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Flyer Smoke Test

Distribute a flyer with your key value propositions and follow up prompt

Jordan Duff avatar
Written by Jordan Duff
Updated over a week ago


Method category: Evaluative market experiment

How to Use This in GLIDR

A Flyer Smoke Test is just what it sounds like: distributing a flyer with your key value propositions and a prompt for the viewer to follow up somehow (a call, appointment, visiting a website, etc.). 

In GLIDR, create or connection ideas about the value props you want to test to an Experiment for this Flyer Smoke Test. Run the Experiment -- create & distribute the actual flyers, then record your conversions as Evidence. Finally, look in the Analyze phase to measure if you reached your success metrics or not and adjust how this impacts your project as a whole.

Learn more about each of those aspects of GLIDR:


Flyer Smoke Test

Article excerpted from The Real Startup Book

In Brief

Flyers serve as placeholders for conversations that need to happen. Just like flyers are used to describe existing products, they can also be used to describe product plans. By choosing product benefits, features, and a visualization, you communicate the product vision to the prospect to gauge their reaction. This is a common type of smoke test in enterprise sales.

Helps Answer

  • Will the client agree to an appointment?

  • Does the target prospect respond positively to the flyer?

  • Does the target customer pick up the flyer in a normal business context (conference, lobby, etc.)?


  • B2B

  • B2C

  • Enterprise

  • Sales

  • Software

  • Service


Flyers are effectively product or service descriptions printed on a graphically attractive piece of stationary. They contain the key message about the product and entice the prospect to take a specific next step, such as arranging an appointment, making a phone inquiry, or visiting a specific URL.

They are most useful as smoke tests for founders or product people in the early stages of a product idea.

In the smoke test scenario, the product does not exist in its full form. As a result it is possible to test different messaging and value propositions on the flyer.

If you are in a B2B sales scenario, the business relationship is very important. In such markets, there are usually just a handful of heterogenous clients that individually could ultimately make a very large purchase. This factor significantly influences the testing process.

Time Commitment

  • Depends on your design skills and abilities: a few hours

  • Or hire a designer to create one

  • Distribution: 1-2 days

How To

  1. Choose a color palette.

  2. Determine flyer size.

  3. Decide on a distribution strategy.

  4. Write a headline that will appeal to the target profile (in eye-catching font and size).

  5. Add a subtitle that goes into more detail.

  6. Add body copy that describes the product/service.

  7. Add bullet points.

  8. Include a very clear call-to-action that is easy to see.

  9. Choose pictures, graphics, or visualizations to get your point across visually.

  10. Once you are finished designing it, put it up and look at it from a distance (5 m away or across the room).

  11. Optionally ask someone else to proofread and give feedback on the flyer.

  12. You may want to run a comprehension test of some kind (to confirm your message is clear).

  13. Print and distribute your flyer.


  • Canva


  • Adobe Illustrator

  • MS Publisher

  • Designer recruiting sites like,, etc.

Interpreting Results

For a B2C idea, the primary metric that will often be useful is customer acquisition cost (CAC).

CAC = Total cost of flyer production/number of conversions (inquiries)

For a B2B/enterprise idea, causing some kind of a specific response in your prospect should be the measure. Often this is subjective, as the sales process for a new B2B product tends to be discovered as you are creating it.

Potential Biases

  • Avoid counting responses of immediate friends and family who aren't in the target market.

  • If the customer knows that the product doesn't exist yet, it may bias your results.

Field Tips

  • Use insights and language from customer development when crafting your first flyer @LaunchTomorrow.

  • Got a tip? Add a tweetable quote by emailing us:

Case Studies


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