When was the last time you went door to door in your community to spread the word about your business? I’d guess it’s been a while. You might even think the idea of doing so is a big waste of time. But I’m here to tell you that door to door marketing can be a highly effective tactic you should invest time into.
Old School Works
When I started my first business 15 years ago, door to door marketing was my main business driver. Back then we didn’t have social media and email marketing in the capacity we do now. So I made myself put up a flier or pass out a business card at one place per day. While it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, I didn’t have a lot of money for marketing and I needed brand awareness. It paid off. I’d get potential customers calling saying they saw a flier and wanted to try my services.
But Jess that was 15 years ago, things are different today! Door to door marketing won’t work! Or will it?
Last week, I met a new local business owner who shared with me he’s been going door to door introducing himself to other businesses armed with his business card and a brochure. Being new to the Upper Cumberland area he’s trying to get the word out about his business and it’s working. He’s getting leads and booking clients. So, maybe this old school marketing tactic can work today?!
Cons of Digital Marketing
So why does door to door marketing work?
Most businesses these days are turning to digital marketing and of course there’s good reasons why. It’s accessible, can be affordable (or free) and puts your business in the pocket of potential customers who are already constantly online. But the problem is digital marketing has gotten saturated over the years and it’s unfortunately not as affordable as it once was. Yes you can post on social media platforms for free, but the conversion rate is super low.
Allen Dibs, author of “1 Page Marketing Plan” had this to say about digital versus old school marketing, “People’s inboxes today are full, but their mailboxes are empty.”
Consumers are inundated with content, ads, and more. So trying to stand out in the crowd and be seen or heard through all the noise in the digital world can be nearly impossible.
This is why door-to-door marketing works!
Pros of Door to Door Marketing
These days people are less accustomed to door to door marketing and sales. You don’t often have random business owners stopping by to share their services and products with you. Since this practice is now uncommon, it’s novel. And humans like novelty.
It’s also super affordable. Having some business cards, brochures or flyers printed isn’t very expensive. And all the distribution costs you is time.
Yes time is money and as a business owner, time can be hard to come by, but getting yourself out into the community is worth your precious time. Not only will you be able to put your card in someone’s hand, you’ll also have the opportunity to make a human connection. Remember people buy from people. The more potential customers get to know you the more likely they are to purchase from you. Getting physically in front of your customers is priceless.
Hit the Pavement
Are you convinced of the value of door to door marketing? If so, it’s time to break through the noise and hit the pavement!
Here’s a few tips on implementing door to door marketing for your business:
Identify your customer
Hopefully you’ve already identified your ideal customer when you thought through your business concept at the start. But if you haven’t, make sure to spend some time figuring out your target audience. This will allow you to more effectively use your time as you canvas the neighborhood.
Make a list
Once you know your target audience, make a list of all the businesses in the area they may patronize. And if your business serves other businesses, list the companies that could use your product or services.
If you don’t already have branded collateral, now’s time to create some. I’d suggest a business card and a brochure or flier.
Set a schedule
Pick at least one day per week you can commit to getting out there to go door to door. Stick to this schedule for at least one month.
On your list of businesses, track the following:
- Business Name
- Business Owner’s Name (or who you connected with)
- Business Contact Info
- If the business left you leave collateral
- Level of interest in your business or collaboration
- If the business was uninterested
This tracking allows you to see where potential partnerships might be in the future and what types of businesses are willing and able to collaborate with you.
Don’t get discouraged
The reality of door to door marketing is…it’s uncomfortable. Some people aren’t going to be interested in talking to you, some might be unable or unwilling to share your collateral with their customers or management and some just might be unfriendly. Go into this knowing that and remember you will encounter some awesome people during this process too!
Human to human wins
Again don’t forget people buy from people. Bring the human element back into your business. Creating the opportunity to engage with your target audience is priceless. The time invested will help you gain even more clarity into what your customers’ needs, wants and likes are. That’s the beauty of personal communication.
Your #1 job
I’ve been talking about this a lot lately, but bringing in customers is your number one priority as a business owner. So you have to set aside time and resources to do so. Door to door marketing allows you to build relationships within your community which will lead to more customers and sales for your business. Customers buy when they “know, like and trust” you. And they can only truly do that face to face.
Does this work for online businesses?
It depends. Even if your business services customers nationally or globally there is no harm in seeking customers in your own backyard. If your target audience exists in your local community, it might be worth your time to implement door to door marketing.
Making the Most of It
Your goals with door to door marketing should be two fold. One, make a connection with a prospective customer. Two, share something of value. I’d highly recommend creating a lead magnet for this strategy. Whether your brochure or flier offers discounts or free consultation, share something of value with every connection you make.
Need help identifying your target customer or crafting a lead magnet for your door to door marketing campaign? Book a free business coaching session today!