So you want to do a real estate marketing campaign with door hangers.
If done right, this can be a promising offline marketing channel to generate real estate leads.
But before you start, you might be wondering if they even work and are worth your time and money.
No one wants to create another money grave just because they‘ve heard of another advertising method from the hundreds that already exist out there.
Real estate marketing with door hangers is quite similar to direct mail campaigns, even when looking at the metrics that you will find in this article.
So, if you read this article to the end, you will learn about what real estate door hanger marketing is, all the costs involved, how to design and distribute them, facts, stats and performance numbers, and 9 general tips on how to advertise with them.
What is Real Estate Door Hanger Marketing?
If you came to your house one day in the dark and had difficulty grasping the door handle as you usually do, it may have been because of a door hanger hanging on your door handle.
Well, this might be a bit of an extreme description of what happens when you have a door hanger at your door, but if you don’t see it at first and grasp for your door handle, it can first feel a little like a gentle obstacle.
So a door hanger is basically a flyer with a slightly thicker material that has some sort of an opening at the top , so it can be hung on a door handle.
They exist in many shapes and forms.
Besides its shape, another element is its copy and design elements.
The most common door hanger sizes are 3.5 x 8.5 inches, 5.25 x 8.5 inches, and 4 x 11 inches.
If you carry out an advertising campaign with door hangers, you usually pick one or several neighborhoods where you put out door hangers or have a freelancer or door hanger provider doing it for you.
In that way, it is a bit similar to direct mail marketing (read my article on this topic here), but instead of sending out mailers, you put out door hangers.
What Are the Costs Involved?
There are basically three cost areas to consider when it comes to real estate door hangers.
These are printing costs, distribution costs, copywriting and design.
There may also be a discount campaign to track your door hanger campaign more effectively.
The first one is the printing costs that depend on the size, shape, design, quality, and quantity.
A popular online printing service, for example, charges $52.70 for printing 100 door hangers at the size of 3.5 x 8.5 inches, and $57.97 for printing 100 door hangers at the size of 4.5 x 11 inches.
So concerning printing costs, we can assume between $0.53 and $0.58 per piece.
This price per piece will obviously go down the more pieces you print.
Design Costs & How To
Before you deliver door hangers, you will have to design them first.
One important element is the copy you use and the graphics.
Here, we can use elements of the popular copywriting formula AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).
So, you want the copy to first draw attention, then raise interest by describing the problem and the solution (causing desire) you offer and the action you want the potential customer to take.
You can put the attention part on the front of the hanger, and then use the back for the rest.
If you only use one side to save money, you will miss the opportunity to display your complete advertising message.
Many times, you don’t need to start from scratch because you can find design templates on the web.
Also, several door hanger or flyer printing service providers already offer different design templates you can use.
If you want to design one yourself to stand out a bit better, you can also use cloud-based design software, such as Canva, where you can create one yourself (I use it myself quite often, and it’s very user-friendly).
Although they don’t have specific door hanger templates, you could use a custom design where you can define custom dimensions that door hangers usually have.
If you prefer not to spend too much time designing a door hanger design, you could also hire a designer at a small price on Fiverr.
Here you can get a unique door hanger design at a price between $5 and $10, but you will need to provide the right copy yourself.
Here are some Fiverr design gigs that might be of interest:
Distribution Costs & How To
You can get distribution costs down if you distribute them yourself.
But depending on your situation, it might not be the best investment of your time (the keyword here are opportunity costs).
Let’s suppose you start a medium door hanger campaign with 5,000 door hangers that you need to distribute to different residential homes.
If you are a decent walker, you may manage to distribute 120 door hangers per hour (2 door hangers per minute), not taking into consideration that you might get slower over time due to biological limitations.
This means you would need to invest 41.6 hours to distribute 5,000 door hangers.
This is almost a full week of work you could “lose.” Imagine that.
Now, it all depends on the value of your time, your typical revenue per sale, and the overall ROI you aim to get out of the campaign.
