Top 6 places to distribute flyers

January 31, 2020

Flyer printing and distribution is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business, products, services and events. When you distribute flyers in the right places, people notice. In fact, consumers trust print advertisement 34% more than they trust search engine ads. 

Flyer marketing success depends on promoting a strong message that resonates with your audience combined with creative design, which work together to command attention for your flyers. Of course, flyer distribution is absolutely critical: knowing where to place flyers so your audience will notice them is the best way to yield a high response rate. Find out how to get your flyers noticed with this list.

6 places to distribute your next flyers

1. Insert flyers in retail customer bags (or hand them out directly at the counter)

Do you manage a retail business? If so, slipping a flyer into your customers’ shopping bags after they’ve made a purchase is an easy way to bring attention to that upcoming sale or in-store event. A happy customer likely already has favorable feelings about your brand, and is bound to be more receptive to your flyer’s messaging.

2. Hand out flyers to event attendees

Set up a booth at festivals, concerts, trade shows and other events, and give your flyers to people who stop to learn more. Your flyer complements the discussions you have with people who visit your booth and can help them remember your brand long after the event is over.

3. Insert flyers in packages you send to retail customers

If you ship out orders to customers, you have an opportunity to market your other offerings by inserting flyers into each package. If you don’t ship items, team up with a business that does and also serves a similar customer base, and see if they will allow you to insert flyers into their packages.

4. Community bulletin boards

Putting flyers up on community bulletin boards is one of the most popular and time-honored ways of getting a business’s message out there. Spaces like stores, cafes, libraries, churches and community centers attract a lot of foot traffic, and that means there’s a potential to get more eyes on your message. If you have a very specific audience you are trying to target, make sure to track down bulletin boards that speak to that demographic. If you’re marketing products or services for families, you probably wouldn’t want to put up a flyer at a nightclub, for instance.


5. Facebook and other social media sites

Take your message online by posting a flyer on social media. Once you’ve designed your flyers and sent them to be printed, you can use the web-optimized version of the design anywhere you’d like online. Social media is such a powerful distribution channel because it allows your audience to share your flyer with their friends and family, extending your reach.

6. Direct mail

Send out flyers to your customer list or a list of consumers who fit your audience demographics. Even in a heavily digitized world, direct mail is still very effective. Recent research has shown that direct mail has a higher ROI than both paid search or online display ads

Of course, these aren’t the only places to share your flyers. Other excellent options include:

  • Door-to-door flyer distribution
  • Hand out flyers to people on the street (perfect for promoting nightclubs with club card flyer printing)
  • Laundromats
  • Elevators
  • Reception and check-out areas
  • Municipal buildings and offices
  • Windows, walls and doors anywhere your audience frequents
  • Daycares
  • Banks
  • Doctor’s offices
  • On retail shop counter spaces
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Convenience stores

Getting started

Not sure which of the above your should try first or which is best for your organization? It helps to know the difference between geographic and demographic targeting, as well as some the laws governing flyer distribution.

Geographic vs. demographic targeting

Geographic targeting means you distribute your flyers in a defined area; for example, you can place flyers everywhere in a given neighborhood or within a specific ZIP code. Geographic targeting is best-suited for local businesses that have mass appeal. In other words, businesses that sell products and services many people need: grocery stores, auto repair services, and lawn care services are examples.

Demographic targeting means you distribute your flyers to people who match defined characteristics; for example, you can distribute flyers to homeowners at a certain income level or people who have children. Demographic targeting is best-suited for businesses that have a relatively narrow niche. In other words, businesses that sell products and services that only appeal to certain types of people: childcare services and B2B software are examples.

Many businesses can benefit by placing flyers according to both geographic and demographic targeting. For example, a landscaping company might place flyers in outdoor locations throughout its town (geographic targeting) and send direct-mail flyers to prospects who own homes valued at more than $250,000 (demographic targeting).

How to distribute flyers legally

It’s important to understand local, state and federal laws so you know how to hand out flyers legally. For example, you cannot place flyers in mailboxes manually (you must pay for postage and send them through the Post Office). You can’t use newspaper boxes, either, since those are owned by newspaper publishers. Some communities have ordinances against door-to-door solicitation (though in most places you can place a flyer on the front doors of residences). Check local laws to find out how to distribute flyers door-to-door.

If you want to place flyers in public places, be sure to check ordinances to find out how to distribute flyers legally: parking lots and utility poles might be off-limits. Ask questions like “is it illegal to put flyers up in public parks,” “where can I post flyers legally,” and “is it against the law to put flyers on cars.”

And, if you want to post flyers in private businesses, always be sure to get permission first. It might not be illegal to leave a stack of flyers on a retail counter, but if you don’t have permission they’ll probably be thrown away – a waste of your flyer printing investment.

When it comes to flyer distribution, best practice is to check laws first and always get permission from private property owners before you leave your flyers. In most cases, you’ll find it’s easy to get permission to place your flyers where customers will see them – which is why flyer printing is such a popular form of marketing.

Note that many federal regulations govern demographic marketing, including flyers, in certain industries. For example, it may be illegal to target families with children. Always consult with your legal adviser about the laws in your area.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.