the only way door hangers will work...

by aross
31 replies
After many years leaving flyers, business cards, and door hangers on doors we decided to try something different this time, and its getting good results!

We are a cleaning business. So we already go to people's homes. We decided to leave door hangers only in the homes within the same block as the home we already go to, we did away with covering an entire neighborhood, its time consuming and we rarely get inquiries from that. Our door hanger now says:

"We cleaned your neighbor's home today__(date)__, if you sign up by __(date)__ we will give you a credit of __(%0ff)__. We will be happy to do this because our transportation costs will be cut by __(%)__."

Along with our door hanger we also put in a coupon to Bar Keepers Friend (which they supply). It is a MIRACLE cleaner, and shows the customer we only use the best when it comes to cleaning agents! And because bar keepers friend knows how awesome this marketing technique is they also send us samples of their cleaning agent so we can include with our door hanger.

So it goes from your average "throw away" hanger to a "hmm... what is this goodie I see" hanger.

This is more of an idea to get your creativity going, feel free to replicate or add your own spin. I hope you find this useful and can figure out how this technique could work with your own offline marketing!
#door #hangers #work
  • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
    Thanks for a unique idea and explaining your thought process.
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    • Profile picture of the author unglued
      Kinda hard to beat such a seamlessly beautiful (and near-lethal) combination of not one, but TWO layers of social proof, reciprocity, and "reason why" all rolled into a single marketing effort. Cialdini would be proud.

      Was this something that was carefully planned out prior to execution, or did you tinker with various ideas to finally get it right to the degree you have ?

      This is good stuff, and hard for many to implement because it's so obvious it often gets overlooked. Nice...
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      • Profile picture of the author aross
        Originally Posted by unglued View Post

        Kinda hard to beat such a seamlessly beautiful (and near-lethal) combination of not one, but TWO layers of social proof, reciprocity, and "reason why" all rolled into a single marketing effort. Cialdini would be proud.

        Was this something that was carefully planned out prior to execution, or did you tinker with various ideas to finally get it right to the degree you have ?

        This is good stuff, and hard for many to implement because it's so obvious it often gets overlooked. Nice...
        I'll have to google this "Cialdini" you speak of...

        Planned out by bar keepers friend more than myself. They approached us with this idea. Honestly we have not done much door marketing for the past 2-3 years because we now get our customers from referrals and Angies List. But after hearing them out and nothing to lose I figured what the heck!
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        • Profile picture of the author unglued
          The book I rather obliquely referenced above is called "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion", by Dr. Robert Cialdini, circa 1984. Still very relevant today, and a good read if you'd like to better understand the reason(s) your marketing works as well as it does for you. Might even find an additional idea or two to tweak it even further. Hope it helps.
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          • Profile picture of the author aross
            Originally Posted by unglued View Post

            The book I rather obliquely referenced above is called "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion", by Dr. Robert Cialdini, circa 1984. Still very relevant today, and a good read if you'd like to better understand the reason(s) your marketing works as well as it does for you. Might even find an additional idea or two to tweak it even further. Hope it helps.
            Thank you unglued! Everytime someone recommends a book for business (specially an older book) I definitely read it! If you are a reader here is another one. How to make friends and influence people, by Dale Carnegie. This book is much older 1936, but its those type of "old" proven books that I specially love getting lost in.
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            • Profile picture of the author bob ross
              Originally Posted by aross View Post

              Thank you unglued! Everytime someone recommends a book for business (specially an older book) I definitely read it! If you are a reader here is another one. How to make friends and influence people, by Dale Carnegie. This book is much older 1936, but its those type of "old" proven books that I specially love getting lost in.
              Influence has been updated several times over the years to reflect changes in technology and such. I have the 2005 edition I believe and it's one of my favorite books as well. My favorite part is 'commitment and consistency" although the entire book is amazing.
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              • Profile picture of the author aross
                Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

                Influence has been updated several times over the years to reflect changes in technology and such. I have the 2005 edition I believe and it's one of my favorite books as well. My favorite part is 'commitment and consistency" although the entire book is amazing.
                Yes! I completely get the ultimate meaning of commitment and consistency.

                Commit meant to stick to what you do even when a customer is barking down your throat or when you lost money because you failed at quoting correctly, or when you are ground pounding at 7pm on a Friday while others are getting home and taking their shoes off. I've had all these things happen to me and somehow I got up the next day to keep at it again. You learn from it and keep moving.

                Consistent meant to keep putting out the same quality stuff. Burger King will beat the local restaurant every time because although BK's burgers are a 5 at least they will be a 5 each and every time, its consistent and the customer knows what to expect. Where as the local restaurant may give you a 10 or may give you a 3, because the owner may or may not have a clue about the importance of consistency.
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                • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                  A. Ross,

                  Great thread. Thank you for your contribution.
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                • Profile picture of the author unglued
                  Originally Posted by aross View Post

                  Yes! I completely get the ultimate meaning of commitment and consistency.

