chapter 39

Distribute Flyers

Perhaps the oldest form of marketing next to the shop sign would have to be the flyer. Even with the popularity of Internet marketing, flyers and direct mail are still effective ways to make sales, especially that tricky and often allusive first one. The beauty of a flyer campaign is it’s easy and inexpensive to test for effectiveness.

Start with a Sample Test

If you’re not sure if you want to spend the energy doing door-to-door flyer campaigns – you can easily test to see if it’s worth engaging in.

  1. Create a flyer – Start with something really simple and to the point. Less is more. Less is also much easier to test and makes a great baseline. Try promoting a sale, a specific item, or an event. For example if you run an online kayaking store, then offer free kayaking lessons. Whatever you do, don’t just promote your URL and hope for sales to come in.
  2. Print out 100 flyers – 100 pieces is a good number to give you results to make an informed decision later on. It also won’t take too long to distribute.
  3. Go door-to-door – Delivering 100 flyers will take a good portion of an afternoon.

The easiest way to see results is to check your sales over the next month. You can look at your billing and shipping zip codes to see if they match the area your flyers were delivered to. You might want to keep checking a few months later to see if any more sales trickle in.

Alternately, you can use a special URL or a coupon code to track your flyer efforts. For example if you want to offer a discount to residents in your city, you can send them to a URL like: or give them a coupon code like “CITYNAMEYEAR”.

Depending on how many sales derive from your campaign, you’ll be able to determine if it’s worth scaling. In many cases, just a few sales out of 100 are usually worth justifying future flyers campaigns. Don’t forget that some of these customers will be repeat customers, so the investment upfront should pay off more down the line.


If you want to try a larger flyer campaign and cover more ground, it’s good to think of it as a mini science project. Before you make a new flyer with a new promotion you should try the exact same flyer again, this time sending it to 10 times the number of new prospects than before.

The reason for this is simple: with an expanded reach, you have even better data on how effective your baseline flyer is. If you send the flyer to 1,000 homes, you’ll have a more accurate conversion rate of that first flyer.

You’re also going to want to hire someone or a company to deliver the flyers. At 1,000 homes – it’s no longer worth your time to kick rocks. There are a lot of businesses that do flyer delivery for you – so simply do a Google search to see who offers the service in your area. Of course this will increase your costs and you might not get the same results. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to test and measure.

Testing Your Flyers

The next step is testing your flyer. Over the next few campaigns, test things like:

  • Copy – Change the wording of your flyer.
  • The Offer – Try a more compelling offer.
  • More than one offer – Try multiple offers, but be incremental when adding offers. Your tests will be much easier to gain insights from.

Only change one thing per campaign. If you change too many elements on your mailing piece at once, you’ll have a hard time knowing what has the biggest effect. Later on when you get your flyer testing “chops” down, feel free to do big bold changes to see if you can make a bigger impact to your bottom line.

Going Purple Cow

Now, what if you completely got rid of the plain old paper flyer and did something really unique? For example, what if you put an envelope with a bow on it, and nicely placed on your prospects front porch?

And inside, you wrote a personalized note explaining that you are also from the neighborhood and you’ve started up a small online business down the street.

Remember, building a strong loyal local following is worth its weight in gold. Especially if you have a local brick-and-mortar store. Going the extra mile with your mailing pieces is certainly worth the effort.

Next chapter

40. Advertise Outdoors

2 min

Start your free 14-day trial today!