Putting flyers on car windows...

by MarketingMama 123 replies
bad idea?

i know most people think it's annoying, but maybe that's cuz it's usually just an advertisement of some kind of promotion or discount or something.

what if i'm offering something for free, something that most people would like and use? would that make it "less" annoying?

i'm trying to think of ways to write off my gas mileage on taxes when i go to malls and such...
#main internet marketing discussion forum #car #flyers #putting #windows
  • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
    To be honest those fliers do annoy me, but there must be results because I think people would stop doing them after awhile.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
      Originally Posted by misterwrecker View Post

      To be honest those fliers do annoy me, but there must be results because I think people would stop doing them after awhile.
      People do all kinds of stupid crap, it doesn't mean that it works.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Using someone else's property as your personal ad space isn't a good idea and is unlikely to lead anywhere you'd want to go.

        Do it where I live and many other towns, and store managers will turn them over to local police who will track you down through the flyer info and ticket you for littering or for solicitation.

        If you want to advertise - get signs made and put them on your own car and drive around.
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        • Profile picture of the author thezone
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Do it where I live and many other towns, and store managers will turn them over to local police who will track you down through the flyer info and ticket you for littering or for solicitation.
          "In the United States, solicitation is the name of a crime, an inchoate offense that consists of a person offering money or something else of value in order to incite or induce another to commit a crime with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime."

          Just what kind of flyers do you get in your area?
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      • Profile picture of the author misterwrecker
        Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

        People do all kinds of stupid crap, it doesn't mean that it works.


        I agree with George that they do work. If people are going to implement the same marketing tactic over and over, that usually means that it works. Either that or they like wasting time and money.
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        • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
          you guys are funny!

          there seems to be people on both sides of the fence for this one.

          like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes

          unless i've forgotten something i've read (it's possible with my short term memory) no one here has actually tried it. they've just seen other people try it or have heard of people who have had success (or not) with it. i suppose that's a start though...

          i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p

          but i suppose stranger things have happened.

          and yeah, i suppose ultimately if i don't want to tick people off, then i shouldn't do it.
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          • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
            Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

            i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p
            I see people driving with stuff stuck to their windshield all the time. Imagine you have just gotten your kids and purchases in the car, started it up and then notice the flyer. Now you have to turn off the car, pull someone's crap off of your windshield and dispose of it. Many people don't get out of the car, they let it blow off. I've even seen people turn on the windshield wipers to get the flyer off as they drive. It's particularly unfair to the elderly or disabled that may have difficulty reaching the flyer.

            Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post


            like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes
            Is contemplating tax fraud and posting it on a public forum really how you want to represent your business?
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            • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
              Originally Posted by AmyBrown View Post

              Is contemplating tax fraud and posting it on a public forum really how you want to represent your business?
              no not really. i was trying to be funny but that doesn't always come across in writing to people who don't know you.

              yeah, i'm probably going to drop the idea. it irritates most people obviously, and i don't really want my business associated with irritation! anyways, thanks everyone for your input!
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              • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
                Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

                yeah, i'm probably going to drop the idea.
                You give up too easily! Think about how you can implement this idea and have your customers distribute them for you!
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              • Profile picture of the author myob
                Yes, flyers do work, but it can be very hard physical work. I use it mostly just to test new ads. For optimum results try using color and make it attractive to stand out from the others people typically see on their windshields. Don't use white paper, and don't go for the cheap or cheesie look. Try light-colored paper; yellow, green or blue preferably with a picture of your product. As I mentioned I use flyers to test new ads such as full-page magazine advertising. And quite often, the sales from flyers more than pay for my magazine ads. I never go to shopping malls or on private property to place flyers. They are on cars parked in public streets in business and residential areas.
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                • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
                  What is the fine for littering in your area?
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                  • Profile picture of the author myob
                    Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

                    What is the fine for littering in your area?
                    It's $1,000 on freeways and highways; for first offense. That is the main reason why I only put flyers on cars that are parked in public streets. And it is done infrequently (every month or two) only to test ads.
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                    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                      Originally Posted by myob View Post

                      It's $1,000 on freeways and highways; for first offense. That is the main reason why I only put flyers on cars that are parked in public streets. And it is done infrequently (every month or two) only to test ads.
                      Why don't YOU MYOB and keep your hands off of other peoples property? And "public streets" STILL have the PRIVATE car, s/he may have paid for the space, and the county/city/state laws still apply.

                      Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
            Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

            you guys are funny!

            there seems to be people on both sides of the fence for this one.

            like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes

            unless i've forgotten something i've read (it's possible with my short term memory) no one here has actually tried it. they've just seen other people try it or have heard of people who have had success (or not) with it. i suppose that's a start though...

            i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p

            but i suppose stranger things have happened.

            and yeah, i suppose ultimately if i don't want to tick people off, then i shouldn't do it.
            I tried it several years ago... what I got out of it was an angry call
            from the mall manager who told me the next time he'd send me a bill
            for the clean up and file a formal complaint with the local police.

            I also got a couple calls from people wanting to know what the hell
            I was doing putting crap on their car.

            I made a few sales but it wasn't anywhere near worth the time and trouble.

            Tsnyder
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

            you guys are funny!

            there seems to be people on both sides of the fence for this one.

            like i mentioned, i was thinking of a way to write off mileage to the malls. i probably wouldn't specifically go to a place to put flyers on the cars. i would already be there for another reason. (that's between me and you, though. if you work for the irs, then yeah, i'm going to the mall for the sole reason of advertising my business... :rolleyes

            unless i've forgotten something i've read (it's possible with my short term memory) no one here has actually tried it. they've just seen other people try it or have heard of people who have had success (or not) with it. i suppose that's a start though...

            i really doubt someone would "drive off" with an 8.5" x 11" bright pink piece of paper stuck to their windshield.... :p

            but i suppose stranger things have happened.

            and yeah, i suppose ultimately if i don't want to tick people off, then i shouldn't do it.
            Where I used to live, they passed a law AGAINST it! I have NEVER seen it where I live now!

            BTW many malls have a rule against it, and you COULD be detained and cited for trespass, among other things, EVEN if there are no "laws" against flyers.

            BTW milage used for duties that could be considered personal, or illegal probably doesn't count.

            OH, and tacking things to other fixtures, such as telephone poles, is often illegal. when I was a kid, I heard of fines of up to $400 PER INCIDENT!

            Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    I personally don't even bother to look at it.

    I just screw it up and chuck it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I've been tempted to try it but it is just too annoying. Another problem is liability... If someone drives off and the paper obstructs their view and they crash, I bet they would want to sue you.
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    • Profile picture of the author raywarrior1978
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      I've been tempted to try it but it is just too annoying. Another problem is liability... If someone drives off and the paper obstructs their view and they crash, I bet they would want to sue you.

      If they are to stupid to remove it from their windshield, then I don't think they are smart enough to sue you, lol :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
    I would strongly advise against this. I am also in the crowd that just crumples it up and throws it away without looking at it, but I agree it's a liability. Not only might it obstruct someone's vision if they drive away, but to do this, you (or the paper) would have to touch someone else's property. That is NOT a good idea, I don't think. Can you imagine all the things you might get blamed for if someone wanted to?

    Bad idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    In some places this might be considered trespassing and get you into trouble.

    Once in college the police were searching for some ... err, I'd better stop there before my wife kills me.
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    • Profile picture of the author cottpfoc
      As you can see by some of the responses in the thread, your conversion rate would probably be low, but the more you get your message out, the better your odds of success. So I wouldn't rule this out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Hackett
    Strangely enough, we had a guy come into our print shop the other day that has one of those "cash for gold" businesses in a nearby town. He wanted to get prices on business cards, flyers, marketing materials, etc.

