One of the biggest struggles for marketing professionals and small business owners is how to get people’s attention during a time when it seems like the whole world is competing for the same. When people are bombarded with advertising the second they open the Internet or step out the door, how do you stand out?
One way to stand out is to meet them at the door—with eye-catching door hangers. Door hanger advertising is an underrated way for entrepreneurs at all stages of the game to generate hype for their business and get paying customers.
That does not mean that door hangers marketing is an instant ticket to success. A successful campaign still requires planning and organization. To pull off one of your own, here is everything you need to know about door hanger flyers.
What Is Door Hanger Marketing?
Have you ever come home and noticed a flyer sticking around your door handle? Congratulations, you’ve been a recipient of a door hanger marketing campaign.
Marketing door hangers are similar to regular flyers except they have a hook or insert that allows them to hang directly on people’s door handles instead of getting lost in the mailbox or under the door. Print door hangers are usually on the smaller side, about the size of a regular rack card, so they can easily fit on people’s doors.
Due to their small size, door hangers usually don’t try to cram tons of information onto their pages. Instead, their most important benefit is their eye-catching visibility. These marketing campaigns are characterized by bright graphics and short, punchy copywriting.
Benefits of Door Hanger Marketing
Conventional marketing wisdom has been pushing digital marketing for the past few years and saying that print advertising is dead. However, there is still plenty of value (and sometimes even greater ROI) with traditional marketing forms such as door hangers.
Here are a few reasons why it’s worth investing in door hanger printing.
One of the greatest benefits of door hanger signs is their affordability. Your highest costs are printing—if you have some talent for graphic design, you don’t even have to pay a professional to create them.
Once you print out your door hangers, your expenses are over. You don’t have to pay for envelopes or postage because you’re physically distributing them, not mailing them out. Even digital ads come with a cost because you have to pay for advertising space. If you’re running a bigger distribution campaign, you can hire a company to place your door hangers, but if you don’t have space in your budget for it, it’s easy enough to do on your own.
The affordability makes it easy to launch a door hanger campaign even if your business is just starting out.
Custom Messaging and Targeting
Your only limit when designing your door hangers is space. Other than that, you can put whatever you want on it. Personalized door hangers make it easy to tailor your graphics and text to whatever campaign you’re running. The flexibility and accessibility of the medium also mean that you can run a door hanger campaign for each promotion your business is doing.
Besides personalizing the content, you can also personalize the distribution. Door hangers allow you to target the people you think are most likely to become paying customers, in terms of location and demographic profile. For example, if you offer a pet sitting business, you can target houses you see that have leashes on the front porch. This is far more control than you have over the distribution of digital ads, that can target people too far away to ever become paying customers.
Grab Customers’ Attention
People are so desensitized to advertising these days that they automatically tune out most of what they see. Digital ads immediately get lost in the noise of social media and the Internet. Flyers get automatically tossed into the junk mail drawer.
However, printed door hangers force people to stop and notice thanks to their eye-catching positioning. People instinctively remove your door hanger before entering their home, and that means they will look at it for at least a few seconds. Whether you’re able to retain their interest long enough to convert them into paying customers is up to you.
What Businesses Can Use Door Hanger Marketing?
Pretty much anyone can use door hangers as a marketing strategy, but there’s something about this marketing strategy that makes it best for small businesses. If you are running a campaign on a scrappy budget, then door hangers make the most sense.
Door hanger marketing also makes the most sense for businesses that are physically rooted in the community. This type of campaign allows you to target people who live near you. If you have a business that depends on your local community, such as a real estate agency or landscaping company, then door hanger marketing campaigns make more sense than if you run an exclusively online business.
Door hangers are also popular among campaigns that are not business-related, such as political campaigns. If you’re campaigning for a candidate, door hangers are a great way to establish contact with voters even when nobody’s home during your canvassing sessions.
When Should You Use Door Hanger Marketing?
The biggest factor affecting the success of your door hanger campaign is the strength of your offer. You shouldn’t use print door hangers just to raise awareness about the existence of your business. Ideally, your campaign should be paired with a strong offer and call to action.
The only time experts recommend using door hangers just to drum up awareness is when you just opened your business. Then, you are providing your customers with crucial information about the existence of a new service in their area. However, you shouldn’t just send out hangers explaining that your business is open. Try to pair your grand opening with a special discount that will grab customers’ attention.
