/ Anyone with first hand experience of leaflet drops?

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wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
Good morning all
Do any small business owners have any experience with leaflet dropping? Questions I find myself asking are many:
Leaflet size? A5?
Colour & glossy?
Business cards instead of leaflets? <more likely to stay on a Pinboard/fridge magnet perhaps?>
Graphic designer or DIY?
Returns? <0.5 to 1% leads seems a common return>
Car park windscreen drops?
As much info on leaflet as poss or an URL with all info they need on your website?
We are talking local area here, not regional or national. Also, if we follow this road they'll most likely be hand delivered ourselves.

Thanks in advance for any info you can offer, good or bad! :-)
Philip on 26 Apr 2013
When you say first hand experience, do you mean had to put up with picking the wet leaflets off a windscreen. Or tidying up the front garden after so e moron discards half their leaflets.

I chuck flyers like that straight in the recycling. It's the 20th century equivalent of email spam.
In reply to blanchie14c: I got a lot of escort work after doing a leaflet drop around the old folks' homes.
In reply to blanchie14c: Seriously though, for what sort of business?
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
Computer repair, I do 1 job per week on average and thats with any advertising or anything, just word of mouth. Most jobs are a simple back up, format and re-installs but I also do screen replacements, HDD/RAM upgrades, power socket replacements etc. Hardly ever see towers now, 99% are laptops these days. I'm on the verge of investing in infa red preheating and reflowing gear so I need to make this earn to pay for it!
I'm not in favor of windscreening myself and I bin all leaflets that come through the door too, but at 1%, that could be a job for every 100 leaflets.
Tony Simpson - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:
Depends on what your business is as to how effective a leaflet drop will be.

I use leaflets with a lot of info on them as well as URL and contact details.

These though are very much targeted at the correct audience who could have a need for the product. It is produced by a graphic designer as this is my main job and the flyers is for a small new start business / product I accidentally fell into.

If you deliver to just every house hold I think a 1% return rate is what a market company would advise.

Hope that helps.

If you want any help with design work please feel free to pm me.

Cheers

T
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Philip:
> When you say first hand experience, do you mean had to put up with picking the wet leaflets off a windscreen. Or tidying up the front garden after so e moron discards half their leaflets.
>
> I chuck flyers like that straight in the recycling. It's the 20th century equivalent of email spam.

I feel your frustration Philip and I'm normally the same when it comes to a soggy, home made, odd job man flyer but at least they're trying. I just want to get it right without pissing too many folks off! I believe that 1 or 2 leads from say 250 well thought out, eyecatching flyers would be profitable as word of mouth would follow down the line too.
Tony Simpson - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: ok another reply.

Have you thought about advertising in a local free paper, I know its not as cheap but our local free rag is only about 36.00 for a decent sized add each month.

This way it gets delivered for you to every household and you would not need to do the leg work yourself.

Still think it would be worth getting a graphic person to sort out an add for you.
FrankBooth - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:
I belong to a business network called BNI http://www.bni.co.uk that meet weekly to refer business to on-another. At my branch, there's a computer-repair guy who does much the same as yourself, and he receives quite a lot of business this way. It's an early start mind you (6.45) and you have to be very committed, but it does work.
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to blanchie14c) Seriously though, for what sort of business?

I've already got a job as you know but always done this as a sideline for favours, beer and cash. Just gone on a new shift pattern that is giving me more time avaliable to develop this into some more than a side line. Thinking and looking ahead, when a computer takes over my full time job in a few months/years I'll be walking away with 23 years of specialised skills and I can see myself struggling to even get in the door of a similar workplace. It'd be good to be able to do something for myself if that time came. It's such a fast moving market though, you have to specalise to find your niche, I do windows XP & 7 on 32/64 bit PC's, I don't touch Apple or tablets. Be great at what you know rather than average at everything hey?
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Tony Simpson:
Thanks Tony, worth exploring as we do get a free paper once a week and a weekly leaflet drop where we get half a dozen at once. I bin them, the mrs has a quick scan and might save a menu. 99%+ of mine would end up in the bin, I'm under no illusion here! I may well take up on some advice on design, cheers
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to FrankBooth: Yea, I've heard of those, business breakfasts. A mate used to go to one, just coffee and breakfast to network, quite informal. Perhaps if this became full time it'd certainly be handy to knock about with folk who'll all have computers :-)
Carolyn - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

I got business card (as opposed to usual leaflets) recently, and it's the only one that remained. Admittedly a service I'm more likely to use than local takeaways, but also easier to store.
EeeByGum - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

> I believe that 1 or 2 leads from say 250 well thought out, eyecatching flyers would be profitable as word of mouth would follow down the line too.

