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What is the Difference Between Flyers and Leaflets?

Flyers and leaflets are so similar that you’ll often hear both of these different terms used to describe exactly the same thing. So what exactly is the difference between a flyer and a leaflet?

Flyers & Leaflets


Flyers vs. Leaflets

Since both terms are often used interchangeably, it isn’t possible to define a clear difference between flyers and leaflets that everyone is going to agree on. However, we can identify some difference in the way that these two terms (and the products they describe) are usually used.

However you define them, flyers and leaflets are clearly very similar. We can all agree that both flyers and leaflets are:

  • Printed sheets of information that are used for promotions or marketing
  • Usually simple, with most made out of a single sheet of paper that may be folded
  • Not designed to be kept for a long time (although leaflets may last a little longer than flyers)
  • Affordable to print and disperse in large numbers

The differences between flyers and leaflets can be quite subtle and it’s common to hear people using these terms to mean different things. However, flyers are usually considered to be shorter and simpler than leaflets:

  • Flyers are usually single, unfolded pages, that may only be printed on one side. Leaflets tend to be folded to create multiple pages or sides.
  • A flyer will usually focus on one simple message, with an eye-catching design and minimal detail. Leaflets tend to have more written content and images.
  • Flyers are typically cheaper than leaflets as they are smaller, have simpler designs, and are often printed on lower quality paper. Leaflets tend to cost more, but they are often used for more targeted marketing and intended to be kept for slightly longer than flyers.

How Flyers and Leaflets Are Used?

Another way to think about the differences between flyers and leaflets is to consider the ways in which they are used. Although you’re free to use your flyers and leaflets in any way that you want, the two terms are generally used for material that is used in slightly different ways. These differences relate to the differences in the size, structure and content of the two options.


  • For handing out on the street or at events.
  • To pin up or display as a small poster, especially when the design is one-sided. Additional flyers might also be on hand so that anyone who’s interested can pick up a copy.
  • To leave in public spaces or at exhibition booths, where they can be picked up by passers by.
  • As an extra to slip into a brochure or when mailing out other material. They won’t take up much room so they can easily fit between pages and won’t add much weight for the postage.
  • For short messages, such as a special offer or event.

Leaflets are more likely to be folded into multiple sides and to contain more information. They can therefore be used when you want to provide more information or when you’ve already caught the attention of the reader. Leaflets are often used:

  • As something to mail or hand over to potential or existing customers who are likely to be interested or who have asked for more information, rather than just to random passers by. Leaflets are usually more expensive and detailed then flyers, so they tend to be used in more targeted ways.
  • To keep existing customers up to date with any changes (such as your contact details or new services), often as direct mail or a display in your shop.
  • As an easy way to answer common queries about your business, such as the location or price range. You can point out or mark the relevant sections when talking or writing to the client, then hand over the leaflet so they’ll have the answer along with some extra information.
  • To provide more detailed information about your business or product range, especially when you need to say more than you can fit on a flyer.
  • When you want the recipient to hold on to it for longer than a flyer.

Should You Choose a Flyer or a Leaflet?

Although the terms flyer and leaflet are often used interchangeably, there are some general differences in the way they usually look and are used. In order to find the option that is right for you, it is important to think about your goal.

Effective marketing usually requires a mix of different approaches, from handing out flyers with special offers or coupons, to having more detailed leaflets and brochures available when customers need more information to guide their decisions. You should identify the different ways you want to reach out to people and find the best method for each of these. Printed materials such as flyers and leaflets can play key roles in your promotional mix.

If you want a simple printed sheet that will catch people’s attention and express a clear, concise message, then you probably want a flyer. Flyers are ideal for advertising specific products, events or offers and they are the most affordable choice when you want to hand out large numbers.

If you want something a little more detailed, then a leaflet might be a better idea. Since a leaflet will require more work to design and generally costs a little more, you should ensure that it’s worth making this extra investment. You should choose a leaflet if you need to include more information or you want to give a higher quality impression.

However, it’s up to you how you want to use your printed materials. The important thing is to find the best way of presenting the message that you want to send to the people you want to reach. If this requires an unconventional approach, then you can use a flyer of leaflet in a different way to usual.

How do you use your flyers and leaflets?

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