The Ultimate Guide To Leaflet Marketing

This article is written and published by Direct Marketing And Me – For further marketing, leadership, personal growth and self worth articles click here.

Are you are looking for a proven, effective method to get your brand known while keeping your costs low? Tired of getting dismal results from campaigning? 

If this sound like YOU? Then leaflet marketing is YOUR ANSWER

This article will NOT contain 101 strategies to leaflet marketing. Instead, we WILL cover the structure of the campaigning process from start to finish with examples and benefits. 

In addition to that, we will also look at the statistics of how effect leafleting is and the laws surrounding this method of marketing. 

Rest assured that we have all the basis covered in the article and this is the right place to be.

Fun fact: There are 27.8 million houses across the uk that you have the potential to engage with. 

plain red leaflet with black 'marketing' writing on the front with different coloured leaflets piled up behind in a half white leaflet side stand. leaflets are resting on a wooden table which fills the background of the image.

Leaflets are very commonly overlooked in the digital age and perceived as an old way of marketing. However, there are many advantages too leaflet marketing.

The appeal of leaflets encourage your target audience to take action and either visit, buy or enquire. If you re creating higher-quality leaflets, these are mire likely to be passed on to friends and family members. 

Any business will benefit from leaflet marketing, it’s not only for small budget businesses. In fact, leaflets are able to capture a persons engagement in ways that social media cannot. It can be more personal, creative and unique. 

Side Note: There are many direct marketing methods to consider for your business that go hand in hand with leaflet marketing. 

Take a look at – The Extensive Guide To Direct Marketing – Business Growth. This will help you choose a few marketing channels really utilise your resources.Table of Contents

What Is Leaflet Marketing?

LeafletDistributionTeam defines leaflet marketing as ‘the act of giving out leaflets or flyers in public areas’.

To be honest, the only difference between a ‘leaflet’ and a ‘flyer’ is pretty much the way it is presented. A flyer tends to be a single piece of information. Leaflets take more of an intricate design.

Are leaflets and flyers still a thing in the digital age? Very much so…

Another name for leaflet marketing is ‘door drop marketing’ which is pretty self explanatory. You drop information such as leaflets through the doors letterbox.

Throughout this ultimate guide, we’ll give you the most important tips to market your business and stand out from competitors:


Current statistics from Royal Mail:

  • 83% leaflets either opened, read or filed
  • Leaflet remains in a home up to 38 days
  • Distribute up to 8,000 households with only £500
  • 80% of top UK’s advertisers use this method

In fact, Royal Mail are helping with leaflet marketing/door drops. “Whether you are a big, medium or small business, you can take advantage of our Door to Door free targeting service to help you reach the right households for your campaign. And you can do this locally or nationally in almost 30 million homes across the UK without using personal data”

Leaflet marketing is a powerful channel to add in to your marketing strategy. Your business ends up straight in to the hands of your target audience. Impressively, 83% is a very high conversion rate.

Leaflet marketing is extremely popular for small business. Simply because it’s affordable. Leaflets is a good way to drive new traffic to your online presence or generate new customers and increase sales.

You can either hand out leaflets in a public place where there is a high footfall. Alternatively, you can go door to door posting your information.

5 Things To Take Into Consideration When Designing.

Most likely than not, the deciding factor on whether or not someone picks up your leaflet is down to design. if it doesn’t spark curiosity or grab attention, then nobody is going to want to look at it.

That being said, 5 things to take into consideration when designing you leaflet are:

Space – Stay clear from clutter. If your leaflet is full of block text and content heavy, it doesn’t look appealing, takes to long to ready and its heavy on the eyes. Remember to leave enough space to simply your design.

Imagery – Only use high quality photo that are print friendly. Using low quality or images that are not print friendly will come across as being cheap and ineffective. Also remember to only use images that can really add to your message. Again don’t clutter with images. 

Readable – Is to reader friendly? The whole point of sending a leaflet is to get your message across effectively. But consider, can the reader understand the message? Is it easy to navigate around the leaflet from one point to another? 

Also try to avoid using colours that will contract such as light colours, these are only beneficial when printed on to a dark background. Keep your sentences clear, short and sweet in simple English.

Quality – Now the point has a few meanings. start with quality of content. Do you deliver the point you want to convey in a short but informative format?. Also is the quality of the leaflet itself such as print, paper, fold design of high quality? 

The more quality your leaflet is, the bigger the impression you will leave with the reader.

Call-To-Action – Finally, the most important part of the leaflet. You need to have a clear CTA which encourages the reader to take further action. 

