How to Find Affordable Flyer Printing Options

Now that you have determined who to target with flyers, you will need to think about the logistics of actually getting a flyer to every house in your selected area. Most importantly, the flyers will need to be designed, printed and delivered correctly to neighborhoods. We will show you how to design and deliver flyers through later articles in this series. First, we need to talk about printing!

Surprisingly, you will need to plan for printing before beginning the flyer design. That is because you cannot design before knowing the size (dimensions) and type of flyer that will be printed. Do you want to distribute a door hanger? An 8.5 x 11 inch flyer that will be rolled up and rubber banded to doorknobs? A sticky flyer that can be stuck to the door at eye level and re-stuck to a homeowner’s refrigerator? What size do you want any or all of those materials to be? I bet you didn’t think there were so many options, did you? 🙂

At the very least, you need to consider the flyer type you want for the sake of your wallet. Flyers come in all types of shapes and sizes and printing prices range accordingly. Larger flyers on better quality paper cost more than small flyers on thin paper that easily tears. You will therefore need to make decisions on whether printing a very high quality flyer or keeping your budget low is more important.

For those of you that don’t have a ton of experience with printing, I’ll give a brief overview of printing basics in this post.

1. Choosing a printer

Printing costs vary greatly from printer to printer. That is the first thing you need to know. If you have a ton of time, you can spend hours or days looking around for the absolute best printing deal. Most of you are busy people, though, so here are some common printing trends.

finding an affordable printer for flyer printing

Local printers tend to be more expensive than big online printing companies (i.e. Vistaprint). Why? Local printers usually have smaller order volumes than large-scale online printers. It costs more for them to order materials (like paper) and run their printing presses than online printers, who get more orders and therefore better bulk deals. Big online printers also process so many orders that they actually can use their machines more efficiently by printing multiple orders that fit on the same paper roll at the same time.

Plus, online printers often sell their printing through “print brokers,” independent sales agents that get wholesale printing prices from big printers in exchange for taking care of the sales transactions with the public. Online printers therefore don’t need to hire their own sales teams like small local printing companies. All these factors help big online printers offer lower prices than local printers.

printing color modesThere are advantages to hiring a local printer though. For one, you will be supporting another local business. Secondly, big online printing companies leave all the design and file submission up to you. You simply upload a design file (like a pdf or jpeg) and their computers process the order. If your design file contains a spelling mistake or is formatted wrong, tough luck. They will usually go ahead with printing and you will get a bad batch of flyers.

When it comes to local printers, they often communicate with you more about your design file and will point out mistakes or issues (i.e. wrong color mode, lack of “bleed” edges, etc). Sometimes, the local printer will even offer affordable design services! In my opinion, a unique flyer design and better customer service is better than using generic templates on Vistaprint.

Local printers can usually turn around orders quicker than online printers as well. Plus, you can save money by picking up your flyer order from the printer. With online companies, you will have to pay for shipping and also account for the extra time it takes for your order to ship to you.

2. Types of flyers

Our agency personally likes to deliver flyers that are high quality and stand out! You only have a couple seconds to get someone’s attention. Flyers that are rolled and rubber banded to a doorknob are often never unrolled and just go straight into the trash. Door hangers hang nicely on the doorknob but fly off doors easily with wind and end up littering people’s yards. In my opinion, these are both weak options that aren’t guaranteed to get someone’s attention.

sticky flyers can be stuck to front doorsWe therefore use a printer that prints “sticky flyers.” These flyers have a residue-free adhesive on the back of them. Our flyer droppers can stick the flyers to the front door of homes at eye level. As homeowners walk up to their doors, they are already looking at it since it sits at eye level (extra viewing time) and they have to physically pull it off the door to take it inside. This is very attention-grabbing! The homeowner can even take the flyer inside and re-stick it to their refrigerator.

The particular sticky flyer we use has a strong adhesive. It doesn’t leave goopy residue and the flyers will not fly off the doors with wind. However, these flyers should only be stuck to glass or metal surfaces (not painted surfaces like wood, etc). We usually stick them to the glass storm door in front of the main door, or other glass surfaces on/adjacent to the door. As long as you stick them correctly, there is no damage of any kind. Of course, some grumpy homeowners will still take offense to anything being stuck to their door so expect some negative calls from people who just like to complain. Overall, these flyers get a lot of attention so that’s not a bad thing! 🙂

There are a couple companies that print sticky flyers, including the popular manufacturing company 3M. We like to use a smaller company called Adeas Printing because they have affordable “Stick It” and “Band It” products, as well as good customer service.