    I asked him what had been his most successful marketing method over the years, and he said "flyers at the malls and parking lots - but it's just so hard to do anymore."

    I'm one of those that would throw them away, but evidently, plenty of others aren't.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    They work and they work big time.

    There are ways to do it with immunity from punishment and with great success. And with the blessing of the business owners. Malls? No experience there, however, they are managed by people and people can be persuaded if there is "something in it for them." Think about it.

    Just think out of the box.

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Silvester
    Hi MarketingMama,

    Let me just say that putting flyers onto cars is such
    a pain in the ass to do. The best way to leverage this
    techinique is to hire a helicopter and throw a few thousand
    out the window of the chopper as you fly over all the
    carparks.

    That way you can do your whole town in about 20 minutes
    intead of doing 1/4 of 1 carpark in the same time period.

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by Michael Silvester View Post

      Hi MarketingMama,

      Let me just say that putting flyers onto cars is such
      a pain in the ass to do. The best way to leverage this
      techinique is to hire a helicopter and throw a few thousand
      out the window of the chopper as you fly over all the
      carparks.

      That way you can do your whole town in about 20 minutes
      intead of doing 1/4 of 1 carpark in the same time period.

      Take Care,

      Michael Silvester
      See, that's thinking out of the box.

      Of course Michael's suggestion is REALLY expensive. That's why I JV with the military. When they drop flyers in foreign lands, I ask them if they'd sign up for my affiliate program and add their affiliate link to their flyers.

      Cheers,
      Becky

      P.S. Oh yeah, on topic... you'd definitely have to get permission in order to do this, check your local laws, etc. Personally, for the reasons mentioned above, I wouldn't do it (liability, littering, solicitation, etc).

      However, if you decide to proceed, then try to target your ads a bit. Don't just go paper everyone's car in a mall. Find gatherings that are related to what you're selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary McCaffrey
    I can't believe there are so many litter bugs here. I hope when you say 'throw away', you mean dispose of properly and not throw on the street!

    Seriously though.

    My previous apartment was on a street very near the city center so it was constantly used by drivers for free parking then they'd walk into the city, always packed with cars and it was very popular for people to slip business card underneath the drivers door handles.

    I assume that it worked because they were back advertising the same thing again and again in all the streets around my area.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Gary McCaffrey View Post

      I can't believe there are so many litter bugs here. I hope when you say 'throw away', you mean dispose of properly and not throw on the street!

      Seriously though.

      My previous apartment was on a street very near the city center so it was constantly used by drivers for free parking then they'd walk into the city, always packed with cars and it was very popular for people to slip business card underneath the drivers door handles.

      I assume that it worked because they were back advertising the same thing again and again in all the streets around my area.
      The litterbug is the jerk that puts it on the car!

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    Depending on what the free thing is, you might consider taking out a classified ad (especially if you live in a small town) or maybe an ad in a relevant magazine. If you have community bulletin boards in your area you could put your flyer there too with some tear off tags.
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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
      Just be sure you check your local laws first. Even if they convert as well as other marketing tools facing stiff fines for violating a local ordinance can wipe out your profit.

      It's not like they can't find you...

      And if I catch you putting something on my car...


      KJ
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        50 years ago it would have worked. Today though the only people who do it are the ones who are clueless about how to market and they cant think of anything more creative to do.

        I would imagine you might get a 1-3% response rate if your ad is apealing, but it's really not worth all the hassle.
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  • Profile picture of the author MeCanX
    Our community around here get's fliers all the time and most of the time they end up on the ground. Now, I usually look at them but never respond unless it's a club or some crazy going out of business sale...then I might respond...

    I personally think it would hurt your reputation vs help it.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi privateer,

    Sorry to hear that. Would the $2k had you not had to pay the fine been worth your while?

    I'm just wondering because as I eluded to above, Mall Management can allow you to pass out flyers if they want to. Also you might have needed a permit.

    One more question if you don't mind. How many flyers did you pass out to make the $2,000.

    (I'm assuming you made $2,000 because you said after a $2k fine you barely broke even.)

    Originally Posted by privateer View Post

    I have done it, actually. I got a nice letter in the mail with a $2,000 fine and informing me I was no longer welcome at the two malls and three shopping center that management company ran. The fine knocked my profits down to about break even, I made like $60,

    I've totally ignored not being allowed in the mall, but if I made a nuisance of myself and, got noticed, I would be trespassing and they could press charges.

    Like I said, be careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

    bad idea?

    i know most people think it's annoying, but maybe that's cuz it's usually just an advertisement of some kind of promotion or discount or something.

    what if i'm offering something for free, something that most people would like and use? would that make it "less" annoying?

    i'm trying to think of ways to write off my gas mileage on taxes when i go to malls and such...
    I'm guessing here, but I'd bet that what you think people would like and use and what they think after finding your flier on their car, will be two different things.

    I've seen people sweep through a lot, putting fliers on cars, and minutes later it looks like a blizzard hit a parking lot in Florida in high summer. Then the afternoon rain comes, and there's a real mess that the tenants of the shopping center have to pay real money to clean up.

    Not to mention the innocent flier that gets soaked in the shower and baked onto the windshield, or the ink that runs and stains a paint job.

    I've had fliers come off of cars and plaster themselves against my windshield at 60 mph - NOT fun.

    Can you tell I don't think much of the idea?

    If you want a mileage deduction, get a post office box and/or a bank account along your normal routes. When you stop to check the mail or do your business banking, the mileage is deductible. Just make sure you keep a log of your "business" trips.

    [Standard CYA - the above is not to be taken as specific tax advice - check with a competent advisor before acting.]
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Flyers have literally doubled my income for one of my online businesses. And guess what?

    My CUSTOMERS distribute them! I do nothing!

    On one of the pages of my site, a user has the ability to write an advertisement, print it off at home on their printer, then go about doing letter box drops or what have you in their area. This means, they are promoting something for themselves, along with my web address which is marked on the bottom.

    Its a win win situation, which is constantly bringing me more and more business.

    Offline marketing still has its place.
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  • Profile picture of the author jalamo
    By 2 cents...they might work and if you get the business owners permission (also easier if you agree to come by after the day and pick up all of the ones disguarded on the property) BUT....many cities have ordinances about this and I have known night club promoters ect to get fined $100 per postcard/flyer found on the ground!!!! It's easy to find the person because their advertisment has name and number for contact...be careful, its a hefty fine in some cities....
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricky Parker
    Done it several times with poor results. And have been trespassed and chased.

    Do something else IMO.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Ricky Parker View Post

      Done it several times with poor results. And have been trespassed and chased.

      Do something else IMO.
      The best times I have found to place flyers are weekends during predawn hours on public streets. And best results were actually from flyers folded up to look like parking tickets, million-dollar bills, "special delivery" letters, color graphics, etc. Plain white paper with black text will never get results.
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    • Profile picture of the author RB Riddick
      Originally Posted by Ricky Parker View Post

      And have been ... chased.
      Hi Ricky,

      Did they catch you? ^

      I haven't been chased yet, but I have been barked at a few times.

      Riddick
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Tisk Tisk Tisk,

    I am guessing that very few here have actually tried this, but still have opinions of how effective it is because they would be offended.

    There are several ways to make this MORE than worth while for you and your business.

