Door Hangers: 4 Tips to Help Boost Response Rates

Door hangers are an oft-forgotten weapon in the small-business advertising arsenal, but their rock-bottom printing costs — as low as 2 to 8 cents per unit, depending on volume and design — make door hangers an intriguing marketing prospect, especially for cash-strapped businesses. (And what business isn’t these days?)

Here are a few tips to help boost response rates to your doorknob-affixed advertising.

  • Research the demographics. Those old G.I. Joe cartoons had it right: Knowing is half the battle. A little research goes a long way in increasing the effectiveness of a door hanger campaign. Create a customer profile to identify your target audience, then use demographic information to determine which neighborhoods in your locale most likely need your services. Focus on those areas first to see the best returns. You wouldn’t try to sell lawn services in a community full of apartments and condos, for example.
  • Keep designs simple. Remember that people quickly read — and discard — door hangers. Use bold colors and images, big headlines, and a simple, direct message. Don’t try to promote more than one major benefit per hanger. An appealing coupon, combined with potent copy and a strong call to action, helps to increase the odds of conversion success (and the likelihood that the reader will hold on to your flyer). Obviously, be sure to include your contact information prominently on the door hanger.
  • Track responses. Without a way to track responses, you won’t know where your door hangers were a hit — or where they tanked. Forget setting up separate phone lines or hounding customers for their demographic information. Use technology to help you identify where your leads come from: Remember that coupon you’re including on the door hanger? Assign unique codes and website URLs to door hangers distributed in different neighborhoods. When people take advantage of your special offer, you’ll know immediately where they came from.
  • Have your elevator pitch ready. Unless you hire another company to distribute your door hangers, passing them out gives you an excellent secondary sales opportunity: face time with potential customers. Before you head out the door, prepare an elevator pitch, or a quick blurb that clearly explains what your business is and its benefits to customers. With a pitch in mind, you’ll never be tongue-tied if someone opens the door and asks what you do. Be sure to dress professionally, too, so you’ll make a good impression. In other words, leave the cut-off shorts and ratty old concert T-shirt at home.

Not sure whether door hangers are right for your business? Check out our “How to Test a Direct Response” series for more information about other direct advertising tactics. The articles show you how you how to test the effectiveness of email, radio, postcard, and letter campaigns.

About Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos is a freelance writer-slash-small business owner who finds himself endlessly fascinated by technology and its role in business. He's worked with Wired, Laptop Magazine, the Global Strategic Management Inst., New York Times properties and a bevy of local businesses. Connect with Brad on LinkedIn.
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T shirts can be brought from amazing concert or they can be brought from the stores so that they can gifted to some one else who is close to their heart. It can help the users not only wear them but they may also hold few sentiments attached to them.

Marketing Strategies
Marketing Strategies

I'm surprised more businesses don't use this technique -- that's how I learned about the dry cleaning service I now use.Marketing Tools


  1. [...] Intuit Small Business blog has tips for the effective use of door hangers. It is important to keep the design simple, so it can be easily read. This means a simple message and big headlines with a strong call to action, and the contact information should be prominently featured. [...]