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How to Design a Business Flyer People Will Actually Read

How to Design Business Flyers People Will Actually Read

Your business flyers are just a waste of money if people throw them out. Click here to learn how you can design business flyers people actually want to read.

For those who claim the written word is dead, the printing industry declares it’s time to rethink that outdated mindset.

Turns out, 88% of people would rather read from paper than from a screen, claiming that they retain the information better that way. That doesn’t only apply to their novels. They also prefer to receive business items and promotional materials that way, as well.

If you’re in the industry of designing business flyers, this is great news. Still, it doesn’t mean that anything goes and no thought is required during the process. As with any advertising item, unless it’s captivating, catchy and useful enough, the flyer could quickly find a new home in the wastebasket. 

So, what goes into a great flyer? What components give it the green light to stay on a desk rather than crumpled up in the back of a car or at the bottom of a trade show swag bag? Today, we’re discussing how you can make yours the star of the show. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Get the Basics Right First

Before you start getting into an elaborate flyer design, it’s important to understand what sets a quality business flyer apart from the rest. Above all else, it has to be eye-catching.

The quickest way to encourage someone to keep walking by without giving yours a second look? Fill it top to bottom with text. 

Instead, keep it as simple and concise as possible. Say only what you need to with text and let graphics take care of the rest. Leave plenty of white space to allow the reader’s eye to naturally rest. This is a basic art and design concept that applies to almost every promotional material, from business cards to data slicks. 

While you’re at it, make sure the font size is big enough to stand out and doesn’t require that anyone pull out a pair of reading glasses. For a professional look, stick to primarily sans-serif fonts that aren’t too scroll-like or embellished in nature to ensure the message isn’t muddled in the design. 

2. Play around With Grids

A business flyer design doesn’t leave you much room to include a ton of content. This is where your skills as a creative can really shine. 

A popular way to get a big message across in a tiny space is to arrange the content into a grid. While you might be used to seeing this kind of layout in a newspaper, those columns are usually the same size and can give your flyer a sense of unnecessary rigidity.

Conversely, when you use grids you can custom-design them so their lengths and widths differ. Keep short snippets of information, such as bullet points, restricted to a smaller side column. Then, you can elaborate a little more on points within the wider, middle columns. 

Most business flyers will be either A5 or A6 page size. Play around with your content to see what looks the best. You may decide to reserve the top third for your header with the bottom two-thirds split between your data points and a footer with contact information included. 

Ultimately, as long as your proportions are balanced, you can use this trick to pack in a little more data while still keeping your lines clean.

3. Consider Folds

Especially if you have a significant amount of data to include, a folded flyer design is often your best bet. Depending on your specific needs, a simple half-fold brochure might be all that you need. Or, you may require a more elaborate tri-fold to ensure everything gets in.

Though these can be a little more work, folded brochures will stand out among a sea of flat competitors. It’s also a simple, yet effective, way to help guide your recipients along a path of readership, showing them how to get from Point A to Point B via the desired route. 

4. Let Your Visuals Shine

We’ve already mentioned that people want to view their content on paper. Now, let’s take that understanding one step further. What they really want to view are your images.

Research shows that 90% of people are visual learners. The same study reveals that we retain 80% of what we see as compared to 20% of what we read and only 10% of what we hear.

The takeaway? If you have a data point that can be better explained in a visual, use one instead. You can even layer text on top of an image to drive a point home. This can be accomplished via simple gradient tricks and transparency adjustments that enable you to maximize the use of your space. 

Of course, all images should be tasteful and appropriate. Using graphics just to shock is never recommended. Instead, look for ones that accurately demonstrate what you’re selling.

You can also rely on blocks of color behind the text to help it pop and add a fun twist to your flyer!

5. Embrace Minimalism

There’s a reason why the modern minimalist movement continues to be so strong. 

When we declutter our lives and simplify our surroundings, we immediately invite a sense of calm. The same holds true for what we read and mentally digest.

Though you might be tempted to use an online flyer maker to create a design that is as fanciful and colorful as possible, it’s usually in your best interest to err more on the side of subtlety. 

This step is especially important if you are advertising a professional product or service, or are presenting your flyer at a corporate event. A clean-looking handout is more likely to be taken seriously than one that is replete with clashing tones, mismatched images, and cluttered text. 

Still, even if you go this route, your flyers don’t have to be boring. Stick to one accent color, such as teal blue or mustard yellow, and use it to highlight important parts and add a touch of personality.