    First check with the parking lot owner (not always the same person that is the mall owner) before taking your fliers to the parking lots.

    Get permission, and Paid permission is best...

    While many people try the go for the windshield method, it is not the best method of placing fliers on vehicles.

    Place the flier on the drivers door, either the slide it into the window, or in the crack around the door opening. There is a very high percentage that make it inside the vehicle with out the typical windshield wadding up.

    Take a standard 8X11 sheet of paper and create 6 fliers per sheet, not only does this expand the number of impressions you get per page it also makes it more likely to be retained by the driver.

    A strong call to action is a must.

    OK here is the bonus round.

    The sneaky method of getting the mall to say yes when they don't want to...

    Find a merchant in the mall, and mention their store on your flier, even though it mainly is about you. The Shops that have the little kiosks in the aisles are looking for anything to attract attention are good prospects to use, also they will often also allow you to place your fliers on their kiosks.

    It no longer is solicitation, its now a joint venture with a lease holder and malls are less likely to get upset.

    You still want to get permission from the parking lot owner even with placing a mall lease holder on your flier.

    Bonus Round Two.

    If you have a business that would be something that travelers in the area would be interested in, also include cars in the parking lots of motels and hotels. Talk with the house keeping staff, (many work for tips) contact them to put the fliers on the cars for you everyday, and give them a bonus / commission for fliers that are used. Make sure the flier has to be presented for the special offer etc. You will be surprised how often these fliers will end up in the guests room right next to the envelope for the maid service's tips.


    Mark Riddle
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Mark, my dislike for the method mostly stems from the results of poor execution, not from being offended.

      The way you lay it out, I could see getting some positive results. Another possibility (which HAS worked on me) is to print the coupon on sticky notes and put them on the glass just above the door handle of the driver's door.

      For some reason, the mind doesn't make the connection between sticky notes and advertising fliers.

      I also like the idea of sticking to public places. Pre-9/11, one place fliers actually worked for me was the parking lot at the airport.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Mark, my dislike for the method mostly stems from the results of poor execution, not from being offended.

        John, I have to agree with you, poor execution makes good methods seem like a waste of time.

        Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    Twist the overall idea into Smarter marketing methods by focusing on particular specialty niche offerings! Joint Venture with a variety of relevant niche retailers and run a mix of win-win distribution campaigns personalized for each retailer, especially for their customers...

    Don't call it a flyer! Develop it into a Hotsheet business model with an added spin on local email marketing by collecting email addresses and turn things into some Great fish bowl profits and money making opportunities for all parties involved...

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
    Mama, there are more effective ways to do this thing. Many years ago when I had newly arrived in a mid-sized southern town, I started a new business and within a month I had six or seven weeks of work backed up.

    I see you don't have enough posts yet to PM me, but reply in this thread, and I'll be happy to email you the particulars at no charge (it's legal, cheap, non-littery, extremely simple, and you DO get calls).

    Cheers from warm and smiling Thailand,
    Charles
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  • Profile picture of the author forestmarie
    You don't need a flyer to write that off. Just write the mileage and eat with someone and ask if they have any leads for you...and quite frankly, that's about all it takes...
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by forestmarie View Post

      You don't need a flyer to write that off. Just write the mileage and eat with someone and ask if they have any leads for you...and quite frankly, that's about all it takes...
      Not necessarily true. The purpose of the trip has to be PRIMARILY for business. You can't plan a trip to the mall with a friend, spend the day there, go to the food court and ask some "business question" and then expect to write it off.

      However, if you were to meet a prospective client at the mall, then you could maybe write it off. As long as that was the primary reason.

      Also, you can only write off the portions of mileage and meals that are business-related only.

      Of course, be sure to check with your tax professional to see which deductions are covered in your jurisdiction.

      All the best,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I hate this form of advertising. It wastes paper and people normally don't see the ad until they've sat inside the car. This immediately pisses them off because they need to get back out to remove it.

    Instead, try the following:
    Hire some local teenagers that can rollerblade.
    Take your flyers and staple a rubber band to each of them.
    Pay the teens to place the ads on door handles of homes.

    There's a guy that does this locally and makes a killing.
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    • Profile picture of the author RB Riddick
      Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

      Take your flyers and staple a rubber band to each of them.
      Hey BlueSquares,

      That's a great idea!

      I wish I had known about this ^ a few years ago when I was distributing flyers door-to-door.

      Riddick
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    a flyer? i'd probably be annoyed. but what if you gave a little gift instead? Drivers dont need/want a flyer, but you could find something they do need and want, like light.

    I've seen places like alibaba.com where you can contact worldwide manufacturers and get branded giveaway junk...like little led light keychains that anyone with a car (read: keys) would want for in the neighborhood of .02 to .25 per unit when bought in bulk

    Everyone will throw away a piece of paper, would you throw away a lighted keychain?
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    It's not very targeted. You would have to put out thousands of flyers to get any action. I laugh when I get a flyer on my BMW (wifes car of course ) looking for temp workers or "how to get your own website" .
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Having spent 12 years in the Rent-to-Own business, I can say we used this method extensively. Not only parking lots, but apt. complexes and residential areas as well.

    We would do our own parking lot (strip mall with large grocery store anchor) several times a day and make occassional flyer runs as time allowed.

    In all of those years, we never had an issue with the police or received a ticket of any kind.

    We did receive calls from apt managers asking us to come pick up the cast off flyers, which we did. This usually only happened when we used flyers instead of door hangers, didn't make that mistake too many times.

    We did receive calls from property management companies asking us to come pick up our flyers from their parking lots and sometimes to even remove them from any vehicles in their lots.

    We did receive the occassional call telling us that the flyers had ran ink onto their paint.

    A large business can afford some of the trouble that comes along with that form of advertising, I don't know that I would want to go through some of those issues personally, as an individual business though.

    I used to send a crew of 5 or six guys that could knock the job out fairly quickly. Who has time to go out and pick up a parking lot themselves? Not me.

    Better ways to advertise in my opinion.

    One really effective way of advertising for us was to negotiate deals with other vendors in our area.

    Example: We would supply the pizza place with a tv for their breakroom and they would include our flyers on their take-out boxes.

    Worked similar deals with movie rental places, apt. managers, etc..

    The way to reach your customers is still there, just think about who is already reaching them and then figure out a way you can both benefit.

    Offline JV's
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    I have another idea.....

    instead of on cars make a deal with the local guy thats in charge of the free papers and because he makes cash in hand out of it, having your leaflet inside of all those local papers will be very cheap.

    or find a couple of students to do it for you and outsource it. People expect things through their door and it doesnt feel as anooying as the card on the windscreen style and the results are so much better.

    kind regards


    sam
    X
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
    dang, lots of good stuff here!

    yeah i do give up too easily sometimes, or start to second-guess myself. guess i'd better get a tougher skin and more out-of-the-box thinking if i'm going to succeed with my business!

    part of the reason i was going to target mall parking lots is b/c my biz involves saving people money on their expenses: including retail purchases and eating out.

    i don't think i'll be renting a helicopter anytime soon... LOL

    i like the idea someone had about putting post-its on the driver side window! can you automatically print onto post-its, or do you have to handwrite on each of them? if it's the latter, it wouldn't be worth it. but if i could find a way to feed them through a printer....?? or if not, maybe invest in rubber stamps so I can just stamp the info on each post it? i could hire my daughter to do that...

    however, maybe pressing a sticky note to someone's window would set off their car alarm if they had one?

    i really need exercise, so i wouldn't mind walking a little bit myself to put flyers or post-its on cars.

    the led light keychain thing is a cool idea too.

    and partnering up with people in the mall... yeah...

    i know there was other stuff mentioned, too. i'll have to go back and re-read.

    hmmm, so many options now!

    ultimately i want to minimize "the annoyance factor" but maximize the potential for cheap advertising. also, i don't want to be setting off everyone's car alarm!

    has anyone else who has done this had that problem?

    thanks for all your input everyone! you've given me a lot to think about...
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    • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
      Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

      ultimately i want to minimize "the annoyance factor" but maximize the potential for cheap advertising. also, i don't want to be setting off everyone's car alarm!
      That's why the internet rocks.

