How to Surge Your Retail Foot Traffic When You Need It Most

foot traffic in a store

Use Front-Door Media to Cut Through the Clutter (Best Way to Reach Younger Shoppers!)

In-store foot traffic is where the money is for retail.

Sure, you want people to buy online too. But your average per-customer basket size will almost always be larger (usually MUCH larger) for in-store shoppers than online ones.

So what’s the best way to get more foot traffic in your store?

Experts talk about all kinds of things like creating better in-store experiences, live events, amenities, and even phone charging stations. How about free samples, special in-store-only deals, and one-day sales? All of this is good stuff.

But for the foot traffic to show up and discover those experiences, you have to tell them about it. That means marketing. And that means media.

So what media works best to generate retail foot traffic? We’ll get to that. But first…

foot traffic in a store

Why Other Media Options are Less Effective

Online marketing…

Expensive and time-consuming to set up the systems that work best, and there’s endless competition for eyeballs and attention. Online works best for people who already know what they’re looking for, not for drawing people in who weren’t necessarily planning to shop.


Only reach certain demographics. Fewer young people and fewer people with lower incomes subscribe to newspapers.

TV and Radio…

Even more expensive. It works, but the cost is prohibitive for smaller retailers. Larger retailers that can use TV and radio will see big bumps in their foot traffic if they do what you’re about to read.

Most of these media also require several months of pre-planning, buying airtime or print space, and all the rest. So you have to know what you’re doing well in advance. That’s not always possible.

The best media that almost guarantees being seen and responded to by all ages, ethnicities and income levels is front-door marketing.

Here’s a rundown of why front-door marketing stands alone if you want to get attention, have your offer seen, produce a greater response, and get more foot traffic in your store.

the front door - where you can market and drive foot traffic

Why Front-Door Marketing is the ‘Foot Traffic Ninja’

With front-door marketing, you can do things – and a combination of things – that simply aren’t possible in any other form of media. You can:

1. Target Specific Shoppers within Your Trade Area

The most effective front-door marketing doesn’t just randomly blitz every home in an entire neighborhood most of the time. Usually, what works best is to target specific homes shown by data (that we possess) to be more likely to buy, such as repeat customers. We can also create lookalike audiences of your existing customers