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I was 26 five years ago
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up until about two and a half years ago, I never considered using flyers or door hangers to advertise my painting services, however, having read the amazing response rate that some of you on this forum claimed to be getting out of your flyers, I decided to give it a try.

In the past two or so years I have put out about 20,000 (professionally designed) door hangers in targeted neighborhoods, hitting each area every 2-3 months. So far, these ads have generated not one single lead (zero for 20,000!!!). The only responses I have had are from people who are nowhere near in the market for a paint job (i.e.: the guy who wants his 3500 sq ft interior painted for $500.00, paint included), not to mention a few clinically insane people (no kidding).

I hate to just dump a valid – and inexpensive – form of advertising that has worked for others, but…wtf. Has anyone here found a way of using door hangers and flyers to generate serious leads? If so, what’s the trick?

(The reason I’m starting this thread in this forum, and not in marketing & sales, is that I want feedback from painting contractors. I know that flyers and door hangers can be effective for other trades, such as handy-man services…I’m just not sure that it’s the way to go for a company that does mid to high-end residential repaints)
 

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Up until about two and a half years ago, I never considered using flyers or door hangers to advertise my painting services, however, having read the amazing response rate that some of you on this forum claimed to be getting out of your flyers, I decided to give it a try.

In the past two or so years I have put out about 20,000 (professionally designed) door hangers in targeted neighborhoods, hitting each area every 2-3 months. So far, these ads have generated not one single lead (zero for 20,000!!!). The only responses I have had are from people who are nowhere near in the market for a paint job (i.e.: the guy who wants his 3500 sq ft interior painted for $500.00, paint included), not to mention a few clinically insane people (no kidding).

I hate to just dump a valid – and inexpensive – form of advertising that has worked for others, but…wtf. Has anyone here found a way of using door hangers and flyers to generate serious leads? If so, what’s the trick?

(The reason I’m starting this thread in this forum, and not in marketing & sales, is that I want feedback from painting contractors. I know that flyers and door hangers can be effective for other trades, such as handy-man services…I’m just not sure that it’s the way to go for a company that does mid to high-end residential repaints)

Have you given some thought that your flyers might not be working?
I have a hard time believing that you haven't recieved one lead. The law of averages are on your side.
It might do you well if you could post your flyers so we may be able to see them.
One way that works is if you drop off the flyers, then a couple of days later, call on the people. I have found it helps if you are giving something away, with no obligation!

One other thing, I hope you have qualified the neighborhood that you are distributing the flyers in.

I know they work. If not, all the Chinese rest. wouldn't be useing them!!!
 

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I was 26 five years ago
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for you response, Farmer.

First off, I have to apologize for my post: the last thing I wanted to do was to discourage anyone from using flyers and door hangers to generate leads. I know that for smaller operations (like mine) this is the most economical way to get the word out about your company...I also know that it takes a lot of work and energy to create the material and get it distributed, all while trying to take care of the 1,000 other things that go into keeping a small operation afloat. So, if you're a one or two-man outfit presently engaged in this sort of advertising campaign, and you happened to have come across my post, don't let it be too much of a downer.

Farmer, I'd didn't mean to suggest that my flyers generated no responses; in fact on most of the pieces I distributed, I got an approximately .08 - .05% response rate (that's about 2-4 calls per 1,000 flyers...not too bad), however, I wouldn't call most of those who responded, 'leads'. A 'lead', for me, means someone who is at least half-way serious about hiring the services of a painter...and someone half-way serious is not someone who is prepared to pay a painter what would amount to about 3.00 an hour to complete a paint job.

Since I started screening potential customers, I noticed that it was the ones who responded to flyers that I ended up tossing the most.

Of course, if you're willing to ignore your own production rates and quality-standards...if you're willing to work for next to nothing, then you probably will find jobs using this method of advertising. But if you're stubborn like me, and refuse to sell a job on price alone, then you're probably going to face an uphill battle with this crowd (the crowd that respond to flyers).

