In the competitive world in which we operate, businesses are constantly seeking effective and inexpensive ways of getting out their message. In particular, small businesses with limited budgets need options - especially if they want to compete with the corporate behemoths who have seemingly unlimited funds to advertise. As recently commented by Entrepreneur Magazine, door hangers fit the bill for many small businesses.
Yes, Door hangers!
No matter how great the service or product, if your message isn't seen, it won't matter. The mere fact that a consumer cannot go through their front door without seeing your message demonstrates the power of door hanger marketing. I still remember the impact door hanger marketing had on me one day as I came home from work, hungry and tired. There on my door was an ad from a well known pizza chain including a coupon special. Guess what I had for dinner that night? It was at that moment that I understood the power of this often overlooked medium.
What businesses benefit from door hangers?:
Admittedly, door hangers aren't for everyone. Businesses that can successfully implement a door hanger campaign typically include those that serve a particular community or neighborhood, or those which market products and services specifically geared toward homeowners (or renters) in their everyday activities. Some examples include restaurants and cafes, hair salons, services for pets, landscaping and yard maintenance, real estate and mortgage professionals, cable or satellite providers, contractors and handyman services, political candidates, etc. They are ideal for advertising grand openings or special events. Even still, many large national retailers have discovered the usefulness of this medium, some of which include: Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, Toys R Us, CVS Pharmacy and Ford, to name a few.
Consider this example:
How many consumers own a personal computer? Virtually all of them! And how many of those are at least occasionally frustrated by slow performance or other annoying hiccups? Probably most, at some point or another. Suppose a computer service technician placed door hangers on homes in upper middle class neighborhoods offering an in home computer tune up - guaranteeing improved performance. It could be offered as a free service, or at an enticingly low price. No doubt the response would be high if the price was right (especially free), and if the message was well presented. Income from the tune up doesn't have to be the goal. While performing this service, a good technician will easily identify software programs or services that would be of benefit to that consumer. Through cross selling this technician just created revenue. What's more, who do you think the consumer will call when their hard drive crashes? The point of this example is to illustrate how door hanger marketing can prove effective - even for seemingly unlikely candidates. Creativity is the key.
A message with impact:
You are pretty much guaranteed that the door hanger will be seen. The question is, will the message be acted upon? This relies in large part on both the message and presentation. Like any effective direct mail, you should include a call to action. Perhaps a coupon. Maybe a limited time special offer. It could advertise a free sample. Point being, your message should give the reader a reason to want to respond, and to do so soon. Also, make sure the message is easily read. Your offer should stand out - bold and colorful. Don't include so much information or graphics as to make the piece hard to follow. At first, your door hanger will only get a glance. If there's nothing displayed to warrant a closer look, it probably won't get a closer look. Strongly consider having it printed in full color and using a hired graphic designer to create the piece. Not only will this more effectively draw attention, but a professionally produced door hanger adds credibility to your message.
There are a number of firms which offer door hanger distribution. Some have developed high tech processes, including GPS tracking, to ensure timely and accurate delivery. They are a great resource, but often have minimum orders of 15,000 or even 25,000 which is just not practical for many small businesses. For smaller runs, and when hanging them yourself is not an option, consider hiring a group of kids. Aside from paying them - offer a pizza party or some other incentive for doing a good job. Boy and girl scout troops are always looking for fundraisers - as are many school clubs. You can help these noble causes while getting your message out inexpensively. (Tip: When using kids make sure they will be supervised by a responsible adult.)
Great for budget conscious businesses:
Small businesses recognize the need to advertise, but simply don't have the deep pockets of larger companies. For this reason, it's all the more important to get more bang for your buck when choosing a direct marketing campaign. Door hangers can be purchased inexpensively. Reminiscence Publishing LLC for example, will print 1000 large door hangers in full color on both sides for under $200 - less per piece for larger quantities. 1000 hangers can easily be placed in about 8 hours, so for well under $300 a business can reach a decent sized audience. If $300 still seems too high, find another business or two to co-op on the project and bring the costs down even further.
Bottom line - door hangers work! It's not uncommon for a business to get two or three times the response from a door hanger over other direct marketing techniques. When every penny counts, results like these make all the difference.