                  Commit meant to stick to what you do even when a customer is barking down your throat or when you lost money because you failed at quoting correctly, or when you are ground pounding at 7pm on a Friday while others are getting home and taking their shoes off. I've had all these things happen to me and somehow I got up the next day to keep at it again. You learn from it and keep moving.

                  Consistent meant to keep putting out the same quality stuff. Burger King will beat the local restaurant every time because although BK's burgers are a 5 at least they will be a 5 each and every time, its consistent and the customer knows what to expect. Where as the local restaurant may give you a 10 or may give you a 3, because the owner may or may not have a clue about the importance of consistency.
                  Aross,

                  Kudos to you for all the above, but the principle of commitment and consistency here is actually referring to you as the marketer getting the prospect to make some sort of commitment (written or verbal) that results in them buying from you because to do so is to act consistently with whatever they initially commit to.

                  Basically leveraging their earlier commitment to prod them to act (the way you want them to) or else be seen as wavering or disingenuous by you, with buying from you being the end result.

                  Cialdini apparently likes this principle enough to include it in the book, but my personal feeling is that it would be a bit less effective than the "triple threat" combination you've currently got going for you. And considering the results you're getting already, I'd consider testing it as an addition VERY carefully, if at all.

                  It may be just me, but commitment/consistency feels slightly but still decidedly manipulative to me when on the receiving end of its application. Just my .02.

                  Again, hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    I love seeing success threads about media that most people think doesn't work.

    Thanks for sharing, A. Ross, and keep u the great work!
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    • Profile picture of the author umc
      Nice work! And as someone that has been cleaning for 14 years myself, it is nice to see people working on their marketing and using it efficiently. We've never really done any door hangers and we only tried fliers early on in our business, but we've got a huge referral base that is very responsive, and that has led to us getting homes in the same neighborhood. We have three houses on one street (four in that same neighborhood) and five houses on another street, and it certainly helps the flow of our day.

      Thanks for sharing. Oh, and we like Barkeeper's Friend too. It is a nice, mild abrasive cleaner that can get out some tough stains.
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      • Profile picture of the author aross
        Originally Posted by umc View Post

        Nice work! And as someone that has been cleaning for 14 years myself, it is nice to see people working on their marketing and using it efficiently. We've never really done any door hangers and we only tried fliers early on in our business, but we've got a huge referral base that is very responsive, and that has led to us getting homes in the same neighborhood. We have three houses on one street (four in that same neighborhood) and five houses on another street, and it certainly helps the flow of our day.

        Thanks for sharing. Oh, and we like Barkeeper's Friend too. It is a nice, mild abrasive cleaner that can get out some tough stains.
        So glad to know someone else is in the same industry here! We did the same... Did the whole door to door paper flyer and business card for a while, way back in the days. We haven't done any of it for a few years now. If it wasn't for the sample and coupon bar keepers friend supplies I wouldn't be wasting our time on door to door. Your right referrals can be much better!
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    I have used similar for a driveway sealing company pushing a "same neighbourhood discount" pushing them to a phone and also simple web squeeze page where they can book. Has worked extremely well for past 5 years as they truly get the value that it is not an empty discount it is truly a great offer based on the costs of driving those big trucks around.

    Great job at thinking out of the box.
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  • Profile picture of the author CJ Jones
    Great value! Thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    That's a really good spin on a local marketing staple. Using the familiarity of their neighbor is just another way of keeping up with the Jones. Nice approach!
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Thanks for the share! Very good info.
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  • Yup, great change to an already powerful idea. There is always good customers to gain when you go local with flyers and door hangers.
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    • Profile picture of the author aross
      Wow! Thanks for all the "Thanks"! I feel the love in here!
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    Thank you for this idea. And, I can really see why it works. For one, most home owners would love a really great freebie or discount. That idea works for any offline or online business. Also, the part where you tell the home owner on the door hanger how you recently cleaned the neighbor's home provides proof that someone they might know trusts your service. Friends often trust the advice of each other. I will be putting this idea to use as possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author aross
      Originally Posted by Samuel Adams View Post

      Thank you for this idea. And, I can really see why it works. For one, most home owners would love a really great freebie or discount. That idea works for any offline or online business. Also, the part where you tell the home owner on the door hanger how you recently cleaned the neighbor's home provides proof that someone they might know trusts your service. Friends often trust the advice of each other. I will be putting this idea to use as possible.
      Best of luck to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Kash
    This is a very powerfull marketing tool for local business', I always have my employees leave "door hangers" at the surrounding homes. Even leaving a sign on the customers front lawn (with their permission of course), can generate business throughout the neighbourhood. It is unbelievable to see the response you get, the customers feel more comfortable when they are calling in to inquire or book services, knowing you take care of their neighbours. Your perpetual customers are great "free" advertising tool for your business. Very smart idea leaving the sample of your cleaning agent with the door hanger, great business marketing technique.
    You are on your way to great success!
    Cheers!
    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    It's great to hear that you've caught onto this method!
    This works extremely well for exterior services, maybe more so!

    The neighbors actually walk over and look at the quality work and what I used to do was do a pre-sales flyer informing the neighbors that our X remodeling project was about to begin at Address number and street name.

