The Advantages and Disadvantages of Leaflet Advertising

leaflet advertising advantages and disadvantages

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In 2023, many businesses are becoming disillusioned with digital marketing methods such as PPC, stating a lack of results and inaccurate targeting. Because of this, many businesses are rediscovering the benefits of leaflet distribution – but is it right for you?

In this article, we will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of leaflet advertising.

What is leaflet advertising?

Since the 1600s, companies and organisations have been using printed materials to get their message across to potential customers.

These days, high-quality leaflets can be printed in huge quantities in a matter of minutes – but it doesn’t stop there. Advanced technology means that we at DOR-2-DOR can create a distribution map for your leaflets through careful profiling and targeting, and we can distribute your leaflets through a number of methods, including:

  • Shared distribution – Our most popular (and most cost-effective) distribution solution. With this method, we deliver your leaflet along with those from other non-competing companies within the identified catchment area. This is an ideal option for those on a tight budget who have little competition in the chosen location.
  • Solus distribution – If you’re not the sharing kind, we can deliver your leaflets and no others within a drop through solus distribution. This is particularly effective for businesses competing with others within the area.

The advantages of leaflet advertising

Now that we’ve explained some of our distribution methods, we’ll look at some of the great advantages of marketing your business through leaflet advertising:

The price is right

Producing, printing and distributing leaflets is an inexpensive marketing method – particularly when printing large runs of leaflets. As well as a low initial cost, superior targeting means that there is less waste than in digital methods – helping you to stretch your marketing budget that bit further.

The right result

Many businesses who have tried digital marketing complain that their results are either mixed or disappointingly low. There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • Targeting – Digital methods are not yet sophisticated enough to accurately target customers within a local area.
  • Focus – It’s incredibly easy to simply scroll past an advert online.
  • Trust – Even in 2023, many customers are reluctant to buy from a business that they’ve seen online.

With leaflet distribution, on the other hand, results tend to be consistent and positive. This is because our attention is much more focused when we can actually pick up and hold something rather than seeing it online. 39% of leaflet recipients say that they will either keep or pass on a leaflet – meaning that, even if the leaflet isn’t actioned immediately, it may be revisited at another time.

The human type of intelligence

In the news recently, we’ve seen reports highlighting concerns over artificial intelligence creating fake news and messaging, including advertisements. Thankfully, AI is not able to design, print and distribute leaflets, thereby engendering more trust in recipients.

Cracking content

With digital advertising, you tend to be limited in terms of word count and content in general which can make it difficult to get your message across properly. No such limitations exist for leaflets (although there are a few design rules which can help to ensure that your campaign is as effective as possible – see our article on mistakes to avoid).

Profit boosting

One of the biggest advantages of leaflet advertising is just how affordable it is. The simple cost of delivery compared to the price of online advertising – design, costs of advertising placement, plus landing pages, offers a considerably better return on your investment.

In addition, once you have designed and printed your leaflets, they can be used for various functions; for example, you may wish to use them for direct delivery, distribution at local events, while you’re networking, or even at trade shows.


In many cases, when a leaflet for a local company drops through the letterbox, it often conjures up a sense of familiarity – either because we’ve seen and can picture the business or we know the street name. This kind of familiarity serves to reinforce a sense of trust in the business with customers and, therefore, has a great chance of customers taking action.

Local Targeting

Distributing leaflets gives you complete control over precisely who you wish to target. You can convey information about your product or service to your audience directly through their letterbox.

This can be of enormous benefit to local businesses, as, unlike online advertising, you are guaranteed to be seen by the people in that location using just one marketing method. In contrast, online, you would need to use a range of ads on different search engines such as Google and Bing or several social media channels to ensure that you connect with your target audience on the medium they use.

Convey more Information

When you use digital marketing techniques such as Google Ads, you usually have just a few characters to use to get your message across and maybe compete with thousands of other businesses, all trying to be unique in just a couple of sentences. You are also then relying on taking someone from your advert to a website and then to a contact form or email.

The advantage of leaflet advertising is that it allows you to convey far more information in one go. You can showcase your service, display case studies, give pricing information, and tell your potential customer about how you can help all in one well-designed leaflet.

The disadvantages of leaflet advertising

While we have outlined the considerable advantages of leaflet or flyer advertising above, just like a digital strategy, you do need to ensure that your plan of action and materials are up to scratch. A badly designed leaflet is likely to be discarded before it’s even read, and poor targeting will not yield the best results either.

Therefore it is worth putting time and effort into understanding your buyer personas and target audience. For example, if you are offering a service that is only of benefit to homeowners, there is no point in distributing your materials in an area where most people rent. Or, if your flyer does not convey clear information about your product or service, it’s unlikely to catch the attention of the person reading it.

As great as leaflet advertising is, it’s not always suitable for every business, so in this section, we’ll look at some of the disadvantages of leaflet advertising:

The junk factor

In some cases, recipients may see leaflets as an annoyance to be simply swept up from the doormat and binned. This, however, can be mitigated by ensuring that your leaflets are eye-catching and high quality in order to gain and hold the attention of the householder.

Upfront cost

Unlike digital marketing methods, a leaflet distribution campaign does require an initial financial investment. While this may be a chunk out of your budget, it tends to be a better investment long term due to more focused and accurate targeting than digital solutions such as PPC.

Specific services

If your business provides a niche service such as high-value investment or valuation of fine art, leaflet distribution is unlikely to be a great fit due to the lack of relevant targets within a particular catchment area. Having said that, specialist business-to-business leaflet distribution may work for you in this instance.

Leave it to the pros

As we’ve demonstrated in this article, leaflet distribution can be a really effective and inexpensive solution for a wide range of businesses – when done properly. Unfortunately, some businesses go to the hard work and expense of producing their leaflet, only to throw it all away by attempting to distribute the leaflets themselves.

At DOR-2-DOR, we have over 30 years of experience when it comes to the effective distribution of leaflets. We use GPS monitoring software which allows our customers to see where and when their leaflets were delivered. We also provide comprehensive reporting so that you can see how you’ve done – and how you might do better next time. We also use the latest technology in order to accurately and effectively target your ideal customers to give you the very best chance of success in your campaign.

If you feel that your business could benefit from the very real advantages offered by leaflet advertising, what are you waiting for? Our experienced and friendly customer support team is ready and waiting to provide you with advice and a free, no-obligation quote to start you on the path to lucrative leafleting.

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