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Business Flyers: Still an Effective Marketing Tool or a Waste of Time?

Back in the day, when the store wants to promote a new product or announce a price reduction, the entrepreneur has to create signs and posters that will be displayed all over town and hand out flyers to every person passing by. It required a lot of work, resources, and patience.

Nowadays, business owners go on the internet and utilize search engines and social media platforms to gain more customers and increase profit.

The internet has become an important way to market a business and its products. With billions of people going online every day, it is almost impossible for any venture to find its audience without a presence on the web.

Moreover, digital marketing is far cheaper and, in many ways, free. Creating a business account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube requires no payment (unless you want to advertise your page or a specific post).

Is there still room for physical flyers in the modern age? Find out below.

Creating Eye-Catching Flyers

Developing, printing, and handing out flyers require resources. An entrepreneur is encouraged to hire a graphic designer to conceive an eye-catching and informative concept, pay printers to reproduce hundreds of copies, and maybe hire staff to give out flyers to consumers or send it to their doorsteps.

Entrepreneurs, however, have the DIY option. They can design and print their own flyers and do the task of disseminating it to as many people as possible.

It is not as expensive as one would imagine it would be. The process of printing the flyer, even in bulk, is affordable for more people. Hiring a graphic designer, too, would not break the bank with services like Fiverr and Upwork.

However, will it bring your business new customers, or are you just wasting resources?

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Addressed Mail vs. Door Drop

Flyers are not completely obsolete yet. Even with the internet becoming the primary way of marketing for businesses, many entrepreneurs are still choosing to use flyers to boost profit.

According to the 2018 report of Direct Mail Annual (DMA), in the United Kingdom, 57% of consumers immediately opened an addressed mail containing a flyer as soon as it arrived on their doorstep. Meanwhile, 20.8% said that they opened the envelope within 28 days of receipt.

Nearly half of respondents (48.5% to be exact) read, looked, glanced at an addressed mail. 23% of them did it within the 28-day period. About 24% of them kept an addressed mail to check again later. Only 26% threw away or recycled the item.

Meanwhile, 60.5% of consumers read, looked, glanced at a door drop, an item that is not addressed to the homeowner. Almost all of them (85%) recycled or threw it away.

Physical vs. Digital

An ad on the internet is not always effective. It can reach more people, but it does not always translate to sales. With so much content online, the attention of consumers is divided into multiple things at once. Many consumers either gloss over an ad or forget about seeing an ad.

However, hand them a piece of paper, and they will likely at least glance at it.

There is also evidence that reading a physical medium improves information retention better than reading it as an online text. Many people find that reading online using a computer or a smartphone is mentally draining and, as a result, they remember less of the content they encounter.

A few studies have suggested that screens negatively affect comprehension. One paper particularly assessed the impact of screens versus paper on comprehension by asking 10th-grade students to read a 1,500-word text. Half of the 72 participants were given a copy of the text printed on paper, while half used a computer. Afterward, they all took reading comprehension tests. The researchers found that those who read using a computer performed worse than those who read the text on a piece of paper.

Measuring ROI

One challenge of using flyers to advertise is examining whether the strategy is effective or not. It is harder to measure the return of investment (or ROI) of the physical medium, but it is possible.

Business owners can add special codes on each flyer they hand out or send to consumers. They can ask consumers to bring back the flyer to the store in exchange for a discount or freebie. This way, they can track how many consumers went to the store after seeing the flyer. They can also ask the consumer directly where they heard about the store or a certain product.

Not every marketing strategy works for everyone. Entrepreneurs should know their options and figure out which one would suit their business, industry, or target audience.