    The crew leader was the one who I had distribute the flyers so he and the crew were always cognizant of the fact that how they did the job directly related to the amount of new jobs they got because the neighbors would walk or drive by during the construction phase. = )

    Anyways keep it up and I hope you clean up!

    Originally Posted by aross View Post

    After many years leaving flyers, business cards, and door hangers on doors we decided to try something different this time, and its getting good results!

    We are a cleaning business. So we already go to people's homes. We decided to leave door hangers only in the homes within the same block as the home we already go to, we did away with covering an entire neighborhood, its time consuming and we rarely get inquiries from that. Our door hanger now says:

    "We cleaned your neighbor's home today__(date)__, if you sign up by __(date)__ we will give you a credit of __(%0ff)__. We will be happy to do this because our transportation costs will be cut by __(%)__."

    Along with our door hanger we also put in a coupon to Bar Keepers Friend (which they supply). It is a MIRACLE cleaner, and shows the customer we only use the best when it comes to cleaning agents! And because bar keepers friend knows how awesome this marketing technique is they also send us samples of their cleaning agent so we can include with our door hanger.

    So it goes from your average "throw away" hanger to a "hmm... what is this goodie I see" hanger.

    This is more of an idea to get your creativity going, feel free to replicate or add your own spin. I hope you find this useful and can figure out how this technique could work with your own offline marketing!
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    • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      It's great to hear that you've caught onto this method!
      This works extremely well for exterior services, maybe more so!

      The neighbors actually walk over and look at the quality work and what I used to do was do a pre-sales flyer informing the neighbors that our X remodeling project was about to begin at Address number and street name.
      This exactly what I was doing in the 90's for my construction business. We would send out postcards informing about the project starting on a given date. During the construction, we would have door hangers or leaflets distributed again inviting neighbors to see what we were doing.

      It worked very well for us. We would often work in the same neighborhood for months. Distributing multiple flyers in the same area increases your results. If we had three jobs in the area, some neighbors would get six notifications from us :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

        This exactly what I was doing in the 90's for my construction business. We would send out postcards informing about the project starting on a given date. During the construction, we would have door hangers or leaflets distributed again inviting neighbors to see what we were doing.

        It worked very well for us. We would often work in the same neighborhood for months. Distributing multiple flyers in the same area increases your results. If we had three jobs in the area, some neighbors would get six notifications from us :-)
        This just gave me an idea. I'm having basement waterproofing done in August, and I know for a fact that many in my area have the same issues that I'm having. Maybe I could send something out to my own neighborhood as a waterproofing contractor with a number from somewhere like Callfire, and direct it to my waterproofing contractor. Give them the leads for free, and then see if I could work with them going forth. I've got an in with them, as I'm paying them money to fix my water problems, and this could be a great way to test this method and it wouldn't cost me a fortune (certainly not more than the waterproofing).

        I like the idea of providing such a service to contractors. I'm not sure if they would pay for it, as they could theoretically do it themselves, but then again, they aren't. There are lots of things they could do, but most they won't because they don't have time.
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        • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
          Originally Posted by umc View Post

          This just gave me an idea. I'm having basement waterproofing done in August, and I know for a fact that many in my area have the same issues that I'm having. Maybe I could send something out to my own neighborhood as a waterproofing contractor with a number from somewhere like Callfire, and direct it to my waterproofing contractor. Give them the leads for free, and then see if I could work with them going forth. I've got an in with them, as I'm paying them money to fix my water problems, and this could be a great way to test this method and it wouldn't cost me a fortune (certainly not more than the waterproofing).

          I like the idea of providing such a service to contractors. I'm not sure if they would pay for it, as they could theoretically do it themselves, but then again, they aren't. There are lots of things they could do, but most they won't because they don't have time.
          Ask if they pay any commissions for referrals. If they do, talk to anybody you know and all your neighbors. That alone should give you bunch of good leads. Don't worry about them doing it by themselves, contractors usually have to ask the customer (you) for permission to invite any strangers over to see their work.
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  • I think the main thing is if the door hanger is actually useful, would I pay it any attention.
    For example, including a magnet, calender, etc I seem to keep.

    If its just a standard door hanger, it goes into the trash or recycle bin immediately.
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  • Profile picture of the author oceania
    This is ingenious indeed but what if even 1 family has a bad thing to say about the business. You have to be careful about bad reputation. But I'm sure you are doing well
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  • Profile picture of the author copymyideas
    This is a superb idea and so well executed. With the addition of the free sample this is a really great marketing tool that I'm sure will bring you (and many others here) continued success
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    This has been used for years in the carpet cleaning industry - called 5 arounds. One in the adjoining houses and 3 to the houses across the street. Cheapest form of advertising you can do! Take it up a notch - leave a bag with some other cleaning supplies - carpet spotter - microfiber towel - etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author pcforms
    @oceania - My best guess would be that the company probably handles complaints before they go prospecting in the adjoining neighborhood. That way they would prevent bad word of mouth.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattbau43
    I think door hangers are a great investment. Much cheaper then direct mail and a much higher rate of return. It is tough to really canvas the rural areas though.
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