Paper fliers



I have been reading on here but I just want to ask your opinions. I just started my business and have been planning on route work to fund my advertising. Now spring is fast approaching and funds are about 25$ in my business account due to the new start up and no clients yet. I really can not fund door hangers using the business yet. Now my customer market is pretty small here. 18,000 people in my town with slightly smaller towns near by. Very few high end and upper middle class neighbor hoods here. So I really wanted quality material to be distributed on my first go around. With my low funding I was considering just a regular computer paper flyer. I could prob hit 90% of the targeted demographic areas here in two days if not one by door to door. I hope I am making since. In summary I wanted to be seen right off the bat as a higher standard well presented company but I have zero funds to go that route. What are your thoughts? Should I do the paper fliers or convince the wife to let me spend money on door hangers and pay for that out of our savings?


Paper fliers are fine…just don’t use regular computer paper, go with something heavier and maybe get them printed rather than DIY on your own printer. Budgets are a good thing for a business, but don’t be too rigid.


Would you get the impression a company is “higher standard” from a paper flier that is printed off computer paper?

I don’t mean that to sound like I am being a jerk. The Point I am trying to get across is, if you are trying to impression on people that you are a successful, “premium” company, you aren’t going to make that first impression with cheap fliers. You don’t have to use door hangers, you can use post card type fliers (cheaper) to leave a better impression.

But, I’ll be upfront and tell you I personally don’t market to “just anyone”. My market is the higher end residential homes. But in any case, you will be judge by what you convey. If your marketing looks “bargain priced” you will be thought of that way. Same with a uniform. The more “premium” your look is, the more people will perceive you that way.


I use the cheapest paper I can buy for my residential flyers and black and white printing and just rely on the message to get my quality across. I try to target upper end homes (not family type areas but mostly retired people with disposable income), although I occasionally do get middle class window cleaning jobs. I have found that for every 75 to 100 flyers I put out I get one immediate job. Not sure about the long term with the flyers delivered. Business is too new (started in January) and it is still cold.

I also flyer businesses Sunday mornings. Color flyers on card stock. From doing that I got a lady who called telling me she didn’t need the windows on her business cleaned but she needed her home’s windows cleaned. Turns out the home was super-upper end for our town. Tax records showed a home value of $1.5 million. Very high end for our area. $325 job. (yes!) She was thrilled with the work and plans on sending referrals my way. I’m crossing my fingers.

I now average twice the income washing windows as compared to what I make in my night “job” delivering pizzas. I’m not making a killing yet, but I happy with the results. I don’t claim to be an expert, just some old guy (58) working hard at my new business.

I’ve attached both flyers I created, residential and business, for anyone to use. home window cleaning three coupons.pdf (562.2 KB)
office flyer with quote.pdf (305.7 KB)



Just starting out, just print the fliers and take the work that comes. After a few jobs you can afford better quality fliers.
When I started I just came off of being laid up with a broken back and I passed out fliers made on my computer with better quality paper. I didn’t need a huge amount to land a few jobs that in turn paid for professional printed flyers, then door hangers. (Door hangers seem to work best).
One of my early jobs was a quarterly that I still do today. I landed that job with car magnets on my vehicle, T-shirt, shorts, and athletic shoes. At the time that one job was over $500 quarterly; they since added a wing on the house and it is now over $800 quarterly. Since first landing that one job (there are many others) I routinely pass out professionally printed door hangers, have logoed polo shirts and comfortable working shoes, a bunch more tools, and money in the bank.

The point is everyone has to start somewhere, just get out and do it - FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.
A year from now you will look back (keep a diary or journal on your path) and see how far you have come by just getting out there and doing it.


This is one of the home made flyers i used in the beginning.

these are the cards we use now, the top row are our newest and the bottom row are a year or two older (before i bought photoshop)

if you can expand your budget by $100 you can get 2000 postcards on vistaprint. pass out those cards and use the work you get to print newer better ones. rinse repeat.


Hi Leavingnc,

I was wondering about your newest postcards if you don’t mind answering a few questions?

  1. Do you use your postcards for general mailings or just mailing to homes near the ones you just finished? Response?

  2. If you do a general mailing of the postcards, how many do you mail at a time? What has the response been?

I would love to do postcard mailings to grow my business but have seen a lot of forum posts saying postcards don’t work or they don’t produce enough income to justify the cost to print and mail.