As far as targeting neighborhoods goes, my methods are pretty primitive: I drive around to different mid to high-end areas, spend a bit of time looking at the sort of people who live there, and then decide if I want to hit it with flyers. Even within a neighborhood, I ask my distributor to screen houses (there's no sense in hitting a house with a broken down roof, tons of crap in the drive-way, a lawn that hasn't been weeded for 3 years, etc). After having hit a neighborhood with 3 cycles of flyers (delivered every 2-3 months), I'll decide if I want to keep advertising there based on the response I get.

I've attached 2 pictures of door hangers I've used in the past - each targeting a different demographic. (I've got other versions on a disk somewhere...but the above 2 examples are pretty typical of the kind of aesthetic I use...bold headlines, limited text, limited colour...selling benefits over services, etc.). Feel free to criticize these examples...I'm sure there's a thousand things wrong with them.

If you can't read the copy, the first one says: "A home is a place for resting, relaxing and spending quality time with your family. We understand and respect this. To provide you with a pleasant, positive experience, our professional painters offer premium, low odour paints and cleanup at the end of each work day. It's house painting like never before. Rest assured your project is in good hands and will be completed on time and on budget. Call us today for an estimate and receive a free colour consultation."

The blank spot at the top of the door hanger is where I attach my business card.

The copy for the second piece reads: "Painting historic homes is all about the details." The font for this headline was created out of little drawings of architectural details commonly found in century-old homes around the southern Ontario region. The copy reads, "With over seventy-percent of our clientele consisting of historic home owners, we have the experience to recommend the best products and finishes for maximizing the potential of your home. Combine that product-knowledge with the detail-oriented skill of our painters, and you have a service that adds real value to your historic home - and not just by improving its resale value. Lower utility bills and a psychologically pleasing environment are possible when using the best painting techniques and ideas. Call now for a free estimate, and we’ll provide a free colour consultation.”

The back of the hangers contain a list of my services, company info, warranty, credentials (references available, lic. & insured, bla, bla.)

Hope this info helps in determining the reasons why my flyer and door hanger campaigns have been a bust.

....does anyone know why I can't attach images to this post? Nothing happens when I click on the attach icon.
 

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My sales guy put up 105 door hagers last week in 30 minutes. We got three leads and one job for $1,500.


Your door hangers are horrible. Who ever did them needs to find a new job. Also get them redone and i bet your numbers will change.


They say a crazy person is one who keeps doing the same thing and expects a different result.

2 years with no results and yet you keep doing it?
 

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I was 26 five years ago
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Horrible? Can you be a bit more specific. I get a lot of contractor's flyers delivered to my home, and in relation to these, mine don't look so bad. If you read my post, I stated that these are just two examples of the flyers we have tried out. The majority of my leads come from my website, a bi-monthly ad we put in a local high-end magazine, and the yellow pages (and in this order)...so its not like this is the only form of advertising I've used (if it were, I'd have gone out of business a long time ago). Obviously, the hangers are weak. What I'm asking for is not confirmation of that fact, but ideas on how they can work better. I'd really like to hear from painters who have used this form of advertising successfully. It's be great if you could post some examples of your more successful material. Thanks!
 

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They're not horrible. The one thing I noticed right off is there are no pictures of painters or historic homes. If you live in any neighborhood and especially a high end neighborhood you get BOMBARDED with marketing. I do not have time to read it all. I look at it.

If I'm looking for a painter or might think about painting my house I will notice a flyer with a painter painting a nice house. I may just look at some iconic writing as too much trouble to read and toss it in the can.

Bottom line, you need the zing of some good historic houses on the flyer imho. I have never done a flyer campaign so you do know more about it than I do. Just trying to help.
 

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cool font but hard to read, i would honestly look at it and say wow that's cool then throw it away, stick to the KISS method:thumbsup:
 

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paper hanger,painter
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[

If I'm looking for a painter or might think about painting my house I will notice a flyer with a painter painting a nice house. I may just look at some iconic writing as too much trouble to read and toss it in the can.


