It can be hard to know which direction to turn when it comes to promotional flyers, especially for small businesses. Do you splash out on top quality graphic design or do you bite the bullet and risk doing it yourself? How important is printing – are more expensive printers worth the extra expense? What about distribution? What’s the best way to make sure that people are actually going to read a flyer when handed one? There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve made a big difference, only to turn a corner and find a hundred of your flyers strewn across the street.

Designing and distributing promotional flyers are a great way for a company to backup existing digital marketing efforts. Promotional flyers are effective on their own, but they do work twice as well when used to complement or enhance an onlinecampaign. Here’s how you can achieve this.

Keep It Simple

It’s extremely tempting to go overboard with text, graphics and company logos but this is a big mistake. Time and time again, tests have proved that consumers respond better to simple, striking images rather than busy, complicated designs. Never fill a flyer with reams of text and never try to tell consumers everything aboutyour company. It won’t work because that’s not the purpose of a flyer. A flyer is meant to point a potential customer towards your company, to encourage them to find out more it. Stick to a few lines of text and one bold image, says UnderstandingMarketing.com journalist Chrisanne Sternal. Add a small company logo if there’s space.

Print On Coloured Paper

An extremely easy way to catch the eye of a customer is to hand them a brightly coloured piece of paper or card. Do be careful, though, that the colour of the paper doesn’t clash with text or images. Try several different combinations before you decide on the one that’s most suitable for your flyer. If it looks attractive to your eyes, it will probably look attractive to others but if it’s full of clashing colours – it could put potential customers off, says Yahoo Voices expert Brandon Miller.

Incorporate Digital Techniques

These days, it’s easy to mesh direct and digital marketing techniques. Why not add a QR code to the bottom of your flyers? It’s a much faster, much more efficient way to direct customers to your website than encouraging them to use a URL. By all means, include a URL on your flyers too but give customers a choice between a web address and a QR code if possible. Most shoppers carry their smart phones with them when they leave the house – a potential customer could be on your company website within seconds of you handing them a flyer.

How About A Discount?

If you offer any sort of deal or discount on your website, make sure that it is also advertised on your flyer, says specialist website FlyerWriter.com. Use a URL or a QR code to make it clear to customers that they will need to visit your website in order to take advantage of a deal. One of the very best ways to achieve promotional success with company flyers is to use a coding system.

Place a unique six digit code on the bottom of every flyer and instruct customers to enter this code into a special programme on your website if they want to use a 2 for 1 deal or a free entry pass. That way, people won’t throw away or ignore the flyers you hand them. If they want the special deal – they’ll tuck it away in their bag or purse and take it home.