If you already have an established business, then run a door hanger campaign when you have a compelling offer, such as items in limited stock or a special sales event. Marketing studies show that the strength of your offer makes up more than half of the success of your campaign. If you don’t have a compelling offer, people will just toss your door hanger and forget about your business.
Coming Up with a Great Call to Action
Having a great offer isn’t enough; you also need to communicate your message well. That’s where the call to action comes in. A call to action is a clear directive given to customers to do what you want them to do, whether that’s calling to schedule an appointment or visiting your storefront.
Your call to action should be completely clear. When people finish reading your door hanger, they should have no doubt about what you want them to do. This is not the time to be coy. Repeat your call to action, or CTA, several times. Use different font sizes and colors to make it stand out from other information on your door hanger flyers.
Another factor that separates a good call to action from a great one is urgency. You want to make your potential customers feel as if they have to complete your call to action now because otherwise, they are missing out on the offer of a lifetime. Use words that convey urgency, such as “hurry” or “limited availability.” It also helps to have a clear end date for your sale, so people mark it on their calendars instead of thinking they’ll get to it eventually and forgetting about it.
Designing a Great Door Hanger
While the strength of your offer contributes greatly to the success of your door hanger advertising campaign, that doesn’t mean you get to slack off when it comes to the actual design of the flyer! If you’re not confident in your design abilities, it’s worth hiring a professional. A professional graphic designer will help you put together a punchy flyer that will stand out.
Whether you’re deciding to take on the design task yourself or just want to give your designer clear directions, here are some factors to consider when putting together your flyer.
Door hanger signs are usually narrower than full pages. While you still have plenty of space to fit in information about your business, you don’t have as much space as you would on letter-size paper. It may be tempting to try and squeeze as much information in as possible by shrinking the text but avoid this idea. Smaller text is harder to read, and you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention before they throw away your flyer as junk mail.
The key to successful text on a door hanger is punchy, memorable copy. Write (or hire a professional copywriter to write) a catchy headline. The first thing potential customers should see is a headline that explains what services your business offers as well as how your business will benefit them.
When you’re cutting down the text to go on your door hanger, be sure that all of the crucial information stays on the flyer. You want customers to know your business name, logo, opening hours, and contact information such as your address, email address, phone number, and any social media handles. You should also have enough information about your offer to entice potential customers.
As mentioned above, a strong call to action is the key to your flyer succeeding. Don’t be afraid to repeat your call to action in a few different ways throughout the text.
Without discounting the importance of good copywriting, the text is probably not the first thing that potential customers will see when they look at your door hanger. Instead, they will look at the images, which is why graphics and design are so important for this form of advertising.
Your personalized door hangers should have an eye-catching photo or a design as the centerpiece. You want to draw your customer’s eyes to something. Use the highest-quality photograph or graphic you can find—avoid smartphone photos if possible. You should also choose your photos wisely. You want an image that will instantly tell customers what you are selling and how you can help them. Don’t get too abstract in your thinking because you don’t want to confuse anyone.
Besides the central image, the design of the rest of your flyer also matters. When choosing your color scheme, select bright, contrasting colors that catch the eye but don’t clash. You don’t want to attract attention at the expense of readability.
Finally, keep the overall visual identity of your company in mind. If the rest of your marketing material uses a certain color combination, use those same colors on your door hangers as well. Be sure to put your logo in a visible place on the hanger.
When you’re making printed door hangers, the quality of the paper is an often-ignored factor that could make or break your campaign. The paper should be sturdy, glossy, and double-sided to maximize the space you have to share information about your wonderful business.
There are practical reasons why your print quality is important. For example, you don’t know how long your door hanger will have to wait for someone to come home and notice it, so you don’t want to print on flimsy paper that will bend after a few hours.
Your print quality also sends an unspoken message to your potential clients. If you print on good quality paper, you are saying that you care enough about your business to even take care of seemingly insignificant details. If your paper quality is poor, that shows that you are not willing to invest in your business and will probably show the same carelessness with your customers.
Developing a relationship with a good printer is key. If you can, ask to get a sample printed before you print your whole batch so you can catch any errors.
