Marketers love door hangers - they're impossible to ignore and there's no postage involved. Still, seemingly endless hours pounding the pavement to distribute your door hangers can be physically and mentally draining. Distributing door hangers doesn't need to be so arduous when you follow this strategy.
Define your audience
First things first: You have to know who you want to receive your door hangers. In most cases, door hangers are used as a marketing tool to canvass an entire neighborhood or city. This is especially true for industries that serve the masses and political endorsements versus specialized niches that cater to small groups of geographically separated customers. Define your ideal customer, and find out where he or she lives. Then, double-check that everyone else in those neighborhoods fits your demographic guidelines. Doing so will help you ensure you focus your efforts where they're most likely to be successful.
Map your routes
Once you know who your audience is and where it lives, section off manageable neighborhoods for team members. One of the most efficient ways to distribute door hangers on a street is to match teams of two and have a member take one side of the street while another member takes the other. This eliminates needless street crossing and allows two people to hit around 100 homes with a relatively short 10-block walk. Map out exact routes and label them by teams: If you have 1,000 homes you want to hit, you'll need 10 teams for a total of 20 door hanger distributors to complete distribution with minimal effort and in all likelihood under an hour. Arrange pick-up points if needed.
Assemble your team
Getting 19 people to help you distribute your door hangers might sound tricky, but because you've done your legwork you'll likely be pleasantly surprised. Your pitch is easy enough: You need one hour or less of help and all they have to do is walk 10 blocks. You might be able to offer an incentive such as a pizza lunch to get people to agree. Start with friends and family members first. If you're a nonprofit or promoting a charitable cause, you might be able to find volunteers from the community, from organizations and from schools. If all else fails, you will have to pay people to distribute your door hangers. That's really not such a bad thing, considering that paying 19 people $10 an hour in our scenario would cost you only $190 - far less than the cost to send 1,000 direct-mail marketing pieces through the US Postal Service.
Plan a day and time, go early
Once you've assembled your team, make maps for all team members with their routes highlighted by color. Plan a day and time everyone can make, and go early to avoid traffic and bewildered homeowners wondering why someone is on the porch during dinner (don't go too early, though, which could anger or scare residents). Typically, right before or after the normal first shift workday begins is a good time for distribution. Consult with your municipality for suggestions, if needed.
Above all, have fun with your door hanger distribution. Pair up good team matches (or let your team members pick each other) and see who can get done first or hit the most houses. Cater a lunch afterwards or just get together for a few drinks. If distribution day is easy and fun, you'll be more likely to get hard-working door hanger distribution team members next time.