Example Of A Well Presented Leaflet:
A simple example of a leaflet in various blue colours and white. The leaflet shows how to leave whitespace, keep it simple and reader friendly
This is a good example of a simple but effective leaflet. The imagery informative, the colour scheme is consistent and the content is bulleted for easier readability. There is also a lot of space between text and image to give it an overall clean, presentable appearance. Direct Marketing And Me

How Frequent Shall I Run A Leaflet Campaign?

Frequency all depends on the main aim of your campaign. I want you to think back to the first time you saw a new brand or product. It may be hard to pinpoint the exact time you first saw it but your brain will in fact store the logo into your memory and thought process. 

Each time you encounter this logo, your brain will start to form a clearer memory of this brand to the point where you can recognise it instantly. Now if I ask you to think about the first time you saw a brand or new product, you can automatically remember recent encounters but the first encounters are neither here or there. You have them but you can quite put your finger on it without some thought. 

The point I’m getting at is frequency is key to create a lasting, clearer image of your brand in the recipients memory. 

There is actually no right or wrong answer to the frequency you should run a campaign. The whole purpose is to create and build on your brands imprint within the memory. 

A great way to test the frequency of a campaign is to have a way to measure the response you get. Either through different reference codes or unique QR codes as an example.

Two Main Factors To Consider:

  1. Reachability – A refined target audience and distribution numbers.
  2. Frequency – How often you get your leaflets in front of your audience. 

Of course, there are other factors to look at when figuring out how frequent to run your campaign. 

  • Seasonality – What calendar events can cause a change to your frequency of leafleting? Christmas, Halloween, fathers day etc… Also the weather can determine the frequency of a promotion, each season comes with different weathers. 
  • Competitors – How often are your competitors campaigning?
  • Personal KPIs & Budget – Your business capacity and budget should align with the frequency you are leafleting. I.e. If you have limited resources, you wouldn’t leaflet every week or even every month. 

Now we have looked at some factors regarding frequency, it can be said that it all depends on circumstances. You may want to run some tests if it is within budget to find your own frequency. You can try running your campaign weekly, monthly or even quarterly. 

Why Try Leaflet Marketing?

A leaflet campaigner is showing a visitor leaflet information. the visitor has red nails and a pen in the right hand. On the table below, there are multiple different leaflets for the campaign.

When launching a new business, product or service, leaflet distribution is the most practical channel to use. Especially if you are distributing in the surrounding area of your business.

The whole point to leaflet marketing is to mass market on a local scale. You want everyone in the surrounding area to know who you are and what you offer.

Research your catchment areas before hand so that you can really narrow down on your target audience. An example of this is a 5* gourmet restaurant – You ideally would want to attract affluent customers form affluent areas.

If you really want to minimise your expenses. There is an option to create your own leaflet and download it for free using software like ‘Canva‘ or ‘Crello‘.

I will point out that Canva Pro offers a 30 day free trial which is allows you to create unique, professional designs for your business. I use Canva pro for most of my infographics, banners and other campaign designs on a daily basis. Check out Canva Pro here* and see how it can benefit your campaign on the 30 day free trial. 

Also there are free trials to download high quality vector and JPG images to add professionalism. and

Once downloaded, it can be printed on to any type of paper from a standard printer. You can then distribute them personally keeping costs low.

However, hiring a few people to hand out leaflets or door drop will increase the number of people you reach in a shorter period of time.

If you are hiring people, make sure they are trust worthy and won’t just ditch the flyers.

10 Advantages To Leaflet Marketing

  1. Long-term promotional method
  2. High ROI compared to initial investment
  3. Elaborate eye catching designs
  4. Key focus points easily digestible
  5. High open/read rate
  6. very cost effective
  7. People still trust printables
  8. Localised campaigns
  9. Creative Brand Introduction
  10. Reaching Offline Customers

Let’s take a deeper look into each one of these advantages:

Long-term Promotional Method

Capture your audience’s interest with a leaflet by explaining the who, what and why of your promotion. Rather than the the standard date, time and venue. 

For example, you are advertising for a limited time only sale in your store. A single sided flyer will only capture the time frame of your promotion, the date you are holding it and the venue where people have to attend. 

Alternatively, you can go in further depth with a leaflet adding why you are holding the limited time sale such as ‘a new arrival of a bag’ so between 12pm-2pm the bag will be discounted 10%. 

What is the sale about? following the example above, it will be a 10% discount of the latest bag but its only available for a 2 hour time period. 

Also, leaflets are great for a conversation starter. When you hand over a leaflet, you then have the opportunity to talk about your business and find out consumer insights.

High ROI To Initial Investment

Above, we have spoken about measuring and tracking your response of the campaign. You also need to track the costs of running the campaign. This way you will know the value each campaign is adding to your business.

A quick and easy way to track this is to look at the overall cost of the campaign vs the total revenue that has be generated. This will be your ROI. 

