Do Flyers Work? Is This a Good Idea?

26 replies
I hate shopping. So I was sitting in my car in supermarket's parking lot waiting for my wife yesterday. I was pondering about whether Flyers, aimed to promote MMO, distributed in the parking lots work? I was observing the people coming out of supermarket and I swear I could tell that 90% of them would never start an online business. They just don't look like they would. I don't know whether it's intuition, their appearance, clothes, face, eyes, looks, the way the walk and talk, but if I was to personally approach and hand over the flyers I'd immediately know whom to avoid.

Which made me wonder... is it worth printing thousands of flyers and randomly distributing them in parking lots? I figured that in some cases it might work. Particularly...

There is a seminar by a world famous "coach" coming up next week. I figured I will print a few thousand flyers and hire someone to hand them out by the entrance to the building. Any remaining flyers would be placed onto the windshields of cars parked in nearby parking lot. I assume the people coming to the event, will park their cars there.

I have a few ideas for the message on the flyer:
1) Join my website to win the autographed book by (the author who is holding the seminar)
2) Did you like the seminar? Visit the website to discuss with other attendees and share the ideas.

Is it better to distribute flyers before the event or after or both?
#flyers #good #idea #work
  • Profile picture of the author Underxman
    What do you mean by "work"? For some people this might mean a conversion of 10% of those flyers and others might want to see better results. Personally i think that it's all about the cost. If I can hand out flyers and spread the world to 1000 people for 50 USD or less then I don't care how many listen to my message. Sometime it's hard to quantify this type of advertising but I'd say that you give it a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Star Man
    We all hate spam and junk mail. And placing a flyer onto windshield is no different. I am wondering if it could bring any bad publicity. Should I use disposable domain names printed onto the flyer?
    Perhaps two different flyers, one for personally handing out to people and the other for placing on the windshields?

    It will cost me about $100 for the paper and ink. The distributors of flyers will be paid $20 each plus the percentage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
      Originally Posted by Star Man View Post

      We all hate spam and junk mail. And placing a flyer onto windshield is no different. I am wondering if it could bring any bad publicity. Should I use disposable domain names printed onto the flyer?
      Perhaps two different flyers, one for personally handing out to people and the other for placing on the windshields?

      It will cost me about $100 for the paper and ink. The distributors of flyers will be paid $20 each plus the percentage.
      Funny how it's only spam junk mail when it's something you don't want or need at the moment...but as soon as it's something you want ...like pizza coupons it's suddenly the best thing ever.

      Here is another way to look at it ...from the perspective of the product owner or service provider....there isn't such thing as junk mail...it's really just customers that are so unbelievably stupid that they can't figure out that this thing will make their life so much better.

      You have to figure out how to make people feel like they're getting a pizza coupon.

      ...also, on a side note ...don't fool yourself about this special "I can tell just by looking at them" gift. You don't have it.

      Your marketing results will improve once you accept that, and treat every person as a potential target.

      Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author CFamm
    Disclaimer: I am not a marketer. I am not a copywriter. I think I have something to contribute that is worth you reading but I don't have any claim to being an authority on the subject.


    Asking "Do Flyers Work" doesn't make sense. I've seen ads that sold like crazy and I've seen ads that flopped. It doesn't matter if it's flyers, referrals, TV ads or Adwords. The medium isn't the be all and end all and it certainly doesn't decide whether your marketing will be effective.

    The better question is:
    Will this flyer with Message A, distributed by Method B to the people of Demographic C make me more money than it costs?
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    • Profile picture of the author Star Man
      Originally Posted by CFamm View Post

      The better question is:
      Will this flyer with Message A, distributed by Method B to the people of Demographic C make me more money than it costs?
      Yes, that's actually exactly what I am asking. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I think it was Joe Sugarman who said if you have the right audience and the right message you could write it on a napkin and people would buy... :-)

    My answer is that in my experience there are a lot of people in the real world who would like to learn how to make money online. You'll need to get past their scepticism and fear of being ripped off.

    Can you do this in a flyer? Guess that depends on the message on the flyer...