If I am looking for ANY PROFESSIONAL to work in my home,a piece of junk hanging on my doorknob would be the very LAST person I would call. To me they are persons begging for work and NOT professional. IMO they should be outlawed.:whistling
 

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[

If I'm looking for a painter or might think about painting my house I will notice a flyer with a painter painting a nice house. I may just look at some iconic writing as too much trouble to read and toss it in the can.


If I am looking for ANY PROFESSIONAL to work in my home,a piece of junk hanging on my doorknob would be the very LAST person I would call. To me they are persons begging for work and NOT professional. IMO they should be outlawed.:whistling
Whatever. Last time I checked businesses used advertising to get customers.
 

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Cris n, why are you such a pain in the ass when it comes to responding to some people looking for guidance,if you do not have anything worthwhile to say then shut up. Many companies use flyers and gain varying levels of success.It might not be your cup of tea but why the **** do you try and discourage others.
Sorry for my french but you irate me so much when I read a lot of your replies.
Regards David
 

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Cris n, why are you such a pain in the ass when it comes to responding to some people looking for guidance,if you do not have anything worthwhile to say then shut up. Many companies use flyers and gain varying levels of success.It might not be your cup of tea but why the **** do you try and discourage others.
Sorry for my french but you irate me so much when I read a lot of your replies.
Regards David
Right back at ya. I was just giving my opinion. I believe in marketing as much as the next guy. I still think cheesy door hangers are just that,cheesy.Do high end businesses go around and hang crap on peoples door knobs, NO. There is a reason for that.
 

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Whats with the tiny hole and paperclips and rubber bands? That looks half assed to me. get em made with a whole big enough to put on a door knob. lotta waisted labor there.
 

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to each his own, some guys think advertising is dumb period, and they get work all via word of mouth, some people advertise and market some don't.


I know a guy that does some stuff that people would say is ridiculous and just stupid, but he get's lots of work doing it.
 

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I personally did flyers once and never got a response...but I remember reading someplace that the response rate was like .05%. I happen to like your first flyer but the 2nd one is too generic...having said that I am not in marketing. Would love to know how many leads your website gets....since that is on my list of things to do.
 

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photos of door hangers in reference to above post

I am trying to figure something nice to say about your hangers.
Needless to say, I am not in love with either.

Have you looked at others?
It might help you to go to your local sullpy outfit that sells siding. I know you are a painter. Look at some of their lit. and door hangers. They are professionally done and will give you some ideas on how to make a door hanger look.

I love to get the hangers with the word FREE in huge letters on the top, they tend to make me read them to find out what the hanger is about.:thumbsup:
If you are getting a response, it might be your selling techniques that need some work.
In a sales call or estimate if you prefer, you have to build value. The value is what people are going to buy. If you just give out prices, you are just going to get into price wars only.
I don't know you, but I hope these little things will help out!!:thumbsup:
 

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I was 26 five years ago
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for your replies.

I'll definitely study some professionally designed hangers next time I use this form of advertising. The way it works now, I write some copy, draw some pictures, then give the stuff to a guy who operates an artist-run centre. He lays it all out and prints as many as I need. I suppose I should look into hiring the services of a professional copywriter and graphic artist. Does anyone here know how much such a service costs?

BMan: Yeah, I agree. But I got sick of seeing these things scattered all over the sidewalk on a windy day. The elastic bands seem to hold up better. I used the paper clip to fasten a business card to the top of the hanger.

Metro: If I try door hangers again, the next one will have photos instead of graphics. I agree that the 'historic homes' piece is too hard to read and will likely be tossed.

Chris n: It's funny....I agree with you. But I thought I'd give it a try anyway.

Thanks again for your responses..
 

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.Chris n: It's funny....I agree with you. But I thought I'd give it a try anyway.

Thanks again for your responses..[/QUOTE]

Thanks, it was worth a try,I guess
 
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