Some home service businesses swear by door hangers as a way to introduce themselves to new neighborhoods, advertise new services, or promote special deals and discounts.

But with all of the other print ads, digital ads, and direct mailers competing for your customers’ attention, are door hangers actually worthwhile?

We’ve tracked down down some of the common pros and cons about door hanger advertising, as well as costs, legality, and other questions that can help you decide if you should add it to your service business’ marketing strategy.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Door Hanger Advertising?

Pros:

  • It costs pennies to print door hangers if you order them in bulk. They’re also cheaper than postcards or direct mail, because you save on envelopes and postage.
  • Door hangers are hard to ignore because anyone who enters the house has to turn the doorknob.
  • There are no size limitations, as is the case when choosing an envelope for a direct mailer.
  • There’s a chance of multiple exposures. More than one person is likely to see a door hanger—whether it’s strangers walking past a house or family and friends visiting.
  • Door hangers are a superb marketing strategy for reaching a local audience, such as residents in your neighborhood.
  • Door hangers are personal because they are hand-delivered, which shows potential customers you care about them.

Cons:

  • Door hangers are great for hyper-local marketing, but they can’t reach a broader market because distribution becomes more time-consuming and expensive.
  • Door hangers can damage your brand reputation. Some homeowners see door hangers as invasive, polluting, or junk, and may discard them altogether.
  • Tracking ROI can be difficult — especially as you have to hang each hanger individually by hand or even pay someone else to do it.
  • There are many other door hangers and marketing materials (e.g., flyers and postcards) competing for your customers’ attention, which makes it difficult for your hangers to stand out and get read.

Which Businesses Use Door Hanger Marketing?

Business door hangers are ideal for just about any home service business: lawn care, landscaping, house cleaning, HVAC, plumbing, tree care, etc.

Door hanger advertising is especially effective for services that happen regularly (lawn mowing) or seasonally (HVAC), because you can time their delivery for when the client is most likely to need you. They are less effective for one-off services, such as pool demolition.

The most important thing is to do your demographic research. Don’t deliver high-end house cleaning door hangers to a student neighborhood, for example.

Is Door Hanger Advertising Legal?

Some customers consider the use of business door hangers as invasive and even illegal, but merely placing them on a customer’s door without engaging in conversation is known as canvassing.

Canvassing is generally legal because you’re not directly selling a product or service (solicitation).

That being said, you should always check with your local city office to make sure you’re not violating any bylaws.

A quick phone call today can save you thousands of dollars in printing, deliveries, and legal fees later on.

How Much Does Door Hanger Advertising Cost?

The actual cost of door hanger advertising depends on:

  • The size and number of door hangers
  • The complexity of the design. Printing on both sides, for example, will cost you more
  • How you plan to distribute the door hangers—yourself or through a vendor
  • Your choice of vendor for writing the copy, designing, and printing. Costs will differ by vendor

According to PsPrint, you can expect to pay roughly $1,415.00 for 4,000 door hangers or 0.35c per hanger. This cost is broken down as follows:

  • $285 for printing or 0.07 per hanger
  • $800 for distribution or 0.20c per hanger
  • $250 for the design and copy
  • $80 for demographic research, so you know who to target

You can save money by designing the door hanger yourself. You can also see if your local printing office will offer a discount if you order business cards, door hangers, and flyers all together.

When it comes to distribution fees, don’t skimp. Only hire a vendor that has a good reputation and whom you can trust to do the work.

Best Practices to Get Started with Door Hanger Marketing

Here are four door hanger advertising tips to help you get started with your first campaign:

  1. Start small by focusing on a small radius in your local area so you can deliver the hangers yourself to save on costs and see if there is a return. Then, based on the results, decide if you want to invest more money—maybe you want to pay someone to do the canvassing for you—to reach a broader audience.
  2. Choose the right audience for your door hanger marketing campaign. The success of any campaign will depend on sending door hangers to potential customers who are more likely to purchase your services. Make sure you do demographic research of your ideal customer by looking at things like income level, age, gender, and even buying behaviors. If you already have a customer list, divide that list by postal codes, then look at the average price of those postal codes. This will let you determine which neighborhoods are associated with which price ranges, and deliver your door hangers accordingly.
  3. Include a tracking mechanism to measure the success of your door hanger marketing campaigns. For example, you can include a unique link that customers have to visit when booking your services. Take advantage of link shortening services like Bitly or Ow.ly to shorten your links so your customers can quickly type them.
  4. Make sure your copy is concise and easy to understand. Include just one, clear call to action, and focus on one service or promotion at a time.
  5. Ensure the design of your hanger is professional. Don’t overcrowd the space with confusing images, clashing colours, or multiple fonts. Keep your ads clean and consistent with your branding.

So, should you do door hanger advertising?

Door hanger marketing may be hugely popular, but the decision to use it or not is a highly personal one. You will need to analyze both the pros and cons and determine precisely how much a campaign will cost.

So, while we cannot make the decision for you, we can urge you to keep your marketing systemized so you can track results and get a return on your time and spend.

Even if you do decide that door hanger marketing isn’t your cup of tea, know that there are plenty of other methods to market your business, such as email and postcard marketing, social media ads, and even Local Services ads.

What marketing method or combination of methods will you use to grow your business?

Considering Postcard Marketing?

Get started with these ideas and examples!

Go to Postcard Marketing 101