If the value of your time is $100 per hour, we are talking costs of $4,160.
If your lead conversion rate is 1%, you get 50 leads out of the campaign.
If you then convert 10% of them into paying customers, that’s 5 paying customers or sales.
If you make $1000 per sale, you have a slightly positive ROI and barely break even, taking your invested time into consideration.
This can turn negative pretty fast if your time value is higher and your revenue per sale lower.
So, it’s important to know beforehand if delivering on your own is something economically sound.
But you also have other options, such as:
- Using door hanger distribution companies
- Let employees or freelancers distribute them
- Let college or high school students put them out
If you use a professional delivery company, costs depend again on the quantity.
They often charge on a per hour basis or per 1000 pieces.
Per 1000, you can expect to pay between $25 and $40.
Bear in mind that door hangers are mostly part of the “flyers” category, so you can search for distribution providers in your area with the keyword “flyer distribution services.”
Here is a list of nationwide distribution service providers (U.S. based):
Facts, Stats & Benefits About Real Estate Door Hanger Marketing
I had to do some intense research for door hangers because I wanted to find stats and halfway reliable marketing data sources related to response rates.
But I must say that what I found was a bit underwhelming.
Yes, there are some statistics, but I wouldn’t say that they are reliable.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t prove whether these numbers came from a blind guess, their own experience, or a study.
But it comes close to some of the direct mail response rates (lead conversion rates):
So, by taking the above numbers into consideration, the average response rate in direct mailing is 6.6% compared to 2.75% with door hangers.
Let’s stop for a second and make a short overview of all metrics and average costs involved, assuming we use 5,000 door hangers in a campaign and compare that to direct mailing:
|Costs||Door Hangers||Direct Mail|
|Printing Costs per Piece||$0.55 ($0.53 - $0.58)||$0.5|
|Total Printing Costs (5,000 pieces)||$2,750||$2,500|
|Design Costs (if you use Fiverr)||$7.50||$7.50|
|Design Costs per Piece||$0.0015||$0.0015|
|Total Distribution Costs||$125-$200||$5,625|
|Distribution Costs per Piece||$0.021 ($0.0025-$0.04)||$1.125 ($0.25-$2)|
|Total Costs per Piece||$0.57||$1.62|
|Average Response Rate (Lead Conversion Rate)||2.75%||6.6%|
|Pieces You Need to Send per Lead||36.3||15.1|
|Cost per Lead||$20.69||$24.46|
|Cost per Sale (assuming a 10% lead to sale conversion rate)||$206.90||$244.60|
Many websites that discuss door hangers swear by them because they are supposedly always better and cheaper than direct mailing.
But when we look at the above table, the situation isn’t that clear.
Yes, they can be slightly cheaper but not by that much.
Some further benefits mentioned about door hangers are:
- It‘s harder to ignore a door hanger because unless you have automatic doors, you will have to turn your door handle.
- You can add coupons, flyers, magnets, and other add-ons.
- Similar to direct mail, you can track them with a coupon code.
- You are not limited to a certain size.
- Since they are more touchable, they can create a higher level of trust.
- They might still stand out a bit better than direct mail since people’s mailboxes are often full of advertisements. Therefore, direct mail can be easily ignored, although this argument contradicts the response rates of direct mail being higher.
9 General Tips & Hacks To Use Door Hangers Efficiently
- Always give a call to action on your door hangers, taking the AIDA copywriting formula into consideration.
- You can directly knock on doors where door hangers were put off and see if you can get a conversation started.
- Don’t fly blind, track your campaign results by using discount codes.
- Bear in mind that you‘ll likely have to do a campaign not just once but at least twice to stay at the top of potential customers’ minds.
- Know the purpose of your particular marketing piece (the door hanger).
- When you deliver them yourself, also carry some business cards.
- Provided you deliver yourself, and you want to start conversations by handing them over yourself, early evenings are better. Just for delivery without conversations, mornings are better.
- For conversation starters, the right time of the year is also important, so you meet more people when they are outside.
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