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Are leaflets effective advertising? Leaflet benefits for businesses explained

Are leaflets effective advertising? Do brochures work?

When used correctly, leaflets are useful for just about all businesses, but especially in areas such as hospitality and healthcare settings, where it is generally important to be able to communicate extra supporting information about treatments or services.

Leaflet displays are also great for use in retail, generally used in these settings to promote special offers, provide product details, and communicate image and brand [1]. But why are leaflets effective? And how can we arrange our displays to maximise the advantages of leaflets?

'Store flyers are one of the most important media for featuring retail promotions'- Luceri et al (2014) [2]

How effective are brochures in marketing? Do brochures work?

A critical literature review in 2017 explains how leaflets and flyers have been found to help with the buyer decision making process in retail, allowing them to continue considering once they have left your premises [3]. The use of leaflets has also been found to be effective in healthcare contexts in aiding patient's decision-making in regards to health choices and procedures, without increasing their anxiety [4].

In-store leaflet displays allow you to instantly reach your target audience with your advertising or information. Use your brochures and flyers to inform and inspire your existing customers, prompting them to imagine how your products and services could benefit them in the future.

Brochures, flyers and leaflets give you the opportunity to provide extra information and marketing content, and leaflet displays are shown to be effective at increasing awareness of a brand, product or issue [5].

Marketing expert Jennifer Rowley also explains that leaflet marketing draws customers to online services after they have left the point of sale. Use your leaflets and brochures to give readers direct links to your website, social media or helpline, and a reminder of your physical address, if you have one.

'Flyers are a crucial retail promotion tool because they influence shoppers both at home and in store'- Ziliani and Leva (2015)

More advantages of leaflets

Taking leaflets home acts as a reminder to your customers or patients, even if they forget. Your literature can keep reminding them (until they throw it away of course). Brochure displays work to spread your message, as it allows people to easily pass them on to family and friends who might be interested.

Leaflets have been demonstrated to be even more effective than digital media when used for 'intervention advertising', such as to promote health screenings at clinics or healthy food choices in supermarkets, proven by countless studies into health interventions [6], [7]. Additionally, studies suggest that an engaging leaflet design will improve their effectiveness [8].

How to display leaflets: 6 of the best leaflet display methods

1. Countertop leaflet displays
Use countertop leaflet displays to encourage uptake

Use countertop leaflet displays in areas that your staff may need to regularly point out useful information, such as at reception desks, by new product displays or at your pop-up market stand.

2. Flyer display stands and spinners
Use a flyer display stand for a wide range of flyers

Using a flyer display stand is a great choice for areas where people are likely to be waiting and/or looking for something to pick up and occupy their time, such as in a waiting room or by a queuing zone.

3. Brochure displays for shelves
Use brochure displays on your shop shelves

Leaflet displays are great for attaching to your shelves to provide extra information or promotional material about a particular product range, as customers are already interested and browsing.

4. Magazine display racks and stands

Use a magazine display rack for brochures and catalogues

If you have large brochures, catalogues or company magazines, a robust magazine display rack is the best choice to keep your literature tidy and accessible. These are available in countless styles, including tiered, wall fixed or freestanding.

Wall mounted magazine racks, however, are the ideal way to save on floor space, and they're available in a wide range of styles to suit your decor.

5. Adaptable leaflet displays

Use multifunctional leaflet displays

Adaptable leaflet displays are popular among a huge range of business types, as they make a good all-rounder option.

A Multiple Size Leaflet Display features removable sections so that you can display leaflets and flyers of varying sizes, while the Multipurpose Leaflet Holders can be displayed either on a wall, on countertops, or hooked into slatwall, for maximum versatility.

6. Multifunctional leaflet displays

Attach a leaflet holder pocket to your existing signage

To make your leaflet display even more attractive, you could use an acrylic poster holder with an integrated leaflet holder pocket. This way, your customer or visitors will be drawn in by the attractive graphics in your polished poster holder, and be encouraged to take a leaflet away.

A bigger version of this is the leaflet holder for A Boards, which simply slots onto the top of your large pavement signs.

Do brochures work for your business? If you don't currently have a high level of uptake for your brochure or leaflet marketing, try experimenting with your magazine and leaflet displays to see which method is most effective. Some businesses have lots of wall space by waiting areas, and so a wall mounted unit might be the best choice. On the other hand, the best way to grab attention and get customers to pick up flyers on impulse might be to have floor standing units placed in key areas. One fairly reliable method is to display them at your checkout counter for staff members to hand out during transactions. This provides the opportunity for staff to emphasise to the customers any benefits or special information included in the leaflet.

Ultimately, there is no wrong answer when it comes to how to display leaflets and brochures. It's simply a case of experimenting with the best style and position of display to suit your business, and to meet your customer's needs. Check out our Leaflet Displays category for the full range of available magazine and flyer display stands from UK POS, the majority of which are available for next day delivery.

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Kira Swales

Kira Swales is a copywriter for UK POS. With over six years’ experience in e-commerce and copywriting, and many years in the retail sector, Kira loves to take a deep dive into topics in order to provide readers with the latest research in point of sale and merchandising. Read more of her in-depth guides on POS in our Knowledge Hub.


1. Ziliani and Leva, ‘Retail shopper marketing: The future of promotional flyers’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management (2015), Vol. 43, Issue. 6, pp. 488-50.

2. Luceri et al, ‘The impact of store flyers on store performance: a format and customer related approach’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management (2014), Vol. 42, Issue 3: 219-234.

3. Alina Stankevitch, ‘Explaining the Consumer Decision-Making Process: Critical Literature Review’, Journal of International Business Research and Marketing (2017), Volume 2, Issue 6, pp. 7-14.

4. O'Connor et al, ‘Decision aids for patients facing health treatment or screening decisions: systematic review’, BMJ (1999), Volume 319, pp. 731-734.

5. Rowley, Jennifer, Information Marketing (London: Routledge, 2001), https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315588520/information-marketing-jennifer-rowley [accessed 8 April 2021].

6. Agha-Mir-Salimet al, 'A randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of Facebook compared to leaflets in raising awareness of melanoma and harmful sun-related behaviour among young adults', European journal of cancer prevention (2020), 29(1) 89-91.

7. Barik et al, 'The Effectiveness of Traditional Media (Leaflet and Poster) to Promote Health in a Community Setting in the Digital Era: A Systematic Review', Jurnal Ners (2019), 14(3) 76.

8. Young, Smith and Tordoff, 'What do patients' want? Time to innovate medicine information leaflets', International Journal of Integrated Care (2017), 17(3) 15.