using flyer power to drum up business

Benjamin Burrows

Managing Director

using flyer power to drum up business

The Edinburgh Fringe kicks off this week and, with it, the distribution of millions of promotional flyers. But why are printed leaflets such a reliable and versatile marketing tool for the performers and venues involved?


Today marks the return of the Edinburgh Fringe following two years of Covid-related disruption. If you’re not familiar with the festival, it involves thousands of performers and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city for a month-long celebration of the arts.

Festival Fringe Society, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

This year’s 75th-anniversary event features around 50,000 performances of 3,000 different shows held in 300 venues across the city. And, as you can imagine, all this entertainment is coupled with frenzied promotional activity to entice would-be audience members.

Ever popular in the armoury of performers' promotional tools is the humble paper flyer. This year, like every year, millions of printed leaflets will be handed out to advertise shows. Despite a trend towards digital channels for event promotion, printed flyers are still the bee’s knees of advertising on the Royal Mile.

Printed flyers v. digital media

In a crowded marketplace, printed leaflets offer several advantages over digital ads. When put directly into the hands of an individual, a paper flyer is hard to ignore and provides a memorable physical reminder that can be easily retained and kept accessible. How often have you seen an online advert only to later spend an absurd amount of time scrolling through your email or social feeds in an attempt to rediscover it?

Paper leaflets are also easy to pass on to others. No internet search, no spelling out a url, no app download, no connection problems.

Performers at The Fringe have even made handing out their promotional flyers something of an art form. The sharing of key information is made more memorable with a sneak peek or reciting lines from the show, handing out freebies, or simply chatting – forming the human connection that increases people’s likelihood to buy.

Can printed leaflets boost business?

While it’s not often possible or efficient for most organisations to pound the streets chatting with potential customers, there are some things worth highlighting about the use of paper flyers. Firstly, promotional leaflets are cost-effective. Compared to most other forms of advertising, printed leaflets offer great value for money and can be turned around quickly when you have something new to announce.

They can also be highly targeted. While online advertising and broadcast media may have greater reach, printed flyers can put your message directly into the hands of your target audience. Whether that’s via a postcode-specific door drop provider, such as Royal Mail Door to Door®, or handed out at a trade show or event.

Used in conjunction with QR codes or unique URLs, promo leaflets offer all of the trackability promised by digital media.

Paper-based promotion and the planet

Not only are printed flyers effective, they are also a sustainable way to advertise. When finished with, paper leaflets can be recycled, and the fibres reused to make more paper products. In Europe, our paper recycling rate is around 74% and around 56% of the fibre used to make new paper is recycled.

It's no wonder that, as The Fringe and so many other aspects of life return to normal after the pandemic, Holywell is receiving more requests to design and print promotional flyers. A sure and welcome sign that business (and tourism) is on the up.

If you need promotional leaflets or printed flyers, we’re always happy to provide a free, no-obligation quote. Call 01865 242098 or contact us using the button below.

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