    Local live workshops might be better than sending them to a website...
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by Star Man View Post

    I I swear I could tell that 90% of them would never start an online business. They just don't look like they would. I don't know whether it's intuition, their appearance, clothes, face, eyes, looks, the way the walk and talk, but if I was to personally approach and hand over the flyers I'd immediately know whom to avoid.
    Some of best customers looked they could not scratch their arse with a spare nickel, yet they can go the cupboard and roll out 10K cash plus and hand it to me on their dingy kitchen table and it happens more often than not. never pre judge people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by Star Man View Post

    Particularly...

    There is a seminar by a world famous "coach" coming up next week. I figured I will print a few thousand flyers and hire someone to hand them out by the entrance to the building. Any remaining flyers would be placed onto the windshields of cars parked in nearby parking lot. I assume the people coming to the event, will park their cars there.

    Is it better to distribute flyers before the event or after or both?
    Neither.

    A world famous "coach" will know their market and are likely to convert the best prospects who attend their event.

    They are also likely to follow-up with non purchasers after the event.

    If you do have something of value that would appeal to attendee's of another marketer's event you would be better proving your worth and then approaching the coach for a JV partnership.

    Otherwise look at the advice Ewen has gifted you in regards to using a qualified list to promote your offer to.

    Do you have a product of value to promote?

    Oh and something else....

    I have a few ideas for the message on the flyer:
    1) Join my website to win the autographed book by (the author who is holding the seminar)
    2) Did you like the seminar? Visit the website to discuss with other attendees and share the ideas.
    What if every attendee already gets an autographed copy of the book at the event?

    What if there is already a forum where attendees discuss the event and ideas...much like every marketing event there is usually already a Facebook page as a minimum...particularly if the author you describe is "world famous" as you describe.

    Just a thought...
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Ozi is right. I once sponsored a marketer who was targeting mortgage brokers and loan officers. He said he'd have 100 people in attendance. I was to pay $1,200 (a home inspector and an insurance agent were the other 2 sponsors).

      In exchange, I got to put up a booth with anything I wanted on it in the back and got introduced at the beginning of the event, at lunch time and got to speak for 5 minutes about my real estate appraising company at the end.

      There were only 77 people in attendance, I knew nothing about marketing at the time, so I had business cards and a list of appraisal my people were qualified to do and a list of happy customers with contact info.

      That $1200 brought in some $45,000 over the next year... probably more, but I wasn't tracking at the time.... It's been 10 years, my memory on the numbers is getting fuzzy, but it was a ridiculously high amount of ROI, especially compared to other things I was doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Star Man
      Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

      A world famous "coach" will know their market and are likely to convert the best prospects who attend their event.

      They are also likely to follow-up with non purchasers after the event.

      If you do have something of value that would appeal to attendee's of another marketer's event you would be better proving your worth and then approaching the coach for a JV partnership.
      These people have already bought the tickets to this event ranging from 300 to $1500. So they are all willing to pay to learn how to gain financial freedom.
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by Star Man View Post

        These people have already bought the tickets to this event ranging from 300 to $1500. So they are all willing to pay to learn how to gain financial freedom.
        Is that the "list" price or what they "actually" paid?

        You may find that there was an offer that could be as low as 20 - 30% for an earlybird registration.

        Often large promoters will fill seats with offers to their lists well in advance of an event to help cover basic costs.

        I would still encourage you to approach the organiser up front and see if you can promote legitimately.

        The risk you take is that you could be alienated from a young audience that will obviously be socially active and it will only take a small amount of negative messaging to cause you some irreparable damage.

        Do you want to take that risk or start to build relationships?
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        • Profile picture of the author Star Man
          Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

          Is that the "list" price or what they "actually" paid?

          You may find that there was an offer that could be as low as 20 - 30% for an earlybird registration.
          I don't understand what your point is. They have paid to attend a financial education seminar.
          There is indeed, still a 30% discount coupon available directly from the author's FB page.

          Anyway, this is what I decided - screw the windshield spamming!

