6 Canvassing Tips for Your Small Business

Smiling field canvasser at woman’s door


Successful canvassing techniques can help get your name out there, and using a field canvasser to meet potential customers is a great way to introduce your business and build a customer base. Before you begin, keep these canvassing tips in mind:

  • Be relevant and authenti
  • Develop a contactless delivery method
  • Offer incentives to potential customers
  • Try digital door knocking
  • Call new and old customers

Today’s local restrictions and social distancing guidelines may keep you from meeting new clients face to face. With a little creativity, a timely canvassing strategy can still give your company the visibility it needs in your community. Get the word out effectively and safely with these six canvassing tips and tricks.

1. Be relevant and authentic

The best canvassing techniques include promotional materials that are relevant to the current situation. Use the FedEx Office design center to create flyers and brochures that recognize uncertain times and let customers know you genuinely care about the community. Highlight the initiatives your business is taking to keep customers safe and give back to affected residents.

For example, you can:

  • Offer a special discount for frontline workers
  • Donate a certain percentage of each sale to a local charity
  • Advertise expanded options, like online orders, curbside pickup and contactless delivery

2. Implement contactless delivery

Social distancing may limit in-person meetings, but that doesn’t mean you should shelve your street canvassing efforts. Get creative with these business canvassing ideas:

  • Leave your flyer or product brochure on cars, porches or at front doors (make sure unsolicited materials are permitted)
  • Drop a stack off at apartment buildings (make sure unsolicited materials are permitted)
  • Post your flyer on bulletin boards at your neighborhood community center, library and grocery store

3. Offer incentives

Use your flyer or postcard as a coupon for a discount code for first-time customers, free delivery or a promo deal. A free product or sample with each purchase over a certain amount will encourage foot traffic and entice people to see what your business has to offer.

For existing customers, implement a referral or loyalty program. Offering a gift card for every referral encourages people to spread the word about your products or services.

4. Opt for digital door knocking

Digital door knocking is a fast and easy alternative to a foot canvasser. With people spending more time online, it can be just as effective as going door to door. Adjust your flyer or postcard design for optimal digital resolution and make it the focal point of your email newsletter or Facebook ad.

Encourage customer questions or comments about your product or service. In the email newsletter, ask readers to “hit reply,” and promise a response. In your digital ad, link to your website or Facebook page and provide your business phone number. Both of these methods are a great way to start a conversation with new and existing customers and help you better understand their changing needs and interests.


5. Mail it out

Direct mail reaches people without the time and energy required of door-to-door canvassing. It’s a good option if your target audience is older and doesn’t spend a lot of time online. Use FedEx Office to customize your postcards and brochures and mail them to everyone in your canvassing database. To stand out from a sea of junk mail, consider these creative postcard ideas for small businesses.

6. Use the phone

Obtain consent from everyone you call or text with an opt-in list, and create a do not call/text list for all customers who opt-out of phone calls and text messages.

A Postcard in the mail
A Postcard in the mail

5. Mail it out

Direct mail reaches people without the time and energy required of door-to-door canvassing. It’s a good option if your target audience is older and doesn’t spend a lot of time online. Use FedEx Office to customize your postcards and brochures and mail them to everyone in your canvassing database. To stand out from a sea of junk mail, consider these creative postcard ideas for small businesses.

Obtain consent from everyone you call or text with an opt-in list, and create a do not call/text list for all customers who opt-out of phone calls and text messages.

Use phone calls as an opportunity to check in and relay any information about your current promotion. When sending a text message:

  • Keep it short and concise
  • Include an offer exclusive to text message subscribers
  • Encourage feedback
  • Only send it to people who opt-in to text messages
  • Include an opt-out option

Staying connected with your community keeps your business top of mind and helps build a loyal customer base. Whether you’re using traditional or socially distanced business canvassing techniques, reaching out to new and existing customers lets them know you are there for them. People will notice and remember you – and that's always good for business. FedEx Office can help you create and print the marketing materials you need to build an effective canvassing strategy for your business.

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