Delivering 250 flyers to 250 houses is seriously hard work and time consuming, especially for such low returns. Would it perhaps be easier to give out fliers in a busy high street instead? Or set up a desk in / around a high street? I can't help thinking that there are smarter ways of targeting people than delivering rubbish through their letter boxes.
john spence - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: I made a living for 15 years making hand made furniture. I had almost zero return from leaflet drops, poor return from cards in shop windows then I tried face to face at upmarket craft fairs,usually three day affairs and quite pricey but this turned my business around.Four shows a year kept me busy in the workshop all year. Massive amount of work followed from recommendations. Maybe you could try a computer fair, chatting and handing out leaflets.
The Lemming - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

Rather than flyers going door-to-door which is random luck try to work out who your market is and where they are likely to visit on a regular basis.

As an example you could create various size adverts from business cards, A6, A5 and A4 and display them in various locations. These potential locations could be:
Shop windows
Take-away shops
Libraries
Supermarket notice boards
Phone boxes
Car windows of cars in car parks, such as Park&Ride, Retail Park (PC World)
Schools, if they allow
College, if they allow
Citizen's Advice
Local Churches
Builder's Merchants notice boards

You have more chance of catching your target audience this way as you are trying to target them rather than hope with a 1% scatter aproach with a leaflet drop.

Guess who trained as a Graphic Designer? :-)

I too could be in the market for a new job, as my work injury is not looking good.
Rob Exile Ward on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Yep. We advertise our business to the local community by leaflet drops occasionally, they can work fine. What we have used is an A5 leaflet usually containing a special offer (we have to be careful that the offer doesn't offend/annoy existing customers) and get it distributed by a local company that specialises in distribution (i.e. a well organised bloke with a few pensioners happy to do the work for pin money.) 1 - 2% return seems OK, maybe more if you pay extra for solus, i.e. yours is the only leaflet being distributed. If you don't use a reputable distributor then your leaflets are likely/certain to be dumped in the nearest bin.

I think local advertising is good too, we pay 30 a quarter in our local mag, take ads in local rugby programmes and so on - they get the name about and we're also seen as contributing to the local community, which is true.

I loathe windscreen leaflets with a passion!

Sorry for everyone who gets offended by leaflets through the door, if you think there's any way of getting new business other than by letting as many people as possible know that you exist, then please let me know, I'll be all ears.
nniff - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

The thing about your business is that no-one wants it until they do, and then they don't have the means to find what they need. Consequently, we have someone's PC repair card pinned to a board. I'd say a business card that will last - along with a reminder along the lines of my opening sentence.

The difference between PC repair and most other leaflet-drop businesses (cleaners, gutter clenaing, gardens, kebabs etc) is that they are discretionary purchases in the main whereas yours is mostly distress purchases. You therefore need to make sure that people can find you when they need you.

A card with a bit of double-sided tape on the back?
David Riley - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to nniff:

Good thinking. Get some labels printed and give them out personally so they like and remember you.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

There are the people who need their computer fixed today and the much larger number that may need their computer fixed at some time in the next year. The goal is for people to have your details at the point in time when they need your service. I'd guess a leaflet from a computer repairer is likely to get binned immediately by everyone who's computer isn't broken when it comes through the door.

Why not put branding on something useful enough not to be chucked out, like a pen? Because it's a lot more expensive than a leaflet be more targeted about who you give them to e.g. local small businesses and houses in posh districts where there's more likely to be several computers and money to buy your service.

owlart - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Another angle to consider might be your local PC repair shops - not everyone will do laptop repairs, and those that don't might be able to refer customers on to you. We don't touch laptop repairs here, so the next question they always ask is "Do you know somewhere that will?"
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to owlart:
> (In reply to blanchie14c) Another angle to consider might be your local PC repair shops - not everyone will do laptop repairs, and those that don't might be able to refer customers on to you. We don't touch laptop repairs here, so the next question they always ask is "Do you know somewhere that will?"

