can be kept indefinitely. Businesses often get leads from flyers or brochures that have been left on the tops of fridges or in desk drawers for months, even years!
Certainly, particular circumstances dictate that flyers and brochures are not always the best advertising method. But the above advantages make them a remarkably reliable, cost effective way of raising awareness and generating leads for most businesses.