Offline marketing methods are still important to small businesses. Even with all the hoo ha about social media, if you’re trying to target a local audience, then things like flyers, brochures, business cards etc still work!

However, the best-produced brochure on the planet is going to be useless unless it is distributed effectively. So what is the key to effective distribution?

  1. The first step often is direct mailing. You post out the brochure to a mass of people usually using a mailing list you have purchased. Mass mailings are very inefficient and if you get more than 1% response you are doing well. This can be an expensive way of doing business, and is more for branding – getting your name out there,mbut not necessarily to make people buy.
  2. Second, you could hire people to distribute the brochures in shopping centres and car parks. This can be even more wasteful than direct mail, with many of the leaflets tossed thrown away, and the mess will probably irritate more people than anything.
  3. Third, doing an insert of your brochure in a local newspaper whereby your brochures are placed in them and delivered to subscribers. This has a similar effect to advertising in the publication itself and probably has a comparable response rate, but it’s a lot more expensive.
  4. Fourth, place the brochures in plastic holders and have them readily available to those who visit your place of work. Shame on you if you have not done this already. The only downside is if you work from home and don’t see clients and customers face to face, then this really isn’t for you, unless you can partner with a business who will help you do the distribution.
  5. Fifth, have the printed matter at hand in places where people have to wait in line for a service such as in the post office. Those waiting have nothing better to do than read your message and this could be useful publicity. The Post Office has already thought of this and will charge you accordingly – a lot of the bigger post offices have digital screen where people advertise, so do some research and see if your budget will stretch to cover this.
  6. Sixth, dentists’ and doctors’ waiting rooms have a similar trapped audience who might take the time to read what you have to say. Generally, the medical profession will probably only allow material that is somehow pertinent to their line of work. However, this one is worth a try – if you have a good relationship with your GP, they might let you do it.

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