How to become a Leaflet Distributor
Every home has a letter box!
Starting a leaflet delivery service is a great business to start as you are helping local business owners get their products or services noticed immediately. After all every home has a letter box! It is one of the most cost effective ways a business owner can get their message across – and that is where your leaflet delivery services comes in.
Start-up costs are very low but you will need the following
- Landline/mobile phone
- Insurance (If needed – check with your local insurance provider)
- Good PC
- Printer/Scanner (or access to one)
You must check with your local council to see if you do need permission to distribute free printed material in England and Wales
Do you need a licence?
In the UK the good news is that you will not need a licence if you are delivery leaflets to the following
- Inside a building
- On behalf of a charity
- Anything political or religious beliefs
There are certain rules and regulations in relation to delivery of leaflets and below are details of what could be required.
The UK Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
This act was introduced and stated that you cannot distribute leaflets in most Towns and City’s without a permit. So please contact your local council on their policy as it may have changed. The reason this law was introduced was to stop littering but if your leaflet you are planning to delivery is well designed and is targeting the ideal audience this should not be a problem.
What is free printed material?
- Leaflet or Cards
- Free Newspapers
- Takeaway menus or other similar promotional material
You can appeal if your licence is refused by the local council
You will have to pay a fee to distribute leaflets if you are leafleting about a small scale cultural or local community event – but you could get the fee reduced –again check with your local council
You could get a fixed penalty of £80 or a fine up to £2,500 plus a criminal record if you distribute material without a licence or break the rules on the licence
If you have a licence you must always display it at all times.
Initially you will need a good leaflet yourself advertising your service.
Find out what the local newspapers/local business magazines are available within a 5 mile radius (you could visit the local library who should have a copy of each one). Check out the adverts and contact the relevant business owner. Ask them if they are having a good return on the advert. I would imagine the return rate for the cost of the advert is not high. Suggest they use a leaflet service within 5-10 mile radius of your area. Explain the benefits.
The Yellow Pages have numerous adverts from local traders so contact them directly as well.
Many people who get their local newspaper do not often read it and as it is a weekly paper the chances of them keeping it for more than a few days is limited. So the adverts like the paper will end up in the recycling bin. However, if the customer received a leaflet through the letter box they are more likely to read it and if interested contact the company.
Contact local companies
Some companies may not have thought of having a leaflet distribution service for their product. Try to arrange a meeting to explain the benefits. At your meeting stress to them that you are very well organised, and as a sole trader you can provide a good service and explain the benefits of having a leaflet delivered directly into the potential customer’s letter box rather than them sending out junk mail letters. Try to speak to the actual business owner or decision maker.
Leaflets that arrive in your letterbox
We all get leaflets and flyers through our letter box – either from Royal Mail or a direct delivery. If the Business is using the Royal Mail or an individual then there leaflets are working. So contact these companies and introduce your service.
Attend exhibitions, trade shows and local fairs
Why not visit these places and talk to the stall holders. After all if they are exhibiting at an event they are the ideal clients who wish to grow their business.
You could also book a stall at any of these events (there is of course normally a charge for this) So it may be worth doing this section when you have already secured some customers. You may be able to get round this by asking the organisers if you could simply attend and hand out leaflets at the entrance/exit.
Leave leaflets in a public place
Why not ask your local dentist, doctors etc if you can display some leaflets in their waiting rooms – you have perfect captive audience who could do with the distraction while they wait to be seen!
Most major supermarkets have a display board so leave a leaflet advertising your services on one of the boards
Types of local business to visit
Most local business need a regular supply of customers. Why not contact some/all of the following in your area.
- Beauty Salons
- Car Dealers
- Clothing Stores
- Estate Agents
- Food takeaway shops
- Gas Fitters
- Home Improvement Companies
- Letting agents
- Local furniture stores
- Petrol stations
- Recruitment companies
- Shoe shops
- Taxi and Mini Cab firms
- Vaping shops
Your first meeting with proposed client
Prior to meeting with your client (and also when you are walking round visiting certain establishments) do your research and be ready to answer the following questions.
- Ask your client who they want to target?
- Ask which area they would like the leaflets delivered to?
- Do your research of the demographics of surrounding areas (you can they fully answer the points above with confidence)
- What does your client expect the leaflet to look like – would it be for example a small leaflet with basic information, a brochure with a lot of details, will the leaflet or brochure which may have several images?
- What impact does your client want the leaflet to have?
- How soon would your client want the leaflet delivered?
- Ask the areas they want the leaflets dropped in. They are quite likely to ask you for the streets you have delivered to so make sure you prepare a check list example
When meeting with your intended client you could say you could offer to design the leaflet. You could charge a fee of say £50 for this. You do to even have to have design experience you can simply visit the following sites and get a design for around £5. Your client must give you a good brief with their full contact details and any images they wish to use (and they must be freely available to use). Of course they do not know that you are using an outsourcer – they just want the leaflet well designed.
How much to charge
A typical round is 1000 leaflets and this could take you around 4 hours (it all depends on the area), for example if you had blocks of flats to deliver to that would take slightly less time that delivering leaflets along a major road with houses that have steps down to the door.
You do not want to spend ages delivering leaflets for a small return so call a few leaflet delivery companies and ask what they charge for their area.
The best way to increase your profit is to delivery several leaflets in one drop. If you deliver four different leaflets for 4 separate companies your earnings have already increased 4 times. The only down side of doing this is that the householder will get 4 leaflets in their letter box and the return rate may be slightly lower.
Do check that your client is happy for their leaflet to be included with other leaflets in a drop. They may want a separate delivery (you could charge a small premium if that is the case).
Rules to follow when delivering leaflets
- Make sure all household leaflets are delivered into the letter box and are not left hanging outside – this could show burglars that the house could be empty.
- Keep safe – if you do not feel comfortable delivering in a certain area then let your client know.
- If the householder has a no junk mail sign on their property – do not deliver. If you do drop a leaflet in their letter box they may well contact your client and you could lose that client.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
- Bring plenty of water with you and schedule regular breaks
- Check the weather before you go out – after all the client does not want dripping wet (or ruined) leaflets delivered to potential clients
- Make sure you have a clean strong bag and that the leaflets placed in the storage back are covered in a bin liner or similar to avoid any spillage etc.
- Be polite at all times – remember you are representing your client
- Pick up dropped leaflets
- Try to deliver any leaflets at a sensible time during the day as people may be wary if something is put through their letter box at 10pm at night!
- Always make sure your mobile is fully charged in case of any emergencies
- Tell someone the area you are going to and what time you are expected back
- Bring a torch and alarm for extra protection
- Never bring any valuables out with you
Good Trade Association
While there is no actual Trade Association for Leaflet distributors the following site should provide some useful information
Data and Marketing Association
The leaflet business is really growing. Companies now realise that direct marketing is the way forward rather than advertising in Newspapers or paper directories. Consequntly this is an ideal business to start now