Understanding your ROI will allow you to make necessary changes for future campaigns. If you find out you have made a loss or minimal profit. You will want to analyse the areas of improvement such as refining the correct audience? Distributing to the correct catchment area? Spending too much on creativity or distribution?. 

Elaborate Eye Catching Designs

Leaflets are one of the very few printed materials that can be folded into different styles unlike flyers and posters. This factor is very important when creating engagement as the added dimensions gives your message some edge. 

The 6 popular eye-catching folds are:

  1. Single sheet – Simplest form of leaflet marketing. Designed to get your message across in the minimum time possible keeping their attention and engagement. Both sides of the paper can be printed on.
  2. Single fold – One sheet of A4, with a single fold turning it into an A5 sized booklet. 
  3. Gate fold – two parallel folds which create six panels all together (three panels on each side). Named due to the face that it opens like a double gate. 
  4. Concertina fold – commonly known as a zig-zag fold. Also gives you six panels to use for your advertising.
  5. Cross fold – Fits nicely in the pocket for portable promotion. Perfect for on the go reading. The cross fold is a sheet of paper folded multiple times.
  6. Roll fold – Similar to the zig zag fold, folded into six panel which fold into the middle. 

Be mindful when folding your leaflet that your design fits your message you are getting across. 

Key Focus Points Easily Digestible

Do you have enough time to get your message across to the reader? Keep everything short and simple. 

that being said, the best thing about leaflets is that they are whatever you want them to be. They are a blank canvas. The finished production is simply your creation. 

You have the option to use visuals, text and different design elements to make your leaflet really stand out. Think about how your target audience interacts, what do they like, what are they engage in?. 

Once you understand your target audience, you will know best how to create your leaflet. you may require some bold visuals with very minimal text which is straight forward and to the point with a simple 3 fold design as an example. 

Use bullet points, simple English and an easy-to-read format when designing your leaflet. DON’T overcomplicate and crowd your leaflet.

Remember that being unique and thinking outside of the box will make your business a lot more memorable. 

High Open/Read Rate

A study conducted from Royal Mail found that an astonishing 92% of people read door drops that are delivered to their homes. More importantly, 20% of these people say that they pass on these marketing materials to family or friends. 

In addition, your leaflet could stay in a household, on average, for 17 days for advertising mail and 38 days for door drops. A door drop can stay in the house for up to 38 days if the information is found useful.

Very Cost Effective

The cost of this campaign will vary depending on the correspondence you are creating and sending. More than likely, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business. 

As discussed in this article, there are many ways to create, and design your leaflet for free giving you a professional image. If you have your own printer then you can bulk print your own leaflets and distribute them yourself which will bring dow your costs further. 

However, if you want to use a campaigning agency, you are looking at an average of £60 per 1000 leaflets.

People Still Trust Printables

In the digital world, believe it or not, people still put more trust in to printed materials. An international study conducting 10,700 people found that people have more faith in printed information and less likely to take on digital messages. 

Although it is equally as important for your business to have an excellent online presence, your information will be more likely engaged with and red by your audience via a leaflet. 

Localised Campaigns

Distributing leaflets gives you full control over where you want to target. It is very convenient and time friendly to distribute your leaflets locally. Once you understand your catchment areas, you can easily drop your leaflets through the letter box of each house in that area. 

To speed things up, you can always hire a few people who you trust to help you. This will cover more ground in your catchment and will increase the volume of the leaflets distributed. 

For example you can distribute 500 leaflets in 3-4 hours on your own. If you have three people working with you, you can deliver 2,000 in the same amount of time. 

Alternatively, you can stand on the street or in the local centre and physically hand out leaflets to members of the public passing by. As mentioned before, this is a great way to start a conversation. 

Flyers enable businesses to express themselves creatively. You need to think, “What should be on a printed flyer?” The obvious answers include your main message, a Call to Action, your brand name and (small) contact details etc. However, most businesses don’t realise that flyers present you with the perfect opportunity to introduce your brand to prospective customers in a positive light.

Creative Brand Introduction

Thinking outside the box and being creative allows you to showcase just how unique your business can be. If you can achieve this, your business will become the talking point of conversation and will be even more memorable to the reader. 

Of course, the obvious information need to be the focus point of the flyer. However, creating an engaging or intriguing leaflet will present the perfect opportunity to introduce your brand in a positive image from the beginning.

Reaching Offline Customers

Yes, it is the digital age and the online, social media presence is very very popular and continuing to grow. But, and this is a big ‘BUT’, if you only focus on digital marketing, how are you going to engage with prospects who either don’t have access to the internet or those who refuse to interact online?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their latest annual 2021 Internet Users report. 6.3% of adults have never used the internet in 2020. I know what you’re thinking… it’s only 6.3% that nothing. Wrong

If you only use digital marketing to attract your audience, you are missing out on a potential 3.36 million customers to introduce your brand too. Still think 6.3% is nothing? 