If you aren’t interested in sticky flyers, regular door hangers or standard flyers that you roll up are still a decent option.

3. Flyer Size and Paper Quality

Bigger is usually better. Larger flyers will get more attention and are easier to read since you have more space for larger text. If you’re trying to go big, though, don’t overdo it. You also want your prospect to retain the flyer. They most likely won’t want to keep a big poster from your business (unless you find a way to make it super awesome!). We usually stick with standard paper-sized (8.5 x 11 inch sheet) or a door hanger-sized (4.25 x 11 inches) materials.

Of course, cost is a factor. If you need to print smaller flyers to save on printing costs, that is perfectly understandable. Just make sure the messaging is readable. You may even decide to buy better quality paper and print it on your office printer. That’s definitely an affordable option; however, try to avoid printing the flyers yourself if possible since it does look cheap and less professional.

paper weight and paper qualityDepending on the printer you use, there may be many flyer size and paper weight options or only a few options. Don’t be afraid to ask for printing quotes for a few different flyer sizes and paper weights.

The paper weight system refers to the thickness and quality of the paper. If you have ever received a door hanger, they usually have a little heft to them (it’s not on standard thin printer paper). These materials are often printed on “100# Cover” paper. I like to go with 100# Cover or 14 pt paper. You can ask your printer for advice and/or samples, or do some research online to learn more about choosing paper options.

Timing Your Flyer Marketing Campaign

Now is a good time as any to talk about the timing of your flyer campaign. Every part of the flyer campaign, whether it be research, design, printing or distribution, will take time! As a result, you will need to think about your business’ timeline and ask the right questions of people you will work with (i.e. your printer) when planning your campaign.

Timing is important with all marketing efforts. If you don’t reach out to people at the right time and when they are in the correct frame of mind, your results will be drastically different from a similar campaign that is timed correctly.

People take certain actions and make different decisions depending on the day of the week, month or season. Hopefully, you understand which months or seasons are critical for your business. Perhaps you own a heating and cooling company. You know that late spring/early summer is when people start to check their air conditioners and late fall/early winter is when people turn on their heaters. These two time periods are then critical for your business since homeowners may turn on these systems and realize they have an issue! Who are they going to call? In many cases, the business that reached out to them at that moment or a few weeks earlier.

Planning the Flyer Marketing Campaign Timeline

planning the flyer marketing campaign timelineOnce you figure out that you want homeowners to have your flyer in their hands by X date/month, you need to work backwards. Let’s say you want to distribute 5,000 flyers to an area. That may take up to 3 weeks to deliver, depending on the size of your flyer dropper team and weather (don’t worry, we’ll discuss distribution timelines in a later article). Printing/shipping could take 1-2 weeks, depending on the type of flyer and quantities you are printing. I would also budget at least one week for design. That means you will need to plan your campaign at least 1 ½ months ahead of time! We’ve worked with some companies that need even more time than that.

I’m telling you this now so you can ask the right questions of whoever you are working with for your flyer campaign. Make sure to ask both your designer and printer how long they estimate their work to take when getting quotes. If you started planning very late, you will either need to rush printing/shipping or wait for the next critical time period for your business.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now have an idea of what information you need to gather about flyer printing before you move further with your campaign. In our next post, we’ll teach you how to design an effective flyer that gets attention and responses!

This article is part of a 7-step training series on how to create a successful flyer marketing program for your business. To receive the rest of the articles by email, just make sure to register below!

Choose a Target Market For Your Flyer Campaign

choosing your target market

Before you ever launch an advertising effort, you better know exactly who you’re targeting with your ads! Otherwise, you will likely waste a lot of time and money. Defining a target market can be one of the most difficult parts to figure out in a marketing plan, but it is essential that you get it right. Don’t worry. In this post, we will teach you exactly how to choose your target market for a flyer campaign and other marketing efforts.

Choosing a target market for flyer marketing comes down to a few key factors. You’ll need to understand your ideal customer, the demographics of the areas within 3 miles of your location, and your monthly budget for flyers. If you’re a service business that works all over town, I’d still suggest you begin by targeting the area within approximately 3 miles of your office. You’re probably more familiar with that area than the rest of town. Until you have a large enough budget to show your ads to everyone in town, sticking to the area closest to you is a solid idea.

