Best Places To Distribute Research Study Flyers

Written By:
Rob C.

Research study flyers can be a cost-effective way to reach and engage potential participants for clinical trials and research studies. When you distribute flyers in the right places, people notice. Research study flyer success depends on conveying a simple message that resonates with your audience, but knowing where to place flyers so your audience will notice them is just as important for success.

Ideas for flyer distribution include:

  • Best places to put flyers: geographic vs. demographic targeting
  • Best places to distribute flyers
  • How to distribute flyers legally
  • If you want to print research study flyers that work, get them in front of a motivated audience with these flyer distribution tips.

Best Places to Put Flyers: geographic vs. demographic targeting

Before you decide where to hang flyers, you should understand the differences between geographic and demographic targeting.

  • Geographic targeting means you distribute your flyers in a defined area; for example, you can place flyers everywhere on a college campus, in a given neighborhood or within a specific ZIP code. Geographic targeting is best-suited for local studies and clinical trials that have mass appeal and require the participants to visit a location, as opposed to a virtual visit or online survey.
  • ​​Demographic targeting means you distribute your flyers to people who match defined characteristics; for example, a college campus would be great if your desired demographics are people 18-24, professors, TAs, etc. If your demographic requires working professionals, then you may consider distributing your flyers to local businesses.

Best Places to Distribute Flyers

Direct-to-customer flyer distribution

  • One great way to make sure customers see your flyers is to place them directly in their hands or at their doors. These opportunities may include:
    • Door-to-door flyer distribution
    • Place flyers on cars
    • Hand out flyers to people on the street
    • Insert flyers in retail customer bags
    • Insert flyers in local free newspapers
    • Hand out flyers to event attendees, or set up a booth at festivals, concerts, trade shows, and other events and give your flyers to people who stop to learn more

Public Flyer Distribution

  • These strategies help you blanket your local area with flyers, perfect for reaching a mass audience with minimal budget. These opportunities may include:
    • Stores with community bulletin boards
    • Utility poles, elevators and vending machines
    • Bus stops, subways and train stations
    • Community centers and laundromats
    • Senior centers, business reception areas
    • Municipal buildings and offices
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Convention and visitor bureaus
    • Public restrooms

Partner Flyer Distribution

  • You’ll need to work with others to get your flyers in these places, but getting permission is typically easy and can put your message in front of a large audience with minimal effort. Organizations and businesses that allow you to post flyers include:
    • Coffee shops, restaurants, bistros and convenience stores
    • Daycares, schools, churches, libraries and gyms
    • Banks, doctor’s offices and pharmacies
    • Gas stations, hardware stores and retail shop counters
    • Factories and auto repair shops
    • Windows, walls and doors anywhere your audience frequents

Don’t be afraid to think of creative ways to distribute flyers: ceilings over dentist’s chairs, inside restroom stalls, and handing out die-cut flyers in unexpected places can be unique flyer distribution ideas that grab attention and increase response rates.

Online Flyer Distribution

  • In addition to distributing printed flyers, you can post your flyers online. A few options of where to post flyers online include
    • Social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
    • Your own website or partner websites
    • School newsletters and activity boards
    • Community classifieds and Craigslist

How to Distribute Flyers Legally

It’s important to understand local, state and federal laws so you know how to hand out flyers legally. For example, you cannot place flyers in mailboxes manually (you must pay for postage and send them through the Post Office). You can’t use newspaper boxes, either, since those are owned by newspaper publishers. Some communities have ordinances against door-to-door solicitation (though in most places you can place a flyer on the front doors of residences). Check local laws to find out how to distribute flyers door-to-door.

​​If you want to place flyers in public places, be sure to check ordinances to find out how to distribute flyers legally: parking lots and utility poles might be off-limits. Ask questions like “is it illegal to put flyers up in public parks,” “where can I post flyers legally,” and “is it against the law to put flyers on cars.” And, if you want to post flyers in private businesses, always be sure to get permission first. It might not be illegal to leave a stack of flyers on a retail counter, but if you don’t have permission they’ll probably be thrown away – a waste of your flyer and printing costs.

When it comes to flyer distribution, best practice is to check laws first and always get permission from private property owners before you leave your flyers. In most cases, you’ll find it’s easy to get permission to place your flyers where customers will see them – which is why flyer printing is such a popular form of marketing.


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