      The effort put forth to canvass a parking lot coupled with printing and distribution costs only makes sense for a very localized potential.

      If that's what your target is (example: a local carwash) then it may pan out.

      Otherwise...

      KJ
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      • Profile picture of the author josh123
        Even if they are legal I don't see any point in it. The biggest part of marketing is knowing you target market and tailoring your message to them. You can't do this if you are trying to sell to anybody and everybody.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
      Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

      thanks for all your input everyone! you've given me a lot to think about...
      Your positive attitude and reaction to criticism will get you farther than any flyer. Guaranteed.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author JustaWizard
        This may be repeat, but some towns/cities have laws against, if memory serves, "handbills" - I put postcards on drivers' side windows for a niche specific product at college and high school graduations around town - got a call from either the police dept. or the city warning me to stop or I'd get fined.

        Hope that helps!
        David
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    • Profile picture of the author successtony
      I reckon you just go for it.Any marketing idea is a great one.What can happen.They may come along and tell you not to do that,but if you are inconspicuous they wont even know.If you get caughtjust do the old oh im so sorry i didnt know trick.Then leave in a hurry.
      I once posted on the poles in a big plaza and got tons of traffic.The security kept taking them down and you just follow them and put them up.Do it for a hour .Its a real laugh.Then take a week off so they forget and try again
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      • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
        Originally Posted by successtony View Post

        I reckon you just go for it.Any marketing idea is a great one.What can happen.They may come along and tell you not to do that,but if you are inconspicuous they wont even know.If you get caughtjust do the old oh im so sorry i didnt know trick.Then leave in a hurry.
        I once posted on the poles in a big plaza and got tons of traffic.The security kept taking them down and you just follow them and put them up.Do it for a hour .Its a real laugh.Then take a week off so they forget and try again
        you're a mischevious little devil, aren't you? :p

        i thought i posted an update on this thread a few days ago but it's not here...? anyway, i ordered some pre-printed post-its. and i'm going to hire my daughter and maybe her friends to put them on car windows.

        question: are all parking lots considered private property? and if a car is parallel parked next to a curb on the street, is that public property?
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    • Profile picture of the author truepers
      Add me to the list of crumplers. My initial reaction is that I got a parking ticket and am wondering what I did wrong. My second reaction, upon understanding, is annoyance. What's this debri doing on my windshield?

      I never read them. I grab, squash and then get annoyed some more wondering where the heck I'm going to deposit this litter.

      And yet, I could see the exact same flier on the bulletin board of a food market, school, or community center, and I might actually stop to read it if something draws my eye.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      I agree with the comment that it's not targeted, so why do it?

      There are exceptions, of course. I mean, if you were going to try to sell tires or windshield wipers, it makes sense because the person obviously has a car (or at least the use of a car).

      When I get a flyer on my vehicle, I just shake my head and throw it away. It tells me that the person doesn't know enough about marketing to bother to learn who their own customers are.

      Look at how much time it would take to cover the cars in a parking lot.

      Why would you want to waste that much time when you could be doing other, more productive methods?

      I see ideas like this on a lot of the work-at-home-mom message forums.

      They have crazy, time-consuming ideas like leaving your business card in the credit card slot each time you are finished pumping gas, so the next person will see your card.

      Remember the old saying, "Time is money and money is time"?

      Exactly!

      If you're looking for a reason to write off your mileage, plan your trips so you can stop at the post office, the office supply store, the bank, the copy shop, or have a meal or coffee with a friend and discuss something business-related. Then it's just the time you've spent driving, when you needed to make that drive anyway, vs. a special trip to the mall PLUS the waste of time going to each car, lifting the windshield wiper, putting your literature there, scouting to see if someone is watching you, worrying if they're complaining to the mall security or calling the police, being chased, etc.

      Plus, in this day and age, I'd be concerned someone would see what you're doing, pull out their phone and take photos or video, grab your biz info, and post something negative online about how people shouldn't do business with you because you broke local laws.

      Or, possibly worse, if people toss your flyers all over the place, someone might film the mess and show your business name and contact info. I've seen it done, and it doesn't paint a pretty picture of you online.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoMo
    Do people even do this any more? I haven't seen it since I was a kid.
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  • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
    A number of people have PMed me asking for details about my non-flyer method. Apparently there's enough interest in offline marketing, so I'll post it here.

    - - - - - - - - -

    Many years ago, I was out of work in a new city. I wasn't quite broke, but it was close, so I decided I'd start up a small part-time business while I looked around for something more substantial.

    I decided on house painting. It's easy to get into because many people don't want to do their own, and some of the "professionals" in the business are not very professional. It's easy to compete and to stand out.

    Art is not my strongest talent, but I spent about three hours drawing and re-drawing a simple, friendly little painter character as a logo mascot. It took me that long to get the figure looking good enough to use. Then I had an instant printer run me off a batch of business cards featuring that character as my logo. I handed those cards out to everybody I met. It said:

    Charles Burke
    The Careful Painter

    And gave my address and phone number.

    Note that catch phrase. A lot of people worry that when they hire a stranger, he'll come in, sling paint around, and make a mess. So I made a promise (literally, a guarantee) that resonated with most homeowners' concerns.

    Whatever business you decide on, try to identify a fear that you can soothe, making you a hero to your potential customers.

    Next, I pasted a dozen of my new cards onto a single 8.5x11 sheet of paper and had the same instant printer do up about 200 sheets, using sepia ink on buff paper - a little bit nicer and more "deluxe looking" than simple black on white. I asked him to cut the sheets back down into business card size stacks and them use printer's glue (padding compound) to make pads of the cards. I ended up with almost a hundred pads of these business cards printed on ordinary thin, buff-colored paper, with about 50 in each pad.

    Next, I glued each pad onto a 3x5 index card and wrote "Take One" at the top. Dead simple concept.

    About half of the grocery stores in my area had bulletin boards. I spent a few hours driving around to all those stores, and anywhere I saw a bulletin board I thumb-tacked up a pad of my cards. I figured it'd take months to get semi-busy.

    I was wrong.

    The phone started ringing within two days, and after one month, I was working seven days a week and had six weeks of work backed up.

    People would peel off a card, take it home and hang on to it for months. In a few cases, I got calls for estimates a year or more after I stopped posting the cards. When people keep your ads that long, you know it's effective advertising.

    It's interesting that my newspaper ads in the Business Services and classified sections pulled almost no responses.

    Two years later, when I moved on, I sold the painting business to a friend for a nice little profit.

    Moral of that story? If you want to reach real buyers with your offer, go where they go, place your ad where they actively look for ads, BUT make your ad stand out from everybody else's with original presentation and an offer that nobody else is making (I'll be careful with your home).

    Don't schlock it up, though...