6. Understand Your Target Audience

The aforementioned tips on keeping your flyer simple and clean will make it a star at a formal trade show.

Yet, what if you’re advertising a nightclub or an outdoor barbecue? You don’t have to be so rigid.

The key lies in understanding your target audience. What do they want to learn about? Are there any certain terms or industry jargon they’re more likely to respond to? 

Not sure how to find your ideal buyer? Start by taking a look at who is currently frequenting your business. Then, take a look at a few shared characteristics these users have including age, location, occupation and more. 

These are only two steps in a more thorough audience analysis, so take the time to perform this critical research to create engaging flyers that convert prospects into customers.

If you partner with a graphic design specialist, this expert is often well-versed in helping you figure out a format that best speaks to your ideal buyer persona. 

7. Highlight the Benefits

Sure, readers might be interested in the more fine-print, technical details of how your product actually works. Yet, the number one question on their mind is undoubtedly, “What’s in it for me?”

This is where it pays to make your benefits stand out as much as possible. In journalism speak, don’t bury the lead.

Recipients shouldn’t have to make their way through tomes of text or distracting images to determine what you’re advertising and how they can improve their lives with it. They should be able to see from the onset the exact details that make your brand special and worth a closer look.

What sets you apart from your competitors? How can you save them money, help them perform a process more quickly or improve their performance?

Use concrete statistics and figures wherever possible to quantify your claims. 

8. Include an Offer

Did you know that around 90% of shoppers decide how much they’re going to spend and what they’re going to buy based on the promotions they receive?

Chances are, if you’re going to the effort to create flyers for business, you’re doing so to help your bottom line in the process. Sales and marketing are dependent on one another and any way you can encourage your audience to take a closer look at your brand can help generate income. 

If possible, consider attaching a discount or promotion to your flyer that recipients can redeem at your online or brick-and-mortar store. For instance, you might offer 20% off for first-time customers, discounts for referring a friend, or a coupon code to be used at a virtual checkout.

9. Don’t Leave Them Hanging

Every great flyer includes a discernable Call to Action or CTA. In short, this the part of the page where you guide the reader to take the next step. It can be as simple as a line reading “Contact us for more information,” followed by your company’s mailing address, phone number, and email address.

Or, you might want them to hop online and check out your extensive product inventory. You may also include a link to allow them to order immediately. Take a look at your product or service and how you want your readership to react.

Regardless, this isn’t the place to hint. Use clear language to make the CTA as prominent and easy-to-follow as possible. 

Then, make the message as clear as possible to encourage a response. Make sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date before printing thousands of flyers, as well!

10. Invest in Great Paper

You wouldn’t create a dynamic design filled to the brim with great data, only to print it on flimsy printer paper that can tear in half with a strong breeze, would you?

One of the final steps in creating a business flyer that sells is choosing a top-quality paper and printer to bring your design dreams into reality. If appropriate, spring for a glossy finish to give yours a professional sheen that’s sure to stand out. 

Before signing off on the finished product, run a test print to make sure everything looks the way it should. This is one place where you’ll never have to second-guess the return on your investment.

Go too cheap in this realm, and your flyer will crinkle and crumble easily. This might make for great packaging material, but it’s not where you want your hours of hard work to end up. A heavier stock paper will be sturdy and less inclined to wrinkle, helping it keep its shape as it travels around.  

To really add a special touch, you may also emboss your flyer or a special portion of it. This adds a three-dimensional element that is appealing and interesting to touch!

Create Compelling Business Flyers Today

Now that you know a little more about how to create business flyers that are as intriguing as they are well-designed, are you ready to create a few of your own?

If you’re a business owner, you know that doing so can take up a major chunk of your time. We understand you’re busy taking care of day-to-day tasks and don’t exactly have the time to take a detailed, customer-centric approach to every aspect of your graphic design and digital marketing. 

Fortunately, we do and we’d love to help.

We offer comprehensive graphic design services sure to transform your brand from the inside out. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure the final product is one you’re proud to put your name on.

No existing design in mind? No problem. We have design packages to choose from and a team that’s ready to see you grow. When you’re ready, contact us today for a free custom quote and learn more about what we do!

Austin Terrill

Austin is the founder and CEO of Print Peppermint. He loves art, graphic design, printing, music, recording gear, synthesizers, and ice cream. He lives in Berlin with his wife and two children.