Our local PC workshop is well dodgy with a poor reputaion too <you heard stories too Lemming?> so not sure if I want to be contacting them! I'll take their customers though ;-)
nniff - Never thought of my services as a 'panic buy' kind of thing, I may explore having some stickers made, perhaps paperclipped to a business card, pointing out that people can stick the sticker to the underside of of their laptop so they always have my details. Thanks for all the help so far
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

> Guess who trained as a Graphic Designer? :-)
>
> I too could be in the market for a new job, as my work injury is not looking good.

You still off work then? Been struggling for a while now eh.
The thing with this is that I need to build it slowly but steadyly. We were close to taking the plunge last summer, we looked at the old morgage shop at the village and also a stall in bispham market. The oppotunities for buying in/fixing/reselling laptops is very valid and of course these days noboby can seem to live without Facebook etc and I still buy and sell on ebay now but the fees ebay/paypal charge are astronomical but even so, I still manage to eek out a margin.
In the end I decided to stay on the side of caution - continue to get word of mouth jobs while working full time and continue learning and I'm glad I did as I'm now ready to expand this in its own time rather than jumping in too early.
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:
Thats a good story john and one that obviously worked for you proving these events can and do work. Leaflet knockers need to realise that although it feels like an invasion it is a perfectly acceptable way to get your name out there cheaply. I'm in a position at the moment where we have 2 teenagers and a retired father in law in the house so I need to set them to work pounding the streets eh!
The Lemming - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> [...]
>
> You still off work then? Been struggling for a while now eh.
Things aren't looking too rosey. :-/


> The thing with this is that I need to build it slowly but steadyly. We were close to taking the plunge last summer, we looked at the old morgage shop at the village and also a stall in bispham market.

Perception is everything and I don't think that a stall in Bispham Market will give the perceived image that you are hoping to achieve of a cutting edge technical wizard/expert. A web presence would be your best bet.
In reply to blanchie14c: I would never have a computer repaired in case they knew what porn I'd been looking at, so that could be your USP - "Don't worry what you've been looking at - I'm a filthy perv too" and you could leave all the best porn bookmarked for them.
Jim C - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to blanchie14c)
> [...]
> Things aren't looking too rosey. :-/
>
>
> [...]
>
> Perception is everything and I don't think that a stall in Bispham Market will give the perceived image that you are hoping to achieve of a cutting edge technical wizard/expert. A web presence would be your best bet.

Word of mouth is pretty powerfully locally, I remember looking for a radio for a new car I had bought, I just had to mention ' car radio ' to friends and I was given a name and phone number, I called it and when I got to his place it was a back kitchen stacked with radios of every type floor to ceiling, his bench was a kitchen table and a lap top to find the codes, some soldering equipment and that was it.,

So not always Is there a need to appear high tech, just get a good reputation of knowing your stuff, and not letting anyone down

The radio guy knew his stuff and had lots of work. Without fancy shops, or high street presence. Amazingly I got a receipt !

The point is, friends, social networks, local clubs and pubs , business forums etc. is where a lot of people get their tradesmen recommendations , golf clubs, bowling clubs, football supporters clubs pubs etc. can you get to know someone and get get some cards to barstaff at local pubs who overhear conversations, and can pass on cards or just a phone number. What about fixing the local pubs computer?

As others have mentioned most folk just need someone when it breaks down, local small business are more likely to be prepared to sign up to have someone they can get to do maintenence or preventative checks, and of course someone who they can depend on to turn up locally at the drop of a hat to solve urgent IT issues and get their business back on track.

In my job I need to source goods and services very quickly, I often prefer local small local business, to larger organisations, as I find them more responsive.

Good luck.
Boogs on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

A mate of mine who does similar pc repairs took out an ad in Yell ( Yellow Pages ) a few weeks ago & they provided him with a basic website/page as part of the deal , His site comes up quite high in a google search & he's picked up a few jobs from it averaging 1 a week so far , so should pay for itself quite soon .

He also dishes out business cards locally every month or so and picks up a fair bit that way . Could be worth offering a preferential rate to students, forces, services, climbers, local business ( large employers ) , milfs etc . People love preferential treatment after all . ;0) Good on ya get stuck in Blanchie .
Cthulhu on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:

I'm going to go against the prevailing opinion here a bit.