Furthermore, 1.5 million households are still offline according to the BBC in a 2021 article. With these figures in mind, it is now becoming more and more obvious why you should add leafleting to your marketing mix. You’re welcome. 

Ways To Measure Your Response

Of course you want to measure your response of any campaign you run. It’s no different with leafleting. We practically measure everything that we do. It has become a way of life. 

However, when it comes to measuring business performance or marketing activities, we seem to look straight past the importance of measuring. 

In this section, we are going to look at ‘how to measure’. If you are not measuring, you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity to to improve your marketing campaigns. Almost everything can be improved. Nothing is perfect. 

Firstly, you need to create a CTA which is measurable like a promotional offer of a reference number. Alternatively, you could use a unique contact method for each distribution like a different email address or contact number. Now each area that you distribute to will each have their own area code so you can distinguish which area each interaction is from. 

Important – Each time you get a response from the campaign, be sure to track the information. Excel spreadsheet is the simplest way to do this. 

Now that you have a way to track your catchment areas, we now need to figure out your cost per response (CPR)

In a nutshell, a cost per response is how much it will cost you to get a response through your chosen marketing channel. A cost per response will indicate the best channels or catchment areas. Knowing this will allows you to focus your time and resources.

Like any other direct marketing channel, leaflet marketing is a numbers game. Once you have figured out your cost per response, you can implement the most viable leaflet strategies to the most responsive areas.

Leaflet Distribution Law

A brown wooden gavel with gold metal around the middle resting on a oak table with blue and gold books in the background blurred out with Roman numerals. this represents the law and enforcement.

Many people are under the impression that distributing leaflets in the UK is illegal. Let me clear this up for you. It is absolutely, 100% LEGAL to hand out and post leaflets across the UK. 

However, there may be some particular situations where you might need to ask for permission before engaging in your distribution activity. It is always wise to be aware of permissions. 

What Is This Permission For?

As previously mentioned, in many, many cases when it comes to leaflet distributing, it will be completely legal with no permissions. Leafleting is carried out using different methods such as door drop, hand-to-hand and also post. 

Permission is mainly needed when handing out leaflets on the street depending on the council. Some councils may require you to fill out a form for a distribution licence. 

Most councils will allow you to hand out leaflets for free with their consent and knowledge of your content. Whereas, other councils may charge you a fee per distributer to acquire a badge. On top of this, they may also restrict your distribution territory within the city to certain streets. 

Always check with the local council before engaging in any street activity to avoid any fines or other penalties. 

On the other hand, you don’t need any permission to distribute your leaflets through letterboxes, inside building, for a charitable cause or if the leaflets are political or contain religious beliefs. 

How To Avoid Fines 

Let’s try to avoid this section when you are actually campaigning but if you do, for whatever reason incur a fine, this is the process. 

If you fail to check with the local council on permissions or you don’t get the correct licence to distribute your leaflets, You may get served with a fixed penalty of up to £80 or even a fine up to £2,500. This will obviously increase your campaign costs overall. 

That being said, getting the correct licences you need but somehow managing to break the regulations of that licence will result in the same penalties including a potential criminal record. Breaking the regulations can include leafleting outside your authorised zone. 

If you do break the regulations, your licence will more than likely also be revoked and all marketing materials will be confiscated until the legal proceedings are completed. 

Don’t let this put you off though. These actions are only for those who don’t do their research and just do their own thing. More than likely, you will be given a warning by a council warden if you are caught pitching without permission. They will pretty much ask you to pack up your things and move elsewhere and provide you with the means to acquire the permissions required. 

It’s only when you are caught on the second time after ignoring their guidance where you are more likely to have action taken against you. Focus point here is not to push your luck to see if you can get away with distributing leaflets when it is so simple to attain permission. 

Overall: Leaflet Marketing

The bottom line to leaflet marketing is that it is as effective now as it was before digital marketing. Not only does it offer you the opportunity to reach your offline customers. You also have the opportunity to showcase just how creative your business can be. 

Believe it or not, leaflet marketing remains one of the most well used channels in direct marketing. Hence why 80% of UK’s top direct marketers include this to their marketing mix. 

As outlined in this article, there are many advantages to using this channel which is most definitely going to increase your brand awareness and traffic. Check out – The Extensive Guide To Direct Marketing – Business Growth. This article will explain other direct marketing methods which can be used along with leaflet marketing to really drive results.

All in all, leaflet marketing is still a very effective tool to use and it will remain effective for years to come. As long as paper is around, so are leaflets. To sum it all up, leaflets are an excellent way to showcase all that you business has to offer.

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