          I bought the ticket to the event for about $200 (the cheapest one, because that sector will be the most populated). I printed out 100 half size flyers and 100 full size invitations on A4 high gloss paper. Invitations are numbered and come with a unique PIN code to get access to the site. I added a separate invitation-only section to the website. I will personally talk to people and give them the invitations to join my website. I hope that a numbered invitation with unique ACCESS code will seem more important and authentic and will generate better signup rates.

          The event will last from 10 am until 9 pm. There will be 5 speakers on the stage. I am sure I will get bored as hell, but I am going to get contacts, not to listen to what I already know. If I run out of flyers, my friend is ready to print and deliver a few hundred more. I am afraid I won't need a thousand.

          I can also ask people to register via mobile phone right there or ask them to remember the website address. After all it's just a one word, 5 letter domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Star Man
    I understand that I should reveal the name of the author, my website that I want to promote and the design of the flyer to get more specific responses. I am not willing to just yet.

    There is a page for this event created on FB. I can see that 1500 have marked that they are going. Mostly young people in their early twenties, a lot of university students, both boys and girls.

    The event costs about $300. VIP lounge with all the benefits is $1500.
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  • Profile picture of the author iharman
    Why not try business cards? You can get 1000 decent looking ones made for $10-$15. Pay someone $20/$30 to distribute them at the parking lot of the event. If you have an attention grabbing headline, a call to action, and a coupon code for an inexpensive report (related to the subject of the event) on the business card, I would think you should have some kind of sales, or depending on your goal, build a list, or both. If you get zero responses? Well, at least you will have tried it for $50.00 or less.
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  • Profile picture of the author trip3980
    Originally Posted by Star Man View Post

    I hate shopping. So I was sitting in my car in supermarket's parking lot waiting for my wife yesterday. I was pondering about whether Flyers, aimed to promote MMO, distributed in the parking lots work? I was observing the people coming out of supermarket and I swear I could tell that 90% of them would never start an online business. They just don't look like they would. I don't know whether it's intuition, their appearance, clothes, face, eyes, looks, the way the walk and talk, but if I was to personally approach and hand over the flyers I'd immediately know whom to avoid.

    Which made me wonder... is it worth printing thousands of flyers and randomly distributing them in parking lots? I figured that in some cases it might work. Particularly...

    There is a seminar by a world famous "coach" coming up next week. I figured I will print a few thousand flyers and hire someone to hand them out by the entrance to the building. Any remaining flyers would be placed onto the windshields of cars parked in nearby parking lot. I assume the people coming to the event, will park their cars there.

    I have a few ideas for the message on the flyer:
    1) Join my website to win the autographed book by (the author who is holding the seminar)
    2) Did you like the seminar? Visit the website to discuss with other attendees and share the ideas.

    Is it better to distribute flyers before the event or after or both?
    My response to this is I will throw the ad on the ground in the parking lot. Why because I am making a statement and its an annoyance that the flyer was unsolicited. Getting on peoples bad side will not have a good impression. however with this said if your selling a strip club it may work if your distributing nudes because it benefits the potential consumer at that moment in time. IE it makes the target audience feel an emotion that is not negative persay.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      And if you distribute something about weight loss to people looking to lose weight... how to get the best interest rate at the lowest costs to people looking for a mortgage... awesome kitchen cabinets to people who're about to remodel their kitchen...

      OP said they were going to match message with why people were there.

      Originally Posted by trip3980 View Post

      if your selling a strip club it may work if your distributing nudes because it benefits the potential consumer at that moment in time. IE it makes the target audience feel an emotion that is not negative persay.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Flyers can be effective, but truly there has to be an immediate call to action so you can take advantage of that split second of interest from the potential customer. For example, adding a QR code or SMS Mobile Keyword that someone can text or scan to get more info or save the coupon on a phone has been proven to be highly effective.

    As a marketer, it's really the combination of a proven offline marketing strategy with flyers and combining them with a modern day mobile marketing strategy by adding the QR code or mobile keyword to engage interested customers on the spot immediately to take action.

