My Marketing Thing

Promotional material tips: flyers

Flyer save the trees cartoon

When we say ‘flyer’ we don’t mean that your promotional material needs to be airborne. Though many a flyer has been thrown willy-nilly out of aeroplanes. Often in large-budget, low-IQ Hollywood movies. 

The immediate visual impact of seeing hundreds of bits of paper fluttering out of the sky is large, granted. But the litter created and the sheer waste of paper is no longer ‘fashionable’. We’re an eco-friendly bunch now, aren’t we?

Let’s take a moment to hug a tree….

Okay, you can stop hugging now.


So what is the best way to get your flyer noticed
so a tree hasn’t died for nothing?


A printed flyer is generally a one sheet format that can be just about any size (that’s still easy to hold in one hand).  The most popular dimensions for flyers are DL (99x210mm), Letter/A4 and 1/4 page.

  • DL and full pagers fit nicely into racks and post easily (Letter/A4 needs two folds to fit into a DL envelope).
  • Full page flyers are also handy to pop into presentation packs (yours or to be included in someone else’s).
  • 1/4 pagers are a good size for placing on seats, handing out and pinning up on notice boards.
  • 1/3 page flyers are handy for promotional door hangers (need a hole cut into section near the top to slip the door handle through).
  • 1/8 page flyers are like the size of clothing tags. Being larger than business cards, this dimension can be good for placing on networking tables for visual impact (i.e. by being a really weird size).


But I’m getting ahead of myself

Before you decide what dimension you want your flyer to be, you need to decide what you want to say and the creative concept behind it.

All the while keeping in mind who you are wanting to reach.

People are now becoming immune to flyers being thrust at them from every direction. They’ve developed a kind of promotional blindness as a 21st century coping mechanism. You probably have too.

So now we need to be twice as creative and appealing to grab the eye of those we want to connect with.

Note: Also shoot for not being irritating. 

Your message 

What do you want to say?

  • What is the key message you want to give?
  • How can to boil that baby down to an essence?
  • What’s special about what you are saying (what makes it different from similar messages out there)?
  • Why is it helpful/exciting?
  • What can be in small print, or left off completely?


Who do you want to say it to?

Think about the person who’s reading the flyer. You know, that guy or gal you want to connect with.

  • What else is going on in the life?
  • What are their problems, their dreams?
  • How does what you are telling them relate to their problems and dreams?
  • Why should they care about what you are saying on the flyer?

Tip: Communicate to the reader as if you are one of them and understand them completely. In short, pretend to be psychic.

Why should they act upon the information you are giving?

What will lure me to act on the information in your flyer – and sooner rather than later?

  • Is it a event? By tickets early and receive….
  • Is it a service? Book for a consultation by (specific date) and get…
  • Is it a product? Free trial, discount, etc. by (specific date)

You can use your content to incite a visit to your website for further information. This raises your ranking and creates a stronger relationship with your reader (i.e. they learn more about you by visiting you site).

Idea: Consider having a coupon at the end of your flyer (easy to cut out) that visually indicates taking action for a time-limited opportunity.


About writing style…

Be concise – be really concise.

But also consider creating a connection by using ‘emotive’ words (the emotion you want to create) – don’t be afraid to be human. And try to write from the perspective of your reader.

Tip: Avoid cliches like the plague (boom, boom). 


Headline oomph

To give the flyer ‘look at me’ presence, you need a good, active headline or ‘hook’.

Note: If the flyer is in a brochure a rack, the header is all you see – so be sure to have a catchy headline there.

Some ideas include:

  • Directly addressing a problem that is relevant to your reader
  • Asking a question, rather than making a statement
  • Using ‘you’ or ‘your’, rather than ‘I’ and ‘we’
  • Inserting an emotive word (feeling, emotion)

Again, be concise.

Tip: If you are creating a flyer for a world-wide celebrity, you just need to use the celebrity’s name and photo (and ignore all the advice above).

Tail end oomph
The end of you flyer must have your key information so the reader can act. For example, if you are promoting an event, you might want to repeat the event name, date and venue – along with how much the tickets are and how to buy them.
If you’re simply selling a standard product or service, ensure you include the relevant contact details: contact person (if need be), business name (logo), address/phone/email/website.
If you want people to phone you, make the number bold and/or large in size.
If you want people to visit you and it’s tricky to find you, consider having a small map.



Glow with an aura of professionalism by having a professional-looking flyer. This also helps to create a sense of trust between you and your reader.

Key design tips include:

  • use one or two fonts throughout
  • restrict unusual fonts for headlines
  • use more conventional fonts for core ‘body’ information
  • don’t put text too close to the edge of the paper, or to close to the edges of boxes
  • make the design look visually balanced

It doesn’t cost much to have a full-colour flyer these days. So don’t think having a one or two colour flyer is going to make much difference in price.

Tip: Glance at a crowded notice board. What do you focus on first? How can you learn from this?


An image

A picture can say a thousand tweets.

Your can buy a fancy photo cheap from online photo libraries like istockphoto or dreamstime.

Free photos can be found on Free Digital Photos but you generally need to also print a photographer’s credit alongside the image if you want to print it.

Make sure the image is relevant to your message – emotionally, demographically (the kind of person you are writing to), and factually.


Your brand

As with any promotional material, an attractive design that also ensures that your brand (your ‘look and feel’) continues on here. Even if it’s just having you logo at the bottom of the flyer.


Creative concept

Some creative concepts for flyers include: 

  • Montage of pictures
    of people doing interesting things (e.g. band, festival or fair promotion), or interesting objects (e.g. exhibition).
  • Parody of another advertising campaign
    creates attention through familiarity, but you need to get permission from whoever owns the images.
  • A series of flyers which are obviously linked
    but bring about a whole new meaning when you have seen them all.


That’s enough. Any questions? Aim them at the ‘comments’ box, press ‘submit comment’ and let those questions fly!



…we will take a gander at brochures. For instance, you will find out what info needs to go where on a brochure. Sooo many people goof on that one. But not you – not after reading the next post. No way, baby.


This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who lacks interest in jumping out of aeroplanes. Find out more about Megan.

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One Comment

  1. Andy

    Great blog Megan as a lways.
    Thanks for the concise info. Flyers are always so hard to plan.
    This makes it much easier

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