Understanding your target market

To properly understand your ideal customer, we recommend creating a customer avatar. A customer avatar is a very detailed overview of a specific person. The idea is to develop a clear profile of the needs and wants of your perfect client. We understand that not all your customers are the same; however, creating a customer avatar will help you determine what your best customers all have in common and focus in on the most important demographic information. This fake profile will help you find out where a lot of your ideal prospects live and determine what interests them. Plus, once you have a specific person to consider, it becomes much easier to create content and advertisements that appeal to your target market. Although we won’t go in depth about how to develop the avatar in this series, I’d strongly suggest checking out this guide from Clickfunnels to learn more.

How to get in front of your target market

Once you have very specifically defined who you’re trying to attract to your business, you can begin choosing your target locations. There are two schools of thought regarding the distribution of flyers. On one hand, you can simply choose neighborhoods with your ideal types of customers and place flyers on their front doors. This is usually a good option if you have at least 500 flyers to distribute and your business appeals to a wide range of people. For many businesses — such as restaurants, home service businesses, or gyms — this is often the best approach. However, for other businesses with a very specific niche or target market, it is better to hand out your flyers at locations that attract the right people. If there is an event this weekend full of your ideal customers, then you should be there!

The reason I like targeting neighborhoods is that it’s straightforward and foolproof. Your right to put flyers on front doors is actually protected by the US Constitution as a form of free speech. Seriously. While some local laws attempt to limit or prevent the distribution of flyers, you are often free to deliver flyers to the front door of any home during daylight hours. In contrast, you can sometimes run into issues when you try to hand out materials on the street or at an event, especially if you are on private property like a business’ or mall’s property. Plus, when you place flyers on front doors, you can ensure that every home received one. That is nearly impossible to do when handing them out to people directly.

Choosing your target areas

So, which neighborhoods should you choose and how? That is where you’ll need a couple tools. Typically, to collect any kind of useful data on your target market, you would pay thousands of dollars for a database from some fancy marketing data firm. In most cases, our clients don’t have the budget for that. As a result, we found several FREE sources that help us plan for our campaigns!

First, you want to work with the data you already own. If you have any information about your customers at all, especially addresses, you can generally determine a solid targeting plan without other tools. If you don’t have addresses, you will want to reach out to at least 10 clients and ask if they would be willing to tell you the neighborhood where they live. Most businesses will have at least a handful of best customers that would be happy to help them out. If not, you should stop worrying about advertising, and work on your customer service first!

Once you collect some information, make a list of each address in an excel file or spreadsheet. You can then upload these addresses to a mapping service such as batchgeo.

using Batchgeo to figure out your target market

I love this tool because it’s literally just copy and paste, and you’re done. Simply highlight your list of addresses, hit copy, and then paste the information into the box in the middle of the screen. After you hit “Map Now” you will see a map below with each of your addresses! Try to find where the addresses tend to cluster together and you have your target neighborhoods!

What if you don’t have client addresses or don’t see any useful clusters? In that case, you’ll want to use other tools to determine the best target areas. If you have the budget, I often suggest simply blanketing all neighborhoods within two miles to start and seeing which areas produce the best results. However, this can get expensive for smaller businesses. In that case, I use Trulia to get an idea of the best neighborhoods to target.

Using Trulia to determine a target market

Trulia is a tool for the real estate market, but it provides some very useful free data for marketers. Simply zoom in on the map and find your business location. Now you can look around and find neighborhoods based on data such as home price or rental cost. While this isn’t nearly the level of information you can buy from marketing data firms, it gives you a chance to significantly increase your results by targeting only the people who can afford your product or service. On the other hand, it may also help you avoid the pricier neighborhoods that might be a waste of your time. You can find even more information about the area through Nielsen’s Zip Code Look-up. This free tool gives you information about the income level, age, ethnicity, and household composition breakdown of particular zip codes. It also lists the top 5 general profiles (called segments) of households in that area. Using a combination of both Trulia and Nielsen data will give you a good idea of a specific area’s population trends.

Determining the number of houses in your target area

Once you’ve discovered which neighborhoods look like good targets, you will want to get home counts so you know how many flyers to print. I like to use Cole Lists to find these numbers. Cole Lists is one of those data companies that helps you build mailing lists, but I use their free tools to get accurate house counts! *Side note: If you’re targeting only a small area, you can alternatively use Google Maps and just zoom in to the level where you can see each home. Then, just count them.*

On the homepage of Cole Lists, find the section that reads “Advanced List Type” and click on the “Consumers” button.

Researching your target area with Cole Lists

This will allow you to see how many homes there are without including business addresses. Click on the “+” next to “Geographic Area” and then select the “Map Search” option. Click “Starting Point Address Lookup” and you’ll see a page where you can find a starting point for your map.

