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Have you ever had to distribute door-hanger advertisements for your business?
Have you ever employed door-to-door sales techniques to increase your brand awareness?
Have you ever had to walk mile-after-mile repeating the sales pitch, over and over?
Have you ever had to stand outside of an arena event and pass out flyers to exiting patrons?
If you stop to think of the cold calling technique of door-to door advertising, you would discover how sometimes humiliating it is to have a disinterested and irritated individual slam the door in your face, yell insulting things toward you, or be escorted off of their property. To combat this instantaneous humiliation, the idea of door-hanging advertisements gives the sales person a means of getting the word out to more people faster than before but more importantly, it saves the person the anguish of the advertised becoming irate over the interruption. Having been in situations were I have used these techniques either selling for other companies or trying to gain customers for a newly opened business, I came up with the idea of trying a door-to-driveway or door-to-doorstep advertising campaign to build brand awareness for a national car sales corporation that needed grass roots advertising for the local area around their dealerships.
Basically, I was a car salesman that was responsible for bringing in customers to buy cars, and my pay was determined by how many people actually came in and bought. Since I have leg injuries from an auto accident, I needed to find a way to cover the same amount of territory as my competing sales people. The company already supplied a few thousand door hangers; however, the advertisement brought awareness to all of the local 11 dealerships and I wanted to build awareness just to the dealership that I was at, and more specifically, I wanted the traffic created to come specifically to me.
Keeping in mind the flyer campaign I was apart of at a professional basketball game in which the sales team handed out 7,000 flyers to build awareness of a local college basketball season, I designed a half-page flyer text advertisement-therefore, two ads can be printed on every page-that put emphasis on my name, my contact information, and schedule. You can substitute any advertising design on this half-page ad.
I chose a colored card-stock weighted paper for printing because I needed paper weight for the distribution method used and a lower cost than the cost of printing in color. Printing black and white on colored paper is easier and cheaper than printing expensive color ads, unless you can afford it. But for the purpose of this campaign, you do not need to spend a fortune making your company look good in print.
Once the printing is done, cut the full-page printed page in half, which produces two half-page ads. Next, take the ads and roll them into a cigar shape and secure with small rubber bands. Tiny rubber bands can be purchased at the local office supply company, but the best bet for the appropriate size can be located at a local beauty supply company-ask for small hair braiding bands, usually kept in 500 and 1000 count. Keep a large box handy to place the rolled ads in until it is time to distribute.
Now it is time to distribute. Normally, door hangers would take about 2 ½ hours to distribute 500 hangers and would receive a few inquiries for the effort; so being limited to the amount of walking I could do, I decided to drive a car and throw the ads onto the edge of the driveway at peoples houses. I wanted the advertisement to be in the same placement as the local newspaper so the ad had the best chance to be noticed, picked up, and acted on by the potential customer.
As a homeowner, I myself have had numerous advertisements thrown in my driveway, and as the homeowner I am responsible for picking up the ads in my yard. I have seen ads for grass cutters, electricians, Avon sales, donations to thrift stores, and many more, so any kind of message can be placed on these ads.
Now with the new way to distribute, I could get 2000 ads out in approximately 1 ½ hours and had responses before I returned to the dealership. It makes me wonder how many people really do watch the front of their house and wonder what a slow moving vehicle was throwing at their house. After seeing the instant results of my effort, every sales person at the dealership enacted the same door-to-driveway campaign for the shear fact of the number of ads distributed for the time distributed was achieved with far less effort than before. Results we quicker and slightly higher; but, I do not know the exact increase numbers because I did not do any kind of analysis on exact number of responses for the number distributed. I do know that I got a lot out a lot quicker than before and I didn't have to walk anywhere except to the car.
A few things to keep in mind:
? Make sure it is NOT going to rain on the day that you distribute.
? Try NOT to distribute after 2:00 PM because of children being released from school and them walking and playing in the streets.
? Try NOT to distribute during the weekend because that is when you want people to be acting on the ad that has been delivered, and the kids are in the streets again.
? The perfect time seems to be between 10 AM and 12 PM, a two-hour break in morning commute traffic and the beginning of lunch hour traffic.
? Keep a map and mark the streets covered as to not deliver in the same area too often.
Written by eRix © 2004-08-28 Permission to Reproduce in Entirety.
eric b smith tampa, fl
b.a. marketing usf tampa, fl
a.s. information systems hcc tampa, fl