    Some time back I told a friend about this and he thought he'd do a promotion for his own business. But he started cutting corners. Now, this is little technique is definitely not expensive, so spending less is hard to do. Instead, he cut his corners by ignoring style.

    He made all his copies on an old copier. The image quality - well, everything looked like it was 10th generation. And rather than take the job down to a print shop where they could make neat, clean-cut pads, he just had his kids cut everything out with scissors and used ordinary glue to try and make his pads. It looked like crappy and cheap.

    Then he came back afterwards and told me "your idea was for s**t... I got almost no calls, and no new business from it."

    Gee - I wonder why.

    With a little creative thinking, it doesn't take much more effort to look professional, but it's so worth that effort.

    Anyway that's how I built a brand new business from zero to fully booked without ever spreading flyers in parking lots.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I had never painted a house nor hung wallpaper before in my life. I just went to the library and checked out how-to books. For other info, I asked advice at the paint stores where I bought supplies. They were happy to help me. And though I was slow at first, the work was good quality because I did take my time to do it right.

    Another time, I was in a small city of about 150,000. This was well before the age of computers.

    I looked around and saw that there were only two or three fairly large typewriter repair shops, and they were quite expensive, aimed at servicing the big companies. Nothing for the many typewriters sitting in people's homes. So I went to the library and looked up a supplier of typewriter parts and tools. They were only about 50 miles away in a nearby city.

    The next day, I put a small classified ad in the newspaper, offering to repair typewriters.

    Your Typewriter Repaired Fast
    Satisfaction absolutely guaranteed
    If it doesn't work right, you don't pay

    That supplier gladly sold me parts in lots of one and two, and resurfaced the rubber plattens when they required it.

    Again, I had never repaired a typewriter, but I managed to fix every machine, manual or electric, that came my way. My price was good, and I delivered fast.

    Although I wasn't flooded with work, it paid the rent, put groceries on the table and left me with considerable free time to read and goof off.

    The moral of these two stories? Finding customers has mostly to do with finding what people want and offering it to them in a way that resonates with what they're already thinking and feeling. You don't SELL them, you just tune into them and offer them what they're craving.

    Cheers from warm and smiling Thailand,
    Charles
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
      Charles,

      Your great illustration of getting at the heart of what people are really looking for is a powerful lesson for anyone wanting to expand their local business.

      Its not everyday that someone can take a concept and develop it into something that not only is appealing, but is also affordable to get started.

      Thanks for your example.

      Mark Riddle
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      • Profile picture of the author moneymax
        I placed a drop card for a mlm I was with at the time and recruited a guy that resulted in $300 commission. Dale Calvert is the King of flyering your community. Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingMama
      Originally Posted by charlesburke View Post

      A number of people have PMed me asking for details about my non-flyer method. Apparently there's enough interest in offline marketing, so I'll post it here.
      Charles
      wow those were great stories! thx for sharing!

      i really like that idea of making the pads. i wonder what my logo could be...

      could i ask, how long ago did you do that, and how much do you estimate it costed you to put it all together at that time?

      also, all you had on there was your logo, name and slogan? i'm not sure i could find a way to reduce my business to THAT... :confused:

      yeah i'm hearing a lot about not selling but simply meeting needs. i guess there's a difference...?

      i'll definitely have to give this one some more thought for the future!
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  • Profile picture of the author Allurre
    In such times, you never know. If your advertisement SPEAKS to them, and connects immediately to their needs, you may just have found yourself a customer -- desperate.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      i like the idea someone had about putting post-its on the driver side window! can you automatically print onto post-its, or do you have to handwrite on each of them? if it's the latter, it wouldn't be worth it. but if i could find a way to feed them through a printer....?? or if not, maybe invest in rubber stamps so I can just stamp the info on each post it? i could hire my daughter to do that...
      Talk to your local quick printer and see if they offer pre-printed pads. Otherwise I think VistaPrint does them. Much higher quality than a rubber stamp.

      If you want to go the home-made route, get a decent paper cutter at the office supply. Add in a glue stick using the same adhesive 3M uses for Post-Its. Triple check that it's the right adhesive.

      Then print you notes on colored paper and use the cutter to get clean edges. When you want to put a sticky on a window, give it a swipe with the stick, and there you go...
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  • Profile picture of the author AtomicFlipper
    stand at a railway station exit and hand out the flyer on a Friday morning, fridays most people are looking for something to do other than work
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  • Profile picture of the author hunty
    Hi
    I have just read your thread and would just say be carefull when adopting this method of advertising,I had a neighbour who promoted a major health and nutrition company using this method,The shopping mall she went to is one of the biggest in Essex(UK).
    She did not get any response for the products,But she did get a fine from the council for littering (from the dicarded flyers) and an insurance claim for a broken windscreen wiper, And as her name,email address and telephone number were all over the flyers she could not do anything about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author StephenDavies
    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

    i know most people think it's annoying, but maybe that's cuz it's usually just an advertisement of some kind of promotion or discount or something.
    That assumes that your offer is really different to the others that are using this method.

    I would guess that the other advertisers who were using this method also think that their offer is something that the car owners would want. Otherwise why would they waste their time leafleting?
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  • Profile picture of the author bizideas
    You know I read somewhere a long time ago that flyers have an average life of 7 seconds before they disappear into the flyer abyss. Maybe flyers are the predecessor of spam?

    Junk mail may rank higher though.

    Eric
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    These things are always on my car and I've only looked into 1 out of about 200. I think flyers on cars are extremely annoying, but I also hate when a opt in form pops up on someones home page and blocks me from reading the page for a few seconds. Annoying things sometimes work.
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  • Profile picture of the author tsboss1
    I had a few kids that attended my old high school to do it for me...I sell clothes/shoes and my target market is kids anyway.....They handed the fliers out and posted some on cars....Didnt have any problems, I made alot of money off of it in that one week I had them post stuff on the cars in the parking lot but I learned alot of other ways to promote since then....This was about a year ago
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    • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
      Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

      i wonder what my logo could be... could i ask, how long ago did you do that, and how much do you estimate it costed you to put it all together at that time? also, all you had on there was your logo, name and slogan? i'm not sure i could find a way to reduce my business to THAT... :confused:
      This was when I was in my 30s, so it was over 30 years ago. I didn't have much money at the time so I spent about 3 hours drawing a cartoon figure over and over till it gradually improved enough for me to use it. I'm definitely not an artist, but if you draw one thing enough times, it eventually gets better.

      I could get the head right but not the body, or the body right but not the head, so finally I just took scissors and rubber cement and pasted together the best of each - worked fine once the size was reduced. These days you can probably get something drawn online for cheap - and save yourself 3 hours.

      I drew a little painter guy with a big smile so that it'd project a feeling of friendliness and eagerness.

      Cost back then was about $10-$12 for the business cards, sepia ink on buff stock, and then another $10 or so for the 200-300 8-1/2 x 11 sheets, same colors, cut and padded. Altogether, it took maybe 4 days start to finish.

      On the card I had my little painter logo guy, my name, catch phrase (The Careful Painter) and then at the bottom corners were the address and phone number. No email or URL back then.

      I presented the business very simply - no lines and lines of services. Everybody knows what a painter does. He paints. Inside and outside. He hangs wallpaper. But you don't have to say all that.

      I know that a lot of marketers suggest filling your card with information, but in that particular case, simple was powerful (it worked because everybody already understood "painter"). I don't know if keeping it simple would work quite as well if I were offering to build websites or to design marketing campaigns.

      Still - it might. For example, if you offered - "I'll put your business all over the web" or "Why doesn't your website make you any money? Call me... I'll fix it".