Using Cole Lists to Find a Target Area

The address lookup process is a bit confusing, but it also doesn’t really matter because you can adjust the map once you start. Just put in your home or business address to get started. It will ask for your zip code and then either the house number or street name. Submit that information. I’ve had issues with finding an exact address match, but it won’t matter later anyway. Just select any address that comes up at the top of the list and hit “continue” at the bottom of the screen.

Cole Lists Address Search

You’ll see the first page again now but there will be an address and a “map it” button. Click that button and you will then see a map with a few options for how to select an area. Oddly, the map sometimes places me right in the middle of the ocean when starting. If that happens, just zoom way out and then zoom back in on your target city. Once you have located the neighborhoods you want to explore, click the “Freeform Plotting” button. This will allow you to select a series of points that outline the neighborhood or area you would like to count. Now click on several spots at the edge of the area you’re targeting and you’ll start to see a shaded area appear. Once you’re done highlighting the exact area you want, click on “Continue” below the map. You’ll be back on the start screen and just need to hit “run count” at the bottom of the page!

Mapping Your Target Area for Flyer Marketing

The count at the top of the page will be a fairly accurate count of the number of household residences in the selected area.

Number of Households in Target Area

Hopefully, you tried to keep any apartment buildings out of the highlighted area. Apartment buildings are very tricky to deliver flyers to because the whole area is private property; sometimes, you can ask for permission to deliver flyers but I wouldn’t count on being able to do so. If you think your highlighted area may include apartment buildings, subtract 10-30% from the total to eliminate the apartment addresses. Again, this is never going to be an exact count, but at least you will be sure to order enough flyers and be able to approximate the labor time it will take to deliver the flyers to your target market. Make sure to repeat this process for each neighborhood you selected earlier.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have defined your target market, mapped out your target areas and have a fairly accurate count of the number of homes in these areas. More importantly, you have the confidence that the homes that will get your flyers contain the right people to target. The next step is to start designing the perfect series of flyers to catch and hold their attention. Check back soon for our next article and make sure to register below if you haven’t yet!

This article is part of a 7-step training series on how to create a successful flyer marketing program for your business. To receive the rest of the articles by email, just make sure to register below!

Why You Should Be Using Flyer Marketing

sticky flyer marketingYour small business should be using flyers to advertise! In this series, I’ll tell you all the reasons why flyer marketing works and then exactly how you can do it.

Why Flyer Marketing Works

Over the past three years, I’ve built a business around the idea that some of the oldest forms of advertising still work very well. In my opinion, they work better and better as many businesses attempt to switch entirely to online marketing and overlook the oldest tried-and-true advertising methods. As a result, I’ve worked to perfect a seemingly basic but powerful form of advertising: flyer marketing.

Although I’m not convinced that it’s completely perfect yet, after designing and delivering over 150,000 flyers, I think we’re on to something! Now that we’ve generated a flyer marketing program that works, the best way to continue to develop that program is to teach it to you and see what you think!

flyer marketing examplesI am writing seven different pieces detailing our flyer marketing program and developing a video training for each.

Through the series, I will teach you exactly how to develop and successfully complete your own flyer campaigns. I’ll show you how to select a target audience and message for your campaign, design an eye-catching flyer, find affordable printing, monitor the flyer delivery using free GPS tracking, and even track the ROI of your campaign! My theory is that some of you will decide to take my advice and create your own program, while others might just decide to hire my company to do it for you. 🙂 Either way, any feedback or suggested changes are welcome as we continue to improve our service!

Before I get into the specifics of developing a flyer campaign, I’d like to convince you that flyer marketing is a great way to advertise your small or medium-sized business. In fact, I’d like to show you that in many cases, flyers should be the bedrock of your advertising efforts! Without further ado, here are five reasons why you should use flyer advertising for your business.

1. Flyers are CHEAP

flyer marketing is cheapPrice is a huge deal for most small businesses, and even larger companies have to keep an eye on costs. A small scale test can cost as little as ten dollars, and a business can often see a return on investment from even that small amount of money. Flyers printed on your office printer cost just a few pennies each. Professionally printed flyers are even available online for a similar price. Considering that you can deliver the flyers to neighborhoods yourself when getting started, you can minimize labor costs as well.

If you later decide to scale up your flyer marketing efforts, you can still control the costs in a way that is difficult to replicate with other advertising options. In many cases, you’ll spend hundreds or thousands of dollars just getting started with TV, radio, newspaper, Google or other advertising platforms. That is not an option for a lot of businesses. DIY flyer advertising is not that costly.
Plus, by testing your marketing ideas with low cost flyers, you will be much more confident about your strategy when implementing larger and pricier ad campaigns.

