10 Tips for Handing out Post Cards Door-to-Door
Handing out flyers or business post cards can be a very effective direct marketing technique. In fact post card in particular can be a very effective direct marketing technique for any business. There are also some downsides, namely the environmental impact of "junk mail" as well as the perception that this method is old fashioned. It is worth addressing both of these concerns straight away.
The Environmental Impact
Obviously junk mail uses up trees and can cause a lot of litter, which in turn can end up in landfills. The environmental effect certainly is a major issue. However, the alternative to producing more paper and ink is to put your efforts into other forms of advertising, such as various forms of online advertising. What gets overlooked in this debate is the energy used when online as well as the serious problem of electronic waste associated with used up computers, cell phones, printers, etc. For an interesting discussion on the environmental impact of print vs. online check out this video discussion: 5Across: Environmental Impact of Media.
Let's face it: the only truly "green" way to advertise your business is word of mouth. For this reason, planetway recommends that if you do choose to deliver print advertising, at least use recycled paper to reduce your environmental footprint.
Old Style Marketing Still Works
As for the idea that paper ads are old hat and online advertising is the only way to go, it is simply not true. All the flyers and post cards you still see are testimony to the fact that this marketing form still works. Just as people still like the tactile sensations associated with reading books and newspapers, so too are they attracted to a well designed brochure or post card.
If you know the demographic that you are targeting you can target the relevant neighbourhoods and housing types. For instance, if your product or service is geared towards people with lots of disposable income, you may want to hone in on upper middle class areas with double car garages. On the other hand, if you are trying to attract working class folks or people with more modest incomes you may want to go after apartment complexes or other rental properties. You can also deliver to a combination of areas and see what produces the best return on your investment.
10 Tips for delivering post cards door-to-door that will work for any business
1. Map out a route. Once you have decided upon your target area, plan a route of streets and buildings and systematically cover it. You can always return to it later. Keep in mind that most people will not respond to advertising until they have been exposed to the same ad many times. Record what you have done each day and then systematically cover the area you have targeted. Rinse and repeat.
2. Check with your local/state or provincial/federal laws to verify what you can and can’t do when distributing advertising materials. Laws vary world wide as well within municipalities. In the US it is illegal to put anything in mailboxes (though many people do it anyway). Fines and prosecutions are certainly possible but this does not seem to stop the huge volume of unsolicited mail distributed by people other than the post office. It really depends on the attitude of the recipient. In any case, in newer subdivisions, mailboxes are often centrally located so you can't access them.
3. Abide by rules and requests concerning junk mail. If there is a sign at a house or in a lobby that says "No junk mail," skip this place. A sign that says "No solicitations or peddlers" anywhere on the premise is pretty much the same request. Here is some more information on the thorny issues of what amounts to solicitation and canvassing. There is sometimes a box for flyers. Above problems solved!
4. Roll up postcard and place it in the door handle. Homeowners can't miss them.
5. No door handle? Try the seam along the bottom of the door. This usually works for postcards or heavy stock paper.
6. Place under the mat. This is the least best option, especially if there is door handle or workable door seam. Or just skip the house.
7. Don't toss the flyer on the porch, driveway or lawn. It's litter and people don't like it. Remember, you are trying to sell yourself and your business. Be respectful.
8. If you can gain access to an apartment lobby, leave a few post cards in an area that can be seen such as a bulletin board.
9. Beware of loose dogs or other pets. In fact, skip any place that makes you feel uncomfortable.
10. Talk to people. People are often outside working in the yard, or coming and going from their residences. This gives you a chance to talk up your business. Briefly explain the benefits of your offer. You will find the vast majority of people to be friendly and polite.
Use a trackable, measureable system to see where your customers are coming from and which neighbourhoods are responding to your campaign. In some cases, you may have more than one post card and more than one person handing them out. Devise a system that allows you to drill down for the crucial data.
Direct Mail Advertising—in particular, delivering business post cards offers several benefits including cost-effectiveness for small and medium sized enterprises.
Finally, remember to have fun with this form of marketing. If you choose to forgo the post office service and do it yourself, it's great exercise. Do this a few hours per day and you can definitely skip the gym!
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