      There's always a way to boil an offer down to a core feeling and a few core words. Again, you're not trying to sell to everybody. You only want the attention of the few people who're starving for your service right now, today.

      Originally Posted by Onslaught View Post

      Charles, that is some good advice to get people thinking about marketing an offline service.

      The important thing is not how many to put out, it is the ad itself. It must create interest and a reason to react to the interest.
      Paul
      Paul, you're absolutely right. There's no magic in the flyer. It's all in the thoughts - in your understanding of your customers - that you put into that flyer. Now, this may sound a little "woo-woo" but I've noticed that the ad that works best for me is always the one where I get a gut feeling of connection (with my prospects ) as I'm putting it together. If I have that feeling of connection, the ad works and if it's missing, it won't work.

      I know that's hard to quantify, but I think it's sort of like this - when you're thinking about your future customers in the right way, with honest concern and kindness, that feeling just comes bubbling up and helps guide what you say and how you say it. I've known salesmen who claim something similar happens for them when they're "in the sales groove." It may be a little bit of a "peak experience."

      You know how they always say "desperate money never wins"? Well, I think this is kind of the opposite of that.

      Cheers from warm and smiling Thailand,
      Charles
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  • Profile picture of the author russellprisco
    As a side note.. if you do decide to do the flyer thing, make sure you use white paper... lol..

    I had an experience with this years back and I got a voicemail from some angry guy telling me how it rained and my pink flyer had stained his brand new white truck....lol...

    Don't listen to people that haven't done this before. It does work. It's just that you need to track whether it works for you in your niche. DO listen to people like the person that got fined 2G's from the mall though...lol Tough break.

    They are right though in that there are other better more efficient ways to market.

    Also, i only read through half of the posts, but if you're looking for a way to write off your trips, why not do something simple like advertise on your car with some vinyl or some magnets.

    Good fortune to you,

    ~Russell Prisco =)
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  • Profile picture of the author HelenS
    granted i'm new to all this but as a suggestion,

    stick to driving traffic from the comfort of your own computer and buy 2 coffee's while your in the mall then you can 'right it off' as a meeting or networking
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      Originally Posted by kadensnga View Post

      50 years ago it would have worked. Today though the only people who do it are the ones who are clueless about how to market and they cant think of anything more creative to do.

      I would imagine you might get a 1-3% response rate if your ad is apealing, but it's really not worth all the hassle.
      Nothing wrong with a 1-3% response rate.. direct mail does not do better, nor do most websites.

      Originally Posted by petelta View Post

      These things are always on my car and I've only looked into 1 out of about 200. I think flyers on cars are extremely annoying, but I also hate when a opt in form pops up on someones home page and blocks me from reading the page for a few seconds. Annoying things sometimes work.
      I think this is the crux of this discussion - a lot of people thinking that because they do not like it or find it annoying, it must not work - similar to the "I never read those long sales letters" posts

      If it's something that interests you, I say test it out. Make sure you aren't violating any local laws of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash37
    You'd be better off paying a kid to stand on the corner in a funny costume and wave your URL around on a sign
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  • Profile picture of the author RB Riddick
    Yes, I think putting flyers on car windshields would annoy people and be bad for your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author stephperez
    Being a marketer...when I get flyers, they intrigue me. I like to go home and look up the website to see what someone local could be up to! It's crazy to me to think of someone local doing something like what I do...so I find it interesting and I actually do read them...but again, I am a true marketer, so I love to see what others have going on.

    I totally believe that if I found something that totally grabbed my attention I would take action on it!

    So on that note, I believe flyers work!

    Also...I think just like online...you have to attract them...I think your offer on your flyer has to hurry up and get their attention and make them want to call, look up, go online or take whatever action you need them to take for more information!

    I have been kind of thinking of doing local flyers too...if I do, I will let you know exactly what I used and how it went!
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  • Profile picture of the author yaji
    May consider doing this to my own car windows...
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Holy Schamoly....this reminds me of a BIG Money-Maker a buddy of mine did back in the "Dark Ages" where you would call a certain phone number and be charged for the call (to your home phone #) and the promoter of the program would get 50% to 80% of the charge as a "commission" on each call to THAT certain phone number.

      So...when my buddy heard of this program his first thought was, "How do I get a whole LOT of people to call MY Phone #?"

      Well...he figured out a way. He made up some fllyers with a pretty, young gal, scantilly clad...with the words;

      "Hey, Big Boy! Lookin' for some excitement? Give me a Call!
      Wanda...555-705-1212"

      He'd pay kids to put these on car wind shields in parking lots of Health Clubs, Movie Theatres, and a few other areas where he thought there'd be a lot of "Young Males".

      He made a bundle.

      Midas Man
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  • Profile picture of the author jrmnlitt
    I believe it could work depending on what you are offering and how you set the flyer or card up. Is there a call to action with the benefits clearly shown?
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    I've heard people doing fantastic putting up flyers wherever, and heard of people doing terrible. Just like everything else, it comes down to your:

    1) sales approach
    2) ability to speak to the type of people who will be reading your pitch
    3) ability of your back end to convert to those people
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Here is a great story.

      Every week I get flyers from local businesses and food places with offers. I throw them all away. A month ago I get a flyer taped to my door for curb painting. All I have to do is give him my info, he'll paint my house number on the curb and it cost $12. I needed it done, wasn't going to do it myself. So I do and he does his thing and was done in less than 5 minutes and made his money from me (you mail in payment).

      It got me and I bet a lot of others. Thing is this guy has no overhead except gas and these flyers. If he does 10 houses a day he is making $120.

      Great business right there. He caught me at the right time at the right price and made money.

      Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author dsiomtw
    Do NOT put flyers on peoples' cars. That's lame. In many places it's also illegal. If I came out of the store and saw you touching my 100k car I'd punch you in the face (assuming you're not a 6'5" 230lb ripped MMA looking dude)
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  • Profile picture of the author AvidAZ
    1. It's annoying. 2 It's very damaging to the environment. Most people throw them onto the street or the wind blows them away leaving trash everywhere. Have some respect for your community, people, and try effective marketing tactics.
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  • Profile picture of the author MasonRamm
    Have you thought of putting a bumper sticker on your car
    to promote your site/free offer?

    I've seen many cars these days advertising this website
    address/uRL on their fron and/or bumpers...

    This method is alot cheaper and safer than doing fliers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gile
    I wouldn't do any flyers, door hangers or any other method like this until you contact your city office. Every town/city has regulations on using flyers, door-to-door advertisments and even road signs.

    I used to be an alarm salesman for a few years. And sometimes I would use some of these methods. Not the car flyers, but all the rest.

    When I first started, I almost considered not calling the city. I figured, why bring attention to myself. But good thing I decided to call anyways. I found out that every town is different.

    Some towns don't allow it at all. If they find any, they'll slap you with a nice huge fine. Now, some towns want you to pay for a temporary permit. Also, sometimes they require you to be bonded before getting the permit.

    Each town's fees and rules are different. When it came to road signs, some towns didn't care, some wanted to charge huge permit fees and other would charge a huge penalty fee for each sign they found of yours.

    Again, don't run out and do this before calling your city/town first. I'm telling you, sometimes the fees can be outrageous. Even one town I called, the police officers would pull the advertisments and give you a ticket.

    Again, not all towns are like this. My city doesn't care. The only rule they have is don't distract important road signs and if you're going to flyer, make sure to secure each flyer down.

