Targeted, Intelligent Flyer Distribution & Marketing
One of the main challenges in flyer marketing for small businesses is the actual flyer distribution. Time and time again I speak with people who have thousands of flyers still sitting in boxes at the office which are either now out of date or have no action plan to leave the dusty box they sit in.
Others have commented that their return and generated sales / enquiries from their flyer distribution has been little to none and that’s usually because they have had the flyers printed, then they didn’t get round to distributing them.
You can avoid this waste of resources by addressing what you will do to distribute your flyers wherever you are in Australia
- Understand your target audience
Know who your target audience is in regard to age, sex, and ethnicity. Learn where they socialise, work, shop, live, visit and what they read, watch and listen to. You can begin to concentrate distribution efforts from this information.
- Hand out flyers in the street
If your target audience are found out and about in the town consider handing flyer to passers by. Check with local authorities first about any by-laws in place for the areas you wish to distribute. This method often receives avoidance by passers by, so consider screening the people you hand flyer to first or talking to individuals one to one before handing them a flyer to gauge interest. My top tip here is be prepared to pickup dropped flyer, you’ll do more damage to your campaign and business by littering the streets with your company flyers.
- Go small
If you are handing flyer out in the street you may want to think about the size. Credit card size receive the lowest drop-rate (the amount of flyer dropped on the floor by people) because they fit easily into pockets or wallets. Larger, thick flyer can put people off even taking it from you.
- Post to your customers
An obvious method is to post your flyer out to all your existing customers. This could be a one off occurrence or part of a regular newsletter.
- Place inside packaged orders
If you run an online shop or post out goods to customers place a flyer inside the packed order. You could apply this same method to customers shopping in store. You may want to produce specific flyer for this purpose, such as latest sales / discount voucher towards next order or a flyer to raise brand awareness further.
- Have you flyers inserted
Have your leaflets inserted into an established publication that is already distributed across your target area.
- Collaborate with complimentary businesses
Find complimentary businesses to help distribute your flyers either through their own distribution plans or if they have a high street shop, perhaps inside carrier bags or on the counter at the tills.
- Ask shops to display at the tills
Ask shop owners who your target audience often visit to display small stacks of flyer at the counter or checkout. This is often a common place to find local advertising however many shops discourage this method and will either say no or take your flyers and recycle them soon after, a waste of resources. So build good relationships with shop owners, possibly with incentives.
- Stock control your flyers
It may sound odd or a chore but controlling the number of flyers you give out can maximise your potential and minimise waste. Giving the local newsagents 200 flyer when they realistically will only shift about 25 is over stocking. Make smaller bundles and restock if required.
- Support / Sponsor an event
By sponsoring or supporting an event such as a fundraising ball, music event, charity dinner, school production, local football tournament, sporting event you might be able to negotiate the opportunity to distribute your flyers to all those attending whether through hand to hand delivery or a display table.
- Attend exhibitions & trades shows
Book a stall at a local exhibition or trade show and pass out flyer to passers by as well as talk to them in more detail about what you have to offer. You may even be allowed to display your products / services.
On the other hand you may be able to pay for the opportunity to pass out flyer to all exhibition / trade show attendees or at least have them displayed on tables within the shows.
- Flyer dispensers
Agree with shops, business’ or establishments that you can erect a flyer dispenser at their business location. There are more permanent flyer distribution points than the ones at local shops where you have asked the owners to display flyers near the tills. You could even have a custom designed flyer dispenser to add more appeal and brand awareness. Obviously devise a way to keep these stocked with flyers.
- Car window dispenser
Have you ever seen car window flyer dispensers? They clip to the window on the outside of the car and allow you to display flyers while the car is parked… obviously! This is commonly used in public car parks where numbers of passers by are present. The effectiveness of this method can seem a little weak, it may work better on sign-written vehicles that prominently promote brand awareness.
- Plot the miles
If you need to drive around many locations to distribute your flyers take time to plan your journey to save on fuel and time. Also be specific to which locations / shops / businesses you need to visit to avoid wasted time and effort. Your first trip might be less specific on where to visit but try to make a note of which shops / businesses / locations agreed to display your flyers so that in the future you can be more direct.
- Time it right
Timing the distribution of your flyers in phases or to co-inside with the seasons is always worth considering if the circumstances dictate. Perhaps you’re advertising an event that requires promotion early on and then a refresh a week before. Or your opening a new nursery that would suit distribution close to school term holidays should you take on new placements around term times. Think about your business and industry and identify any time based requirements that could be utilised.
- Door to door flyer distribution
If your flyers suit the majority of house holds you could try letterbox flyer distribution. We can arrange this for you either through Australia Post (especially for businesses), Salmat or PMP which are the distribution companies that deliver the catalogues in your letterbox every week, or in Sydney you can consider a solo drop.
- Hold a promotional day
If suitable, hold a promotional day at your business premises / shop and hand flyers to passers by and those who attend. Any attendee’s are prime candidates because they already show an interest in your business / products / services.
- Piggyback a postal mailing list for your flyer distribution
Find a local business who has an established aligned mailing list, and offer a donation in return for your flyers being inserted into their mail-out. Companies are always looking to reduce the cost of postage, so this can be a win win situation for everyone. Note that you will need to consider the target audience of the mail-out and if they co-inside with your own desired target audience.
- Place on car windscreens
Note I don’t personally recommend this method, I’m mentioning it here to point out that I don’t recommend it and hope that you will perhaps share my opinion.
Place flyers under car windscreens in car parks or on road sides. Note you may have to address rights with the car park owners / authorities and the potential for complaints against vehicle damage is open to anyone
- Follow them into the night
This is an example for a specific business but the principle is that you go out of your way or break ‘the norm’ to go where your target audience are. If that means outside normal workings hours then so be it. See example below;
Lets say you run a nightclub or bar, you may want to visit other local nightclubs/ bars to hand out your flyers in the street to people leaving that premises. This will often mean late nights, and the inevitable random questions from people who have drunk a little too much. Contact your local authority for clarification on by-laws and pickup any dropped flyers you find.
- Send a postcard
A slightly different idea would be to produce a postcard that advertises your business. Remember, 100% of postcards get looked at.
- Distribute to influencers
Send bundles of flyers to people who are influential or have a status within a group or network of people that are in your target audience. Build a relationship with these influencers, as their network of friends / members could be an avenue you’d find hard to tap into by yourself. Consider offering incentives and monitor what type of responses achieve.
- Drop flyers from a plane
No I’m joking, I don’t believe this is legal in Australia, so don’t do this!
- Medical Waiting Rooms are great for flyer distribution
Strange as it sounds consider asking your local GP surgery or hospital if you can display leaflets in waiting areas. We’ve all had to sit in the waiting area and picked up the first copy of OK magazine or National Geographic to pass the time. This could be a great opportunity to gain a readers attention. Other waiting areas could be approached such as dentists, vets etc. Note I have not tried this method myself and therefore cannot verify if any of the above establishments would be willing to participate.
- Car Mechanics Waiting Rooms & Others Like This
Same principle as the medical waiting room method, but ask your local motoring garage to stock your flyers in their waiting area if they have one. Often enough we have a selection of car magazines to drool over, but again this could be an interesting opportunity for flyer distribution.
I hope this guide on flyer marketing distribution tips has helped you in some way.
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