Thanks, Don


I use the top left postcard to go to any house i want to send a card too. the top middle card goes to the neighbors of home’s we just serviced. the top right goes to previous customers every 6 months.

i think we get a 1-1.5% response rate (more for the reminder cards maybe 2-5% but i’ve only been sending them for a little while and it’s been winter, i expect that to go up a lot come spring) but i send out only about 100 (combined) of the top middle and top right cards a month, i’m focusing more on the long term keeping us in the minds of our customers and future customers than immediate results.

for the top left generic card i will send out 100 -500 at a time and get the same response rate. last summer i sent out 500 cards costing about $300 total and got $1500 in new customers, but now it will cost a lot less to get them to use us again so that $300 will end up producing more like $5000-10000 over the next few years.


There are reasons for that…
EDDM works, but first off you need to realize it’s a game of numbers. Eddm isn’t going to fine tune your marketing to your target audience only.
Secondly, you need to have good marketing copy. If the copy is sub par, expect the same result from the mailing.
Third, you need to repeat mailings. ONE mailing isn’t going to have every tom, dick, and harry calling you.

Typical returns reported are one half percent. So for every 200 cards, you might get one customer. So yes, EDDM can be expensive. BUT with some foot work, you COULD get a bulk mailing rate with USPS and target only homes in your area that ARE 100% your target audience. Most people don’t want to take the time doing that, so it’s easier/cheaper to just do EDDM by routes.

EDDM works, or no one would keep using it. Those that quit it shortly after starting probably don’t know what they are doing or are not turning enough business to afford it. It’s not for the weekend warrior type of business.

For me, EDDM doesn’t target my audience tight enough. 10-25% of my local routes would have my target audience. Besides, I am not looking to expand my business drastically. I like where I am at this point and don’t need the marketing right now.


i started mailing postcards to replace walking up to a persons house and putting it on the door. i did put out 4000 fliers by hand when i started but there were houses with gates or long driveways or too far between homes to make it worth it/possible to put a card at their door so i started mailing cards.

I enjoy getting up on saturdays, making breakfast and coffee, i play a game online on my computer for 20-30 min and then spend the next 1-3 hours looking up addresses to send cards too. i can address 50-150 an hour (depending on how dense of pockets of our target customers i find, if i find a neighborhood and address every house i can do a lot more than if it’s one house here, one house there) i pick out houses that i would like to clean for that are in a pricerange that’s likely to be willing to pay for window cleaning and have enough windows to make it worth it (so i rarely send a card to a house under 2000 sq ft) i send cards to neighborhoods that i want to be working in and then when we DO get a job there i send the “we just serviced your neighbor” cards to all the houses again.

for example, i’d never be able to walk up to this house and put a flyer on the door and i don’t need to send a postcard to their 100 neighbors in the eddm route.


So are you using stamps or are you using metered/bulk mail rates? If you are sending out that much a month, I’d think there is something you could do to cut the postage expense.

Hand addressing these or using something on your computer to make address labels?

You sound like you have a good system to get your exact target market. It’s awesome that it works for you.


i hand address and hand stamp with postcard stamps which makes the total cost about $.45 each.

if i get 1 out of a hundred and the average job is $200 then each card i address is worth $2.00


this kinda got sent off to left field lol. So should I try the home made fliers or do I wait and try to get high quality post cards made? I want to hit the spring residential. I just really can not spend much more money that dont come from the business.


Put out what you have or can afford.

Printed on your home computer or ordered from a printer. Whichever works best for you.

The main thing is exposure. If they don’t know you exist they won’t call. :-/


That works, the point is get the word out as soon as possible. Also with your fliers make sure you hit the same neighborhoods at least every month.

As you get jobs upgrade your marketing pieces.

Make sure home made flier have a call to action.

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Last year I designed the flyer myself, but went to the ups store and had them print it on higher quality stock.

Go in and print 50. When you are done distributing them, print some more or adjust your copy/approach if you want.


I see people saying that. I also was told business cards are like 30$ but the nicer I made them the more they was. I spent about 60$ on them but at least they are nice.


That puppy is too cute.

I am starting on a shoestring budget too.
Just ordered 500 cards from VistaPrint for $20 + $4.99 shipping…

I will be making home made flyers too.
Figured I would hand a card to people I talk too when canvassing, and leave a flyer for no answer at the door.
Planing on 3 per sheet in landscape mode and print color ones at the library, since I do not have a working printer at the moment.
Haven’t designed those flyers yet, but I can print them as needed in any quantity with no wait time, so they are better than ordering the cards if your budget is super tight. (I should have made flyers before ordering cards)


I believe that it is better to do SOMETHING even if it is not perfect. You will get a better result than doing NOTHING.
When I started I had no money so printed flyer on the paper I had and used the printer I had.
Work came in and I could upgrade things.
All the best with your business