How do you use door hanger advertising to generate sales
for your small business?
Is door hanger advertising worth it? Can door hangers create sales and leads for small businesses?
If you’ve ever come home on an empty stomach to find a door hanger add on your doorknob announcing the opening of a new Pizza joint in your neighborhood, or a small flyer wedged in the front door with the full menu of a new BBQ restaurant around the corner, you know how effective door hanger marketing can be. Even if we don’t use the coupons immediately, many people have a kitchen drawer where we store these door hangers, coupons, and restaurant menus.
However, door hanger marketing is a proven marketing weapon but under used in many small-business owners advertising arsenal. This is unfortunate, as door hangers can be an extremely cost-effective way to get the word out and create new customers for your business.
In this article we will review the benefits of door hanger marketing, and why it might be a good fit for your company. Plus, we’ll share a few tips to help boost response rates for your door hanging advertising.
Benefits of door hanger marketing
While door hangers might be considered by some to be a “poor man’s postcard,” they actually have a couple of benefits over postcards and direct mail campaigns. All marketing is math, and a properly designed door hanger can great a flow of new customers, almost on demand.
First of all, they’re noticeable. Because they’re delivered directly to the door and not lumped in the mailbox with all the other junk mail — which many recipients throw away immediately — like the $100 Bill Drop Cards, they’re virtually impossible to ignore. Many public utilities use official notices such as utilities and missed deliveries are often placed on doors using door hangers, recipients are very likely to read your message.
Second, they’re inexpensive. As marketing materials go, door hangers are one of the least expensive options available. They’re available at rock-bottom printing costs that are often as low as 5-10 cents per unit, depending on the volume and cost of design services. With such low costs to print door hangers, they’re definitely an intriguing marketing method, especially for cash-strapped businesses. (And what business isn’t these days?)
In other words, if you want to get a potential customer’s attention for very little money, door hangers can be a profitable advertising option for small business owners.
Tips to Boost Door Hanger Responses.
As you can see, door hanger marketing has several benefits that give it an edge over other types of guerrilla marketing and mailing services. But in order to make sure your campaign gives you the return on investment you’re looking for, there are several things you should consider before you dive in and decide to create a custom door hanger design on over priced, glitzy, full-color card stock.
RESEARCH AND DEMOGRAPHICS
Before you decide to pull the trigger on a door hanger marketing campaign, you need to consider your customer base. A little research goes a long way toward increasing the effectiveness of a door hanger campaign.
Create a customer profile to identify your target audience, then use demographic information to determine which neighborhoods in your locale are most likely need your services. You wouldn’t try to sell lawn services in a community full of apartments and condos, for example. To see the best returns, focus on the areas that most need your products & services.
For instance, let’s say Susan just opened a sandwich shop in a new neighborhood, Susan’s Little Deli. Of course, she did initial market research to determine the best location for her shop and decided to rent space in a small complex smack-dab in the middle of an urban neighborhood with lots of young families. Since she did quite a lot of demographic research before opening, she knows that her target demographic is people within walking distance in the neighborhood.
Set your goals & Know Your Numbers
Now that Susan knows who she wants to target — residents in a 2 mile radius — she needs to set some goals. She’s eager to get the word out to residents in the community about her small business, Susan’s Little Deli. She thinks that door hanger marketing might be a good way to drum up interest while conserving capital that she needs to cover opening costs and she would be right.
She sets clear goals for this initial marketing campaign, in our example, she wants to target 1,000 households and generate a response rate of 5% or more. A 5% response rate would get 50 new customers to her deli.
By setting her goals at the outset, Susan will be able to evaluate whether her door hanger campaign was successful. With a clearly defined metric for success, she can also identify what worked and what didn’t, which will allow her to plan any future door hanger marketing campaigns more strategically. All marketing is Math!
If You Break Even You Win
In all the consulting and training I have shared over the years, the one concept I try to drill into all small business owners.
- If they buy once, they are a suspect
- If they buy twice, they are a prospect
- If they buy three times they are a customer
Create a campaign
You need to create a powerful offer than people simply cannot ignore.
It needs to be a limited time offer. This way, you can motivate your potential customers to move quickly and visit your location before the coupon expires. In our example with Susan, she designs a door hanger with a buy one sandwich, get one free deal that is only valid for two weeks after she delivers her door hangers.
With consulting clients what I try to communicate is when someone brings that door hanger coupon to your business, offer the best quality product you can, and understand you have one goal ………. get them back for a second visit.
How are you going to get them back?
This is a question you need to ask yourself. We have many clients that simply hand out a $100 Bill Drop Card that offers a Free Desert with your next purchase or something similar depending on the business. then on the 3rd visit we like to introduce a loyal card. The loyalty card in Susan’s case would be a free sandwich after 5 visits.
Save Money on Door Hanger Printing
While you likely have a variety of printers in your area that offer door hanger printing as an option, you should consider a few things when choosing which one you’ll go with. For example, if you already use a certain company to print your business cards, you might be able to bundle together the cards and the door hangers to get an even lower printing rate and maybe even the loyalty cards if you decide to go with that route.