I'm a plumber and gas engineer. I had A6 glossy, double-sided cards printed up (got 10,000 for about 140 inc VAT and delivery).

We dropped 2,500 of them locally. I had about a dozen enquiries immediately - about a 0.5% hit rate. This converted into half a dozen jobs, worth around 10K. ALL of those customers have come back to me for more work, passed my number on to friends and family, which has brought in a LOT more.

The pleasing thing is that some 6 months later, I'm still getting new customers from that original drop. I had thought, like many others, that they'd go straight in the recycling - after all, that's what I do to the vast majority of leaflets that come through my door, but it seems that not everyone is so dismissive.

So, my suggestion to you is, do it. Put in the legwork yourself - it's a good way of getting some exercise, and sometimes people will be near their front door so you can hand them a leaflet personally and have a chat. They will be FAR more likely to keep your card. It also means that you don't risk having your leaflets dumped, or having two or three put through each door.

Have them properly designed, it's your image, and your future. Get it right from the outset or you'll regret it later! Drop Caroline from the forum an email - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/profile.php?id=24215 She did all my design, from logos to leaflets. She did a superb job and was very reasonably priced!

Good luck with your new venture! :o)
Cthulhu on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Cthulhu:

Oh - and I put a LOT of detail on the cards. Don't rely on people to visit a website to look for fuller information on what you do. If you don't mention it, they will assume that you don't!
ads.ukclimbing.com
cfer - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: I have a laptop I need a repair on...well a netbook and am in preston so would be happy to use you??
Carolyn - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
>
> Perception is everything and I don't think that a stall in Bispham Market will give the perceived image that you are hoping to achieve of a cutting edge technical wizard/expert. A web presence would be your best bet.

I suspect a web presence alone misses a lot of the market, though. Certainly the local guy who does computer repairs seems to pick up a large chunk of his business from older people, who wouldn't necessarily think of looking on the web. Adverts (and a column) in the local free paper seem to be one his most successful tactics. Plus posters in village halls, church halls - places where older people go for activities - and obviously word of mouth.
Tomagone - on 26 Apr 2013
I used to deliver free magazines and leaflets to around 500 houses a week, some people would ask me to put them straight in their bins and others would actually ask for them, the A5 glossy laminated leaflets were easiest to slip through a letter box so would probably be the quickest.
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Tomagone:
Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, very helpful and plenty of avenues to explore. All points and links have been noted. Thank you.
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to cfer:
> (In reply to blanchie14c) I have a laptop I need a repair on...well a netbook and am in preston so would be happy to use you??

Whats up with it mate?
cfer - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Someone trod on it and the screen is not working, have it hooked up through a monitor at the moment, could also do with transferring photos onto an external hard drive and a general clean up and performance review.
cfer - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Also have an iphone that needs a new 6rs fuse(which I have) but I cannot solder or own a soldering iron.......
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to cfer:
Is it a 10.1 inch screen? <Acer Aspire One, EEEPC, Samsung N110 etc> if so the good news is that it is only 30 for a new LCD. If you can post it to me I'll gladly replace the screen and sort your pics etc out
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to cfer:
> (In reply to blanchie14c) Also have an iphone that needs a new 6rs fuse(which I have) but I cannot solder or own a soldering iron.......

No idea what that is until I research it but I do lots of solderign so shouldn't be a problem either :-)
cfer - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Its a compaq cq10, 10.1 inch display and the its not a fuse but a coil??? if you google 6r8 coil it will show a pic of the part, which I have but cant do it myself.

I can mail the laptop or drop it off as heading over to blackpool next week to climb


jdawg_85 - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> I suspect a web presence alone misses a lot of the market

As someone who once asked someone to email the helpdesk, when they phoned up with a pc not on the network (yeah, really), think about the potential problems people have, and if they will be able to find a web only company when they need help!

As for fliers on car windscreens, nothing annoys me more than finding a soggy flyer stuffed under my wiper. Especially when I have to then get back out in the rain to remove it.
wilkie14c - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to cfer:
Yep, just looked it up, its an inductor. Are you heading to the towers then? I can bob down any night and collect the bits from you, post back a few days later when its all sorted. PM me when you are coming over and we'll get it arranged. Thanks!
cfer - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to blanchie14c: Sounds good will pm you through here with my details and when I am likely to get over there :-)

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