If your business is serving a local area, then one of the most inexpensive and EFFECTIVE ways to get the word out about what you do is by using fliers.
Fliers often get a bad rap by some who favor more expensive means of advertising, such as newspapers and magazines, but because of their low cost, you can spread your fliers far and wide for the same amount of money you put into one ad in a local publication.
One of the reasons for their low cost is due to the increase in quality of home and office printers. If you have a printer for your home computer, then chances are, you can produce fliers of sufficient quality to use to market your business. Many printers features ink cartridges as low as $20 or even less. This can result in your producing hundreds of fliers at a price of about .05 per. In addition, many online services have popped up that will produce high quality full color fliers for about the same price.
Ok, so you know you can get the printed cheaply, but where do you put them once you have them? There are tons of places to put your fliers in you town and if you focus on just a few hundred per week, before long, thousands and thousands will have seen your message. Here are a few popular suggestions that have worked many businesses just like yours:
Community Bulletin Boards
You see these in supermarkets, town centers, libraries…these bulletin boards serve to let the community know what is going on. Be sure to get your flier up on every one you can find. The more colorful and eye-catching the better. You will have to compete with quite a few others in most cases.
While it is illegal to put fliers directly in mailboxes, you CAN put them in newspaper boxes. When someone goes to grab their daily paper, they will get your flier as well.
Some people definitely frown on this one since you have to actually touch someone's car to place the flier (usually underneath the windshield wiper) but, if you target your audience properly, it can be extremely effective. If your business is geared toward parents for instance, then placing fliers on cars outside of a children's toy or clothing store will probably get a fairly high response rate.
Handing them out directly
Standing on a busy corner and handing out fliers works. Sure, many may throw them away or not want them, but for the price you are paying, it still makes sense as a low cost guerilla marketing tactic.
Posting them in store windows
Much like community billboards, many stores will allow you to post fliers in their window, sometimes for free, sometimes for barter, or occasionally they may charge. If the store attracts customers that are your target market, it may make sense to work with them to get your flier displayed.
Don't ever think that just because fliers are so inexpensive they don't work. Nothing could be further from the truth. If your budget is limited or you simply want to expand your marketing efforts, fliers are a fantastic way to go.