2. Flyers get a lot of attention

flyers stand out!Advertising is about grabbing someone’s attention and holding on for dear life. The average person is exposed to over 5,000 ads every day. How many do you remember? If you had a flyer on your front door this morning, you probably remember it. That is because flyers stand out! Especially now that so few businesses use them. It’s nearly impossible to ignore a piece of paper stuck to your front door or handed to you as you walk by.

Unfortunately, many businesses squander this attention with crappy and ineffective design. Since flyers are very easy to try, it’s not uncommon to see absolutely terrible flyers on your door. I’ve received flyers with paragraphs of worthless text, flyers with no contact information, and flyers rolled up with rubber bands that are almost impossible to open up! That’s a shame because it’s not difficult to design a good flyer that not only gets someone’s attention but also entices them to take action. I’ll spend a whole article detailing just how to do that! In the end though, it is safe to say that there aren’t many forms of advertising that receive as much attention as flyers.

3. Flyer marketing allows for great “targeting”

flyer marketing allows you to target every house in an areaFor many businesses, ideal customers often live nearby or in certain areas of town. If you own a brick and mortar business like a restaurant or auto repair shop, this is obvious. Over 90% of your business comes from people living within three miles of your location. Imagine if every single household in that three-mile radius received a flyer about your business. That is powerful targeting.

Other businesses (i.e. medical centers, contractors, insurance companies, etc.) attract individuals from almost any region of their town or city. Nevertheless, these businesses still have “ideal customers” and these customers tend to live in the same neighborhoods or regions of town. People tend to live near other people who are similar to them. Flyer marketing allows a business to use regional trends to target their ideal demographic very precisely.

In fact, with flyers you can reach out to every single household in a particular area. Not many forms of marketing can do this. Your business may be running ads through Facebook, a radio channel, a magazine or Google, but none of those platforms can guarantee that every household in a particular area is using them. Every single household in that area does have a front door that a flyer can be delivered to though. 🙂

4. Flyers are easy to track

You can track the delivery of flyers, ensuring your message is reaching its intended target. GPS tracking has become really precise. In fact, I’ll show you in a later article how you can use a free fitness tracking app called Runkeeper to track a flyer delivery team with careful accuracy.

The reality is that few types of advertising allow this type of certainty. How do you know how many views a billboard ad receives, or how many people watched a TV ad rather than recording the show and skipping the ads? With the rise of ad blocking software, how do you know who viewed your ad online?

The reality is that tracking impressions is notoriously difficult in almost all forms of advertising. Fortunately, flyers are one of the easiest advertising methods to track! Plus, when you add tracking methods like tracking phone numbers and landing page urls to your flyers, you can also track the number of phone calls and online views that result from your flyers. We’ll address these tracking methods in a later article as well.

5. Flyers allow an immense amount of creativity and variety

You can be very creative with flyer advertisingMarketing requires a lot of creativity and testing. Every marketing agency and department brainstorms ideas of what they think people will like… and then they put the campaign out there and see what happens. With flyers, the opportunities for creativity are endless! You can try different shapes, sizes, colors, and any printed ideas you can think up. There are very few limitations. That’s a big reason why flyers are a good foundation for your advertising efforts.

Considering a billboard costs thousands of dollars a month, you will likely want to test whatever message you place on it with flyers first. Thinking about doing a TV commercial? Make sure your offer gets a good response with a few flyers first! Maybe you’re thinking of trying Facebook ads, but don’t know who to target. Use a local flyer campaign and have your receptionist ask a few demographic questions of each caller to help determine how to target your Facebook ads.

Conclusion

Overall, flyers are an essential part of any local marketing plan. Your business doesn’t need to be the talk of the town to be successful, but it would help a lot if you’re the talk of your local neighborhood! I’ve seen many businesses make the mistake of trying to spread their marketing message far and wide. In the end, they see few results because they were so broad and unfocused in their targeting.

Instead, focus on getting a smaller group of people to love you and vouch for you! Use local flyer marketing to appeal to the right market and only spread your message further when you have maximized that local market. That’s how you become Local Famous!

Over the next six articles, I will show you exactly how to create a flyer marketing system that does all of this for your small business. I’ll even show you how to set it up on “auto pilot” so that you are consistently reaching your target audience without much work on your part. Hopefully, you will be as successful with flyers as our clients and use flyers for years to come within your business!

This article is part of a 7-step training series on how to create a successful flyer marketing program for your business. To receive the rest of the articles by email, just make sure to register below!

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