    Hope I didn't put a damper on anyone's plan. I just didn't want to see anyone get in trouble.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Brad

    P.S. Don't even get me started on what can happen if you door knock someone that has a "no solicitation" sign on their door. :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author kevin jackson
      The JV approach seems to work pretty well offline. I learned some methods from an emergency cash generator ebook I purchased a few years ago. Go to some local mom and pop businesses like gas stations, dry cleaners, strip mall merchants, etc and place your flyers in stacks around town. You can monitor any targeted interest by checking back to see how many flyers or displays have moved.

      You can also ask local offices, factories or any place where people work and offer your free or discounted products or services to their workers there and leave your flyers. The local bulletin boards at colleges and grocery stores and other local places are great for garage sales and lost pets so you can add your free products too along with the other freebies on those boards.

      The book had lots of cool ideas like joint venturing with local merchants where people get your product free if the customer bought a certain amount of that merchants products. You kinda have to You can take a simple thing like the flyer idea and expand that beyond the old school car windshield distribution method.

      These are just some thoughts to brainstorm with.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    For a good time, make up a batch of flour-based paste and glue them to the window.

    {this is sarcasm... not to be construed as real advice}
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  • Profile picture of the author Ty Maier
    I have done it a couple times. But it was targeted. I co-own an auction company and we put flyers out at another auction company's auction (with permission) and actually had great success from it. ONLY because they were HIGHLY targeted customers that I knew for a fact would be interested if they knew about it. But advertising anything online like this would end in utter disaster I assume.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      I forgot about this until coming across this thread.

      Back when I started my hypnosis business I has next to nothing money wise. So I made up a coupon for a 15 minute free consult. I printed them on bright orange paper and had them cut 6 to a page. Then I went around town and put them on any free place I could - billboards, coffee places, supermarkets, etc.

      The phone started ringing shortly after and money started coming in.

      Followed that up with a well placed press release and a few days later had a few thousand dollars in my pocket.

      Best of luck.

      Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    Do not use flyers...
    Print laminated book marks with a nice design at the top and a hole with yarn through it and tied. They will keep that, your ad goes under the nice design seen by their friends. (their friends will also see you ad.)
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  • Profile picture of the author JennyBizz
    I have seen several small signs around town at red lights. They state something about how to get out of debt and then have a catchy web address. I think they probably work pretty well because they've gotten my attention more than once.
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  • Profile picture of the author acedalright
    It Depends on the sales copy.

    If you wrote a compelling letter, then it might work. Otherwise I'd be inclined to make a flyer that was more expensive, but had a more unique look to it.

    I guess I'm thinking in online terms of conversion here.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    You would be better off making a classified ad in your local newspaper. Or even find a good telephone pole in the area and nail up a flier.
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  • Profile picture of the author rgrimes
    I know that this might not be the best of ideas but i heard once that someone had the idea of making a bumper sticker flyer, and then wait for everyone to go to sleep and basically put it on everyone's bumber sticker, and the publicity alone would be enough lol, even though I wouldn't recommend this at all, just think how many people you would piss off lol, the media just might get involved haha, as a more serious note, how many people actually look at their bumper every day?

    I think that people get pissed off if they even get business cards in their window, so it's a touch situation, but i mean who likes watching commercials on their t.v., yet we are forced to watch something during a show, we own the t.v., but we don't own the station, of course this has no relation to the flyers, but just thought I would put it out there and advise against putting flyers on other people's cars...

    also just be weary that if you do try to do this in malls and get caught security might ban you from the mall as it's seen as possible litter
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  • Profile picture of the author Irish Marketer
    Ok writing off you gas mileage. meet a friend for coffee, bring a survey form and fill it out with them. Then you are doing marketer research. Flyers on car windows, one you will more than likely get done for littering, because if people throw them on the street. You are responsible. Door to Door works better, but still they are better ways. Employ someone to stand and hand them out, get your local newspaper to do them as an insert. Go to the post office, they will drop for you
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    "Always keep in mind, you don't always know what you think you know"

    Words to live by... Test test test!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by rgrimes View Post

      I know that this might not be the best of ideas but i heard once that someone had the idea of making a bumper sticker flyer, and then wait for everyone to go to sleep and basically put it on everyone's bumber sticker, and the publicity alone would be enough lol, even though I wouldn't recommend this at all, just think how many people you would piss off lol, the media just might get involved haha, as a more serious note, how many people actually look at their bumper every day?

      I think that people get pissed off if they even get business cards in their window, so it's a touch situation, but i mean who likes watching commercials on their t.v., yet we are forced to watch something during a show, we own the t.v., but we don't own the station, of course this has no relation to the flyers, but just thought I would put it out there and advise against putting flyers on other people's cars...

      also just be weary that if you do try to do this in malls and get caught security might ban you from the mall as it's seen as possible litter
      Actually, there's a word for this marketing idea already. It's called vandalism. Comparing a TV ad to permanently affixing your message to a piece of personal property without the owner's permission may be one of the silliest things I heard in quite awhile.

      A closer comparison might be if you owned the station and some vandal sneaked into your studio and programmed their ad to run continuously. Without paying for the ad. And making you pay someone else to remove it. Maybe even throw in a nice virus so your broadcast equipment is damaged when your ads are removed...

      Fliers on cars are bad enough. Don't even think about bumper stickers.
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  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    Some cities have laws that can get you in quite deep, legally and financially.

    I know that in Gilbert, AZ they have a litter law for this type of thing. If your promotion is found on the street or any public area due to you spamming a parking lot, they make you pay...... by the piece...

    Times that by as many people that just throw them on the ground and you could be paying a pretty penny. (ask me how I know... )


    Check your local laws if you're going to try this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Pylarinos
    I'd avoid fliers... it's going to cost money and time, which could be better spent.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidomni
    Banned
    One huge problem I can see with this method is the "leads" arn't targeted enough...
    Unless its a particular parking lot for a specific niche!
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  • Profile picture of the author HeyAdMan
    Years ago I placed flyers on windshields under wiperblades. The first call I got and they said "I just got your flyer on my windshield."

    I got all excited because I was about to make a sale. What I wasn't prepared for was ... "You owe me for a broken windshield wiper".

    Find out the laws in your area for this type marketing and then proceed with caution when you know that there are no repercussions.
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  • Profile picture of the author blur
    Working in the nightclub industry for years I have so much experience in this it really isn't funny...a little embarrassing.

    I admit, I haven't read the whole thread, but here are some of my applicable 'lessons learned' from this. Mind you,some aren't for the do gooders of the world.

    1) - Put a fake ad/promotions agency on the flyer. If you get complaints about the flyer just tell them you hired an agency to distribute the flyers. Yup, it's crappy but it gets the job done.

    2) - Don't use 1/4 flyers if don't have to. Use business cards and keep the advertising short and sweet. When putting them on the cars, stick them in the driver side window where the glass meets the rubber. This takes the paper off the windshield.

    3) - Malls are good but they are a lot of work. We used to flyer apartment complexes like crazy. After I finished DJ'n we'd down a few drinks and walk over the apartment complex and flyer away.

    4) - You can also post your flyers anywhere with a cork-board. Laundromats are great because have nothing to really do except read what's on the walls

    5) - If you go at night, don't dress in black - you look like you're up to something.

