Where Should I Stick That? : Tips for the Leave-Behind

by Kim Tonkovich

There are TONS of reasons why your print marketing collateral should always be an integral piece of your advertising efforts.  In a Forbes article titled, "The Art of the Leave-Behind: Why Print Collateral Will Always Have a Place in Marketing," Adam Wagner points out that, "Marketers who see the big picture are using creative, conceptual leave-behinds to put a bow on their brand experience and make a tangible impression."

Unique postcards, rack cards, flyers and brochures in creative shapes, sizes and finishes, with a very clear and specific message certainly draw more attention.  And leaving hands full of your cleverly designed collateral at local establishments and other venues can have a significant impact on your business.

So what should you put there and where should you put it?


Always consider your target audience when deciding what you should leave behind where.  Business cards are great when you're able to hand them directly to a person.  However, when you're leaving marketing materials to display to passers-by, you want to leave something eye-catching.  Considering what to leave also depends on what message you're trying to communicate.

For example, if you have a Financial Advisory firm, you might benefit from leaving a stack of multi-fold brochures with eye-catching infographics about returns on the counters at local banks, tax preparation companies and accounting firms.  If you're a Photography Studio, consider leaving flashy (get it?) flyers on the counters at wedding dress shops and in the lobbies of churches and event centers.  If you own a beauty salon or spa, consider leaving stacks of well-designed postcards at local gyms, vitamin shops, and juice bars.

It is extremely affordable to have a few thousand postcards, flyers and brochures printed.  But you should take great care in the design if you want your leave-behinds to actually draw attention.  For this, you may want to consider hiring a professional graphic designer to help you.


You would be surprised by how many local businesses are willing to lay a stack of your leave-behinds on their counters in plain view to all of their customers IF YOU JUST ASK!

How many times have you caught yourself standing in line at your local supermarket and found yourself reading the headlines of tabloid magazines because you have nothing else to do while you wait?  Come on, we all do it.  And even though you may have no desire to read it, and maybe even no interest in the headlines, you still look at them anyway.  And how many times have you found yourself waiting for a table at a restaurant and wandering around the lobby in search of something to look at?  So use that precious real estate on counters and hostess stands to plant piles of information about your business!  Here are a few examples of where you can put it :

  • Concerts & Events

Very often, hosts of local concerts and events will allow local businesses to leave their marketing collateral on the registration tables.  And many event centers have dedicated areas on the walls for local businesses to place their flyers and brochures.

  • Shopping Centers

High foot traffic establishments like shopping centers and retail stores are a great place to leave stacks of thicker stock postcards that potential customers will see when they check out and can easily pick up.

  • Restaurants

Restaurant hostess stands and lobbies are a great place for just about any business to leave marketing materials.  But be sure to consider what type of restaurant it is, and if the clientele would potentially be in your target demographic.

  • Convenience Stores and Gas Stations

Convenience stores and gas stations are other high traffic areas that are great for leave behinds.  Postcards, rack cards, or brochures can be left in very inexpensive stands right on the checkout counters.

  • Private Membership Clubs

Leaving your marketing materials at exclusive member-only private clubs and country clubs that cater to elite patrons is an excellent opportunity to get your business in front of decision-makers.

  • Salons and Spas

When we visit salons and spas for a haircut or any other service, we tend to use this time to sit back and relax a bit.  And almost always are looking for something to peruse and read while we do it.  These are a great option for your leave-behinds because their customers are actually looking for something to read.

  • Banks

Bank counters are perfect for leave-behinds, especially if your services are in the finance, accounting, or insurance fields.

  • Churches

Churches often have areas in the lobby where they display rack cards, brochures, postcards, etc.  Maybe even a table for parishioners to leave a stack of business cards.  If you're a local business and may not even attend a particular church, they may still be happy to allow you to leave your materials.  All you have to do is ask.

  • Conventions and Trade Shows

Conventions and trade shows most often provide attendees with swag bags full of pens, paper, and other goodies.  Sometimes, for a small fee or even for free, the host of the event will include your marketing materials in the attendee bags.  So keep an eye out for upcoming local events and reach out to the event manager.


You can see now that there are spaces to advertise your business just about everywhere, and endless options for where you can leave your marketing materials...and usually for FREE.  So get ready to meet with your graphic designer to create some eye-catching designs, get a few thousand postcards, flyers, brochures and rack cards professionally printed and take them with you everywhere you go!  Then just ask the question, "Hi, I'm Nancy and I own a chocolate shop.  Do you mind if I leave a handful of these on your counter?"

Leave behind marketing materials

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  • The Art of the Leave-Behind: Why Print Collateral Will Always Have a Place in Marketing; Adam Wagner; Forbes.com; July 26, 2017

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