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Flyers can be an effective and inexpensive way to promote your business, no matter your size. In fact, a survey by the Direct Marketing Association revealed that 48% of leaflet or flyer recipients directly act on the advertisement by either going to the business or requesting additional information.

Related: 17 flyer layout design ideas for your inspiration

While flyer distribution has been a widely used marketing strategy, not all flyers serve their purpose well in today's busy marketplace. The goal is to grab and hold people's attention long enough for them to actually read your flyer and then act on it. How do you achieve this goal? Here are some proven techniques that professionals use to make their flyers pop.

1. Create a focal point

What's the first thing that you want people to notice? Engage the readers with that focus first. To create unique focal point, you will need to use the following:

  • A striking yet professional image. The quality of the images you use is very important. If the pictures are dull and unclear, then your message will be dull and unclear to the readers as well. Always use high-quality, crystal-clear and colorful images that will grab attention, create a mood, and support your story. Using an image as your focal point can effectively pull viewers in to look at your flyer more closely. There are plenty of free stock photos available online.
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  • Brilliant colors. Use colors that are consistent with your brand as well as colors that have an eye-catching effect. If you use a large image, find a subtle but active color in the image. Use that color scheme for your flyer and stay consistent. Avoid using too many colors, as it will make your flyer more distracting than eye-catching.
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  • Right font style and size. Your choice of lettering is critical to developing your flyer's focal point. A great image and dazzling colors will look better if you use the right font style and size. Whatever your choice is, just make sure that the text is legible, clean and reflective of your brand. Getting too creative when it comes to fonts may not be a good idea. Your priority should be that people can actually read what your flyer says. For a more cohesive look, don't use more than two fonts throughout your flyer.

Just here for the free printables? Skip over to our flyer templates here.

Take a look at the flyers below:

Free flyer templates
Source: Company Folders

The use of interesting vintage-inspired images, complimenting fonts and icons, cohesive color scheme as well as good spacing of the design elements all contributed to the balanced and polished look of this flyer.

Free flyer templates
Source: Lucidpress

The contrast in this futuristic flyer creates a laser-focus on the main message, and it makes the colorful image even more striking. With the thin font and all the extra space, it's easy to include a lot of information on this flyer without making it look crowded.

2. Speak to your target audience

Before you create your flyer, do some research to determine your target audience. This will help you keep your message and tone in line with the type of customers you want to reach. While you want your flyer to stand out, you want it to specifically catch the attention of your target market. For instance, if you're trying to appeal to car enthusiasts only, then using specific terms and descriptions will help your flyer get the attention of people who are interested in purchasing a car. Also, write using their perspective and use the words "you" and "your" instead of "we," "us" or "I."

3. Focus on the benefits

It's not enough to grab your customer's attention. You need them to stick around so you can convey your whole message. Keep them interested by rewarding their attention. Answer your prospects' main question, "What's in it for me?" Find ways to describe what makes you a better choice than your competitors. You can beat the competition by using powerful terminology such as "free," "save" and "guarantee."

4. Keep the content simple

When it comes to creating flyers that stand out, less is more. Remember that you only have a couple seconds to capture the attention of your potential customers, and only one or two more seconds to hook them in with your product. That's why you need concise, straight-to-the-point content about what your product is, its benefits and other important details. Don't clutter your flyer with too much imagery and text. Create short yet effective content, and consider the following:

  • Snappy headline or title. Make the headline catchy or provocative using a few carefully chosen words. Get creative in incorporating powerful words and phrases such as "The Secrets to," "Unlock," "How to," "Discover," "Proven" and more.
  • Use action words. Make your product offering even more exciting by using active verbs. Avoid using passive voice.
  • Use bullet points. Have the text, particularly the benefits, in easy-to-read and digestible bullet points instead of long paragraphs.

5. Offer discounts or special promotions

People love discounts and good deals. In fact, a recent survey found that almost 90% of consumers said that they are influenced by promotions in terms of the amount they spend and the items they purchase. So, attaching a coupon or promotional offer to your flyer will certainly make it more interesting to customers. Offer people discounts or coupon savings they'll find hard to resist or get anywhere else. You can create amazing flyers with coupons for your business by customizing flyer templates available online.

6. Include a call-to-action

After conveying your message to your readers, tell them exactly what to do next. Prompt your audience to take immediate action—to order now, call now, visit your website, etc. Get them excited about what they've learned on your flyer. Be clear how you want them to interact with you. Include important details about your business like website, contact info, location and more.

7. Print in high quality

Another vital element to creating attention-grabbing flyers is the final print. A quality print finish can be just as important as everything else you put on your flyer. Using a glossy finish and quality paper for your flyer can help create a great first impression and can reflect the same quality of your products or services. To make this step easy, Lucidpress can deliver high-quality prints of any design you create in our software. If you're printing at home, run a test print to make sure all the elements on your flyer look correct.

8. Emboss

If you want to take it to the next level, consider creating a 3D effect that is not only eye-catching but appeals to people's sense of touch. It's already great that it looks good, but if you can make people want to touch your flyer, it's even better. You can emboss your focal point and other important design elements to make your flyer more fun and creative.

9. Consider the impact of folds

A folded finish such as a half-fold, tri-fold or spiral-fold can create a unique impact. Adding folds to your flyer will not only make it stand out against the hundreds of other flyers, but it could also guide your customers to your preferred information flow. Remember to plan how you're printing your flyer before you start with the design.

How to make a flyer that stands out
Source: Lucidpress

10. Proofread and be consistent with your brand

Don't forget to proofread and also have someone else proofread your work. Make sure all the details are correct. A misspelled word or inaccurate contact number could make your flyer worthless. You want to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons, so double-check everything before printing. Also, make sure that all the elements align perfectly with your brand identity.

Key takeaways

An effective flyer has a harmonious combination of clear messaging, striking design and flawless finish. To avoid using language or design elements that are dull or over the top, think about what you would prefer as a reader. Put yourself in your prospective customers' shoes. What would you consider an interesting offer? What would impress you to see in a business flyer? Then you'll be able to create flyers that are both practical and memorable.

Ready to design your own stand-out flyers? These free flyer templates are a great starting point.

Free flyer templates

Author Bio

Maggie Aland is a staff writer and marketing expert at Fit Small Business, where she writes how-to guides and articles on marketing for small business owners.