    6) - Watch out, you might get sent a bill for clean up of parking lots. If they call you, offer to personally clean it yourself. (Then apologize about your fake promo company)

    I touched on this before, but there are so many ways to distribute flyers it isn't funny.
    - leave one in public restrooms placing them where people 'read' the most
    - leave one with your tip at restaurants
    - Staple tabloid size ads to telephone poles (of course local laws would apply)
    - I've even stuffed flyers in the shoes and purses for sale at JCPenny
    - Around places where people congregate in malls (food court, couches, play areas)
    - etc....

    When I was actively promoting a forum for my local area I would keep a stack of business cards in my pocket and just place them around. Not too many to look like you were spamming the place but just so people could 'find it.'

    Look around, printers are always doing $25 business card specials. Or you can try Vistaprint for their $5.95 special. For High Quality cards try PKGraphic.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author hjalte81
    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post


    i'm trying to think of ways to write off my gas mileage on taxes when i go to malls and such...
    Couldn't you just buy something related to your buisness. Ink for your printer, paper, pens whatever... as long as it's buisness releated.

    I bet it would be cheaper than getting flyers printed.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by MarketingMama View Post

    bad idea?

    i know most people think it's annoying, but maybe that's cuz it's usually just an advertisement of some kind of promotion or discount or something.

    what if i'm offering something for free, something that most people would like and use? would that make it "less" annoying?

    i'm trying to think of ways to write off my gas mileage on taxes when i go to malls and such...
    In some areas, it is ILLEGAL! It is just DUMB! Few read it, few care, it is expenxive, annoying, etc... ALSO, it is LITTERING!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Jones
    Get your message out using any method you can think of. I once had t-shirts made up with my website address on it. Then I took boxes of them to various homeless shelters around the city. That was more than two years ago and I still see them pop-up from time to time around town. They'll be in circulation forever.
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  • Profile picture of the author HomeComputerGames
    I have a local client that I work with that gets the local newspaper boys to include her fliers once per month in their newspaper deliveries. They are already delivering the newspapers to the houses so they charge her very little to include the fliers. She gets about 1%-2% returns on these

    Another Great low cost local advertisement method I have got her using is large helium balloons.
    We attach a vertical banner to this like the example below. It works great to generate curiosity and is a low cost reusable source of advertisement. (except for the helium)
    These are much like a mobile billboard except a hell of a lot cheaper.

    96spacebuster



    If you shop around a bit you can often find the Blimp types at discounted rates. Especially during the winter when they are not selling well. A little more pricey than the above method but they last a very long time and can be reused and easily relocated. Find an event, park near by, tie it off to your car bumper. Just be sure to follow the height restrictions on how high you let them fly. Causing aircraft to crash might not be good for business.

    Advertising Balloons, Inflatables, RC Blimps, Searchlights - Above & Beyond
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    Fliers actually work if you get them to the right people in the right places. Most people will discard them, but many will respond either for more information or to actually take advantage of your offer. In most places putting fliers in mailboxes is illegal so check first before putting them anywhere else as well. I have seen people place them on and inside of doors and on (but not in) certain mailboxes particularly the ones that have the “arms.” on the bottom of them or whatever they are technically called and of course fliers on windshields as well.



    Personally speaking, I probably wouldn’t distribute them through questionable and possibly illegal means. My business is entirely internet based so if I gave them my website it would pretty much scream “come give me a ticket if you object to this.” plus if they don’t have internet access it would do them little good.
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    • Profile picture of the author kevin jackson
      This thread is only a few pages long so I actually read each entry in the thread. Some people apparently have the habit of reading the thread title and immediately posting their thoughts and don't care to read the comments contained within that conversation.

      So I won't mention again anything about fines, tickets, littering, getting sued or arrested or whatever. Some also seem to have a particularly strong distaste for flyers on their own cars. Some also seem to have a strong distaste towards the entire idea of having an offline flyer or circular printed up for an offline or online business.

      I myself don't particularly care for finding some landscaper, house painter or Mary Kay salesman's flyer on my own windshield. Flyers are just a form of advertising. They still work. The question is how can they work legally and effectively? I liked the deejay's idea. I am about to enter into the nightclub business myself. This industry has used flyers for years to announce upcoming events.

      The point is that there are many ways they can still be effective. It takes some out of the box thinking but they can still get your phone ringing or get opt-ins to your site. The same rule applies for almost any direct advertising medium.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    I’m not exactly sure what people are offering. But based on my experience in network marketing, it works best to talk to actual prospects or people who might be interested in your opportunity and give them the fliers in person. Or mail the fliers to prospects where this isn’t possible. Same with customers as well, talk to potential customers and give them the fliers and mail fliers to potential customers who you wouldn’t be able to speak to in person. It really works best to tell the person about what you are offering in word of mouth and give them something physical that reinforces what you’ve told them to decrease the likelihood of them forgetting about it or getting the website address wrong while trying to remember it.
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  • Profile picture of the author zachary0611
    Its real annoying if starts raining lol you turn on your windshield wipers and you got this flier going back and forth
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  • Profile picture of the author Puddleguy
    First of all I love this site....
    I recently joined and I would love to have some input concerning an Advertising campaign that we want to try.
    Reading through this tread, nobody has touched on the Legalities/Moralities of certain forms of selling tools.
    I am thinking of having 2000 4 X 5 inch postcards printed to deliver from car to car outside of nightclubs and shisha lounges.
    So far soo good, but when I showed the design of the postcard to some friends there was a mixed reaction. Some said they thought the card was very appealing and the others said that it was way too Sexy!

    It does not show any nudity and keep in mind I want to stick them in the driver side door/window of cars parked in front of NIGHT CLUBS and SHISHA LOUNGES.

    I am also not speaking of Tabacco or even showing any brand of Tabacco, we actually don't even sell Tabacco only the pipes.

    I guess my question is this? Is this too much? Does it get the message across? Is it too insulting and degrading?

    Let me know what you think?

    Here is is...
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    • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
      Originally Posted by Puddleguy View Post

      First of all I love this site....
      I recently joined and I would love to have some input concerning an Advertising campaign that we want to try.
      Reading through this tread, nobody has touched on the Legalities/Moralities of certain forms of selling tools.
      I am thinking of having 2000 4 X 5 inch postcards printed to deliver from car to car outside of nightclubs and shisha lounges.
      So far soo good, but when I showed the design of the postcard to some friends there was a mixed reaction. Some said they thought the card was very appealing and the others said that it was way too Sexy!

      It does not show any nudity and keep in mind I want to stick them in the driver side door/window of cars parked in front of NIGHT CLUBS and SHISHA LOUNGES.

      I am also not speaking of Tabacco or even showing any brand of Tabacco, we actually don't even sell Tabacco only the pipes.

      I guess my question is this? Is this too much? Does it get the message across? Is it too insulting and degrading?

      Let me know what you think?

      Here is is...

      I'm not a smoker, but the design looks attractive and it gets the message across I think.

      There's only one real way to find out though, and that's to test it out. Keep track of all the business you get from that promotion, then run it against a different design later on down the road and see which did better.

      Good luck!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        better to start your own thread when you have a question -

        bumping a thread over 2 years old - not good forum practice
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        • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          better to start your own thread when you have a question -

          bumping a thread over 2 years old - not good forum practice

          I was going to say the same thing. But, in all fairness, he came here and continued the conversation and added something.. it wasn't just the typical "good info, thanks" type post. So I didn't say anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author ttdub
    There are tons of people who get sued for doing this. I don't just mean if you break someone's windshield wipers, but people have been known to blame an old scratch on them, and they have all of your information to pursue a lawsuit. Just not a good idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author imsolutionsgroup
    Put them in mailboxes instead...better chance of being read.
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