    For QR codes it does require that the buyer have a QR code scanner for the mobile keyword, the customer would simply be instructed to text the mobile keyword to a short code such as 95577
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  • Profile picture of the author DrForum
    Flyers can work and at the same time fail to work depending on how you package them. These is a paper with designs to most of the products you offer. You need to be careful when designing them. In order to make people read the message on the flyers, they really need to have been attracted. My advise is that you come up with strategies that are modernized and implement mostly pictorial messages, they are the best rather than having plain text on them. Make the reader enjoy retaining the flyer.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by DrForum View Post

      modernized and implement mostly pictorial messages, they are the best rather than having plain text on them.
      Just the opposite what you have described from a person who only sends out
      text on postcards. These are the only form of marketing to his prospects.

      He tested with images, 100% of the time lowered the response and return on investment.

      They are sent to lists of names.

      What sounds good and what most do, doesn't always work when tested.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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  • Profile picture of the author onehalf
    Flyers get straight to the point. You’re either interested in what the flyer has to say or you’re not. Also, the flyer can go into the “real world” where regular people are interested in buying real things. You have to keep in mind that not every member of your target market will always have access to the Internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author MBedford
    The only success I ever saw with flyers was when I was at university. During freshers week (The first week for first year students) I handed out "student jobs from home" type flyers which promoted UK based CPA offers and surveys.

    I made some money but nothing notable.

    I tried it again later and made nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinBuckley
    As far as marketing with flyers, I would say from my experience that distributing flyers door to door works well depending on what you are offering, but placing flyers on cars in shopping malls and parking lot is not going to get you positive results, just my cents.

    I wish you all the best,

    Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author EelKat
    Do consider the fact that it is ILLEGAL to put flyers (or anything else) on a car.

    Depending of the town/state you could be fined with:

    littering
    tampering with private property
    soliciting without a permit/license
    vandalism (a Class D felony - with 2 years prison time)
    criminal mischief (a Class D felony - with 2 years prison time)

    In Biddeford, Maine, the BPD will charge you with ALL of the above AND will charge the fine at PER FLYER they collected. The lowest fine is the $250 littering fine.

    In other words, if you print up 1,000 flyers and put them on the cars at the Biddeford, Maine, WalMart, and the officer on duty, happens to collect up all 1,000 of your flyers, you will be fined: $250,000 JUST for the littering offence (and yes, BPD does do this)

    AND if the store has a "no soliciting" sign on there door, you could be sued by the store (and big boxers like WalMart DO sue) for as much as $25,000 PER OFFENCE (meaning per flyer)

    Every state and every town within each state has different laws regarding flyers on cars.

    Also, that does not include the people who will sue you.

    Take me for example - I build art cars with $10k plus paint jobs. If you put a flyer on my car, and I come out of the store and find a scratch on my car, i'm gonna flip out, and the first thing I'm gonna think is that you scratched my car while tampering with it, leaning over it, to lift up the wiper and put you flyer on it. And you better pray the window wasn't damp and the ink didn't stain the glass (because it DOES you know)...I'm gonna see the damage to my car, look at that phone number, address or web site on the flyer and haul your vanalising, trespassing, tampering with private property ass to court - and believe me, I'll win (I've won before - I know how to do it again), and then you better pray that I'm the ONLY car owner dragging you to court, because 1,000 flyers? That the potential of a 1,000 angry car owners dragging you to court

    Tread carefully when touching someone's car - people who are car buffs go fanatical insane melt down nut job crazy on your ass if you ever look at their car the wrong way - I know, because I'm a car collector with racks of best of show trophies, and you even think of putting a flyer on one of my cars, I'll tun into the craziest, screaming nut job you've ever seen.

    Make sure when you think of a way to market your business - that you are not breaking any laws or pissing off your future customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ploppi
    I guess it depends on the country's laws. Where I am flyers on car windscreens are common and advertise everything from local restaurants and events and fortune tellers offering ther services.

    Depending on location one could always hire a couple of hot ladies or men or one of each dressed to attract attention and hand out flyers to people.
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    • Profile picture of the author jacksonkelly
      A friend of mine had some success recently by handing out flyers to passers-by in his local area. His business reflects his personality and he ensured that he conveyed that personality each time he placed a flyer in someone's hands. On the other hand, he previously ran a door-to-door flyer campaign which completely flopped. That's just to illustrate one of the many factors involved.
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