Distributing Your Door Hangers
Once you have your door hangers printed with own artwork, the next step is to place your hangers on doors. Such a simple operation as placing flyers on doors actually comes with a few more mental factors to consider. Planning your hanging campaign ahead of time will ensure success down the line. Here are a few factors to consider before going out in the field, as well as tips to succeed once you start hanging flyers.
What Do You Need to Research Ahead of Time?
Before embarking on your door hangers marketing campaign, you need to sit down and plan how you’re going to distribute your flyers.
Part of this planning is for your own safety. Some local ordinances ban flyer campaigns because they are seen as soliciting, while others allow you to hang door hanger flyers as long as you don’t talk to people or otherwise disturb them. Some areas have restrictions on times when you can go around hanging flyers. You don’t want to get into legal trouble because an irate member of the public decides to sue you for disturbing them, so it’s always better to double-check local regulations.
Once you’ve covered the legal aspect, you want to plan out your canvassing terrain. Research the areas where you want to hang flyers. How likely are the people in the area to become paying customers? For example, you don’t want to hang flyers for your restaurant in a neighborhood that’s outside your delivery range.
After you narrow your door-hanging campaign to certain neighborhoods or streets, you can research the demographics even more and tailor your campaign accordingly. For example, if you have a landscaping business, you can target people with lawns and avoid those with no property.
Who Will Do It?
Once you know where you’re planning on hanging your door hangers and you’re done with door hangers printing, you need to know who will get down to business and actually put the door hangers on doors.
The most affordable option is to do everything yourself. This also gives you more control over the distribution campaign, and it means that if someone stops to talk to you, you can give them a knowledgeable answer about your business (and you won’t have to do damage control if someone else makes a faux pas). However, handing out dozens and hundreds of flyers all by yourself is exhausting. Only do this if you’re covering a small terrain.
Another option is to pay people to place door hangers for you. You can use your own employees, but that would mean taking them away from their primary duties or paying overtime.
There are contracting companies that will place door hangers for you. These companies have experience running successful campaigns, so they know how to do the work for you. However, you need to vet the contractor thoroughly because you don’t want to hire someone who will alienate potential customers while representing your company. Hiring a contractor is also expensive and impersonal—if a potential customer wants to ask a question about your business, they might be put off if the person knows nothing.
Your final option is to get volunteers to hang the flyers for you. You don’t have to pay volunteers, but you should still compensate them for their hard work in some way, for example, with a pizza party. Most political campaigns use volunteers to hang flyers. You can get away with this if you’re running a campaign or get your friends to help launch a brand-new business, but people probably won’t want to work for free if you already have a successful business.
All of these distribution methods have their benefits and drawbacks. The right one for you will depend on your business.
When To Do It?
Once you know who is handing out your flyers and where, you need to know when to send them out on a campaign.
Think about the timing of your offer. If you have a sale running next month, it’s too early to start handing out flyers right now because people will forget about it by the time your offer is current. However, you don’t want to wait for the last minute either. People are busy and need time to fit shopping into their schedules and budgets.
Besides picking the right week to hand out flyers, you also need to think about the time of day. Even if you’re not ringing people’s doorbells, the noise will disturb them, so don’t go early or late in the day. Your area may even have restrictions on when businesses can hand out flyers.
When you’re preparing for handing out door hangers, be prepared to talk to people. Even if you’re not ringing people’s doorbells, people may open the door if they’re at home and hear you placing a flyer. Prepare your employees, volunteers, and yourself with a quick elevator pitch about your business and talking points about your special offer so you’re not caught by surprise. Surprise face-to-face contact that arises during a door hanger campaign is a great opportunity to build connections.
While you’re planning your campaign, plan how you will track your success. For example, if your goal is to get more calls, track how many people call after your flyer drop. You want to know how successful your marketing door hangers were so you can plan future options.
Even in this time of digital-dominant marketing, traditional marketing campaigns such as door hangers are a great opportunity to get new customers. Door hangers are particularly beneficial to small businesses due to their low cost, easy personalization, and high effectiveness.
The most important key to planning a door-hanging campaign is to have a strong offer and call to action. Besides that, you need to have punchy copy and eye-catching graphics printed on quality paper. The last step is to plan an excellent strategy for distributing your flyers, then wait for the customers to roll in!