FAQ: How Do You Choose Between a Flyer vs. Brochure?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Though many marketing teams rely on digital platforms, traditional print advertising may help you connect with more customers. Two popular print advertising materials include flyers and brochures. Understanding the difference between these materials can help you choose the one that effectively promotes products while remaining within your budget. In this article, we explain the key similarities and differences between a flyer and a brochure.

Related: What Is Print Advertising?

What is a flyer?

A flyer is a sheet of paper that advertises an event, product or service. Also called leaflets or handbills, flyers are typically unfolded and one-sided. Most people create flyers using standard 8.5" x 11" printer paper, though these promotional materials can be of various sizes and materials. People pass out flyers at events and rely on their visually appealing text, images and color to get a reader's attention.

Related: Marketing Materials: What They Are and Why You Need Them

What is a brochure?

A brochure is a multi-panel marketing material that provides more information about an event, product or service. Many salespeople distribute brochures to capitalize on customer interest and increase conversion rates. One can create a brochure by folding an 8.5" x 11" sheet into several panels, with common folds including a C-fold and double gatefold. Brochures are also available in custom sizes and typically consist of thicker paper and protective coatings. While most brochures are one sheet of paper, some contain multiple sheets that marketers bind together.

Related: 16 Marketing Material Examples (With Tips)

What are the differences between a flyer vs. brochure?

Here are some of the key differences between a flyer and a brochure:

Cost

Flyers are typically cheaper to make, as you can print them on standard printer paper. Some people use these savings to invest in color ink, though you can also use black ink on colored paper to engage readers. Brochures are more expensive, as they require two-sided printing and heavier paper. The cost is even more if you invest in UV or aqueous coating to make brochures more durable.

Related: 14 Types of Advertising

Size

Most flyers are 8.5" x 11" sheets of printer paper, while brochures can come in various sizes of folded paper. The folds and heavier paper of a brochure make this marketing material much thicker than a flyer. Regardless, these marketing materials are small enough for customers to fit into their pockets or bags.

While 8.5" x 11" is a standard size for flyers and brochures, a marketer can adjust the size to better suit their budget and customer preferences. For instance, a small and square flyer can save on printing costs while attracting a customer's attention. Marketers might also create smaller brochures to make them more convenient for customers.

Format

While there aren't strict formatting guidelines, flyers typically use bold designs to get a customer's attention. The paper might feature large text with the main event or product and a short description of why the customer should be interested. Engaging pictures and colored paper can also ensure customers read flyers. As for a brochure, the front panel introduces the product or event and encourages the customer to learn more. Inside panels have a heavier emphasis on text, though marketers can use unique layouts and design elements to make the information more engaging.

Purpose

One of the main differences between flyers and brochures is their purpose. A flyer creates awareness and builds interest, while a brochure capitalizes on existing interest. For instance, consider a restaurant owner who's opening a new location. They would likely pass out flyers with a catchy slogan and pictures of menu items to invite locals to the grand opening.

If the same restaurant owner offers catering services for weddings, a brochure might be more appropriate. They can give these more expensive and information-dense materials to engaged couples who want to learn about pricing. The catering brochures might also feature testimonials and information about cleanup services.

Use

Flyers are cheap and disposable, meaning you can pass out hundreds at once. People often stand in high-traffic areas like street corners or event entrances and hand out flyers to passersby. You might also post flyers on bulletin boards and utility poles for passersby to read.

Because brochures are more expensive, people tend to be more conservative with their distribution. You can reserve these marketing materials for customers who've already expressed interest in your event, product or service. By providing more information and conveying professionalism, brochures help you secure the final sale. Brochures also help salespeople present pitches to prospective customers. After referencing the brochure during their pitch, the salesperson can give it to the customer to review later.

How do you choose between a flyer and a brochure?

Consider these factors when deciding between flyers and brochures:

Type of advertising

Flyers are ideal when you want to generate awareness or invite customers to an event. You can pass them out to hundreds of customers for relatively cheap. For instance, you might use flyers to advertise a new product or increase attendance at a concert. Brochures are more appropriate when you want to secure a final sale by impressing customers. For example, an apartment complex might give a family a brochure to help them decide on the appropriate unit.

Budget

If your marketing team has a strict budget, flyers might be a more appropriate choice because of their cheap printing costs. In some cases, the cost of brochures is worth their professionalism and ability to increase conversions. You can make brochures more affordable by designing them yourself via page layout software.

Related: How To Make a Brochure on Google Docs (Plus Types and Tips)

Distribution resources

Having the appropriate distribution resources can ensure the right customers get your marketing materials. For instance, if you can have staff members stand in high-traffic areas, flyers might be the ideal choice. You might choose brochures if you have salespeople that can give these pamphlets to customers who express the most interest in a product or service.

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