Currently the best price we have found for quality postcards is a company we found on Ebay.
If you are getting ready to open a deli or restaurant, we go design the entire grand opening campaign for you and take care of everything for a flat fee and have everything printed and ready to go starting at $5,000 for this consulting and grand opening package which includes all tools, custom design and printing. You can call our office at 502 – 8 6 8 – 6 1 9 9 and see what our current fee is for a new business grand opening promotion.
You’ll also want to consider the turnaround time. For instance, Susan plans to distribute her door hangers on June 3rd the day of her grand opening. Today some local printers have out of state 3rd party printers print many of their specialty items like door hanger.
As such, she needs to make sure all her door hangers are ready to go before June 3rd, so she chooses a printer that can complete her order quickly in three business days. If you also have a campaign that is time sensitive, you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of how many business days your printer takes to provide the finished product.
Finally, consider your materials. Honestly your offer is the most important part of a successful door hanger campaign, not the quality of card stock you door hangers are printed on. You don’t want them to look cheap or cheesy, put they don’t need necessarily need to glitzy full color. While you may go googly-eyed over thick die cut paper stocks with full-color printing and a gloss cover with UV coating, recipients will likely only interact with your door hanger for a matter of seconds and your offer must grab their attention. Don’t get caught up in flashy materials.
Keep designs simple
Remember that people quickly read — and discard — door hangers. Use bold colors and images, big headlines, and a simple, direct message. Don’t try to promote more than one offer per hanger. An appealing coupon is what we almost always recommend, combined with strong offer with expiration date that inspires potential customers to action, helps to increase the odds of conversion success (and the likelihood that the reader will hold on to your flyer). Obviously, be sure to include your contact information prominently on the door hanger.
In Susan’s case, she chooses to go with a simple firework design template that she found on her printer’s website. It’s eye-catching and will prominently feature her two-for-one offer at the top (with the valid dates clearly noted), as well as her business’s name and location details.
Without a way to track responses, you won’t know where your door hangers worked or not. That is why for grand opening we suggest you use a coupon that customers can bring to your business to claim your compelling offer. Forget setting up separate phone lines or hounding customers for their demographic information. Use common sense to help you identify where your leads come from.
Remember that coupon you’re including on the door hanger? Assign unique codes and website URLs to door hangers distributed in different neighborhoods. When people take advantage of your special offer, you’ll know immediately where they came from.
In Susan’s case, she included a special code on her flyer that customers could use at checkout. She or her staff can enter the code at the register when customers buy their sandwich, allowing her to easily tag transactions that were impacted by this particular campaign.
Make Sure to have your 20 Second Commercial Memorized
Finally, unless you hire another company to distribute your door hangers, passing them out gives you an excellent secondary sales opportunity: face time with potential customers.
Over the years we have done this many ways, to save money you may want to go out with
a group of employees, staff, or family members.
Before you head out the door, prepare a 20 Second Commercial and make sure all those placing door hangers for your business memorizes it, Who you are, where you are located and what the coupon on the door hanger provides. A 20 Second Commercial is a quick blurb that everyone should memorize and practice, so they never be tongue-tied if someone opens the door and asks what do you do. Be sure to dress professionally, too. Polo shirts with your company logo are always a good look. You want to make a good impression. In other words, leave the cut-off shorts and ratty old tees in your closet when you hit the street with your door hangers.
Track Your Success
Once your campaign is over, take a moment to analyze the results. What was your response rate? I wouldn’t worry too much about ROI, because if all goes well they will return for a second and third time, and the most important mindset to have is WHAT IS THE LIFETIME VALUE OF A CUSTOMER.
In Susan’s case, door hangers proved to be an efficient and cost-effective business launch tool. During her June 3rd “buy one, get one free” promo, they had 160 transactions for the two week promotion, her and her team put out 2,000 door hangers. That is an 8% response rate. To date 111 of those people have returned to claim their free cookie offer she did with the bill drop cards & 73 are now on participating in their buy 6 sandwhiches, get one free loyalty card program. To say this campaigns was a success would be a major understatement, when you consider the lifetime value of a customer. She told me recently “working with your team was the best $5,000 I ever invested, if we had depended on walk in traffic only, I don’t know if we would still be in business”.
KEEP UP YOUR MOMENTUM!
Custom door hangers can work for a variety of businesses, and in our example with Susan, they were highly effective at generating interest in her grand opening and creating new customers for her sandwich shop. If you haven’t considered door hangers as a marketing tool for your small business, now might be the time. They offer low cost and high visibility.
Susan now has us on retainer and we are working with her to created an email marketing campaign and Facebook Group for her business.
If you’d like to find other creative ways to reach potential customers and keep growing your business, you might want to consider email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing as other very cost-effective ways to promote and boost your business without over spending. if you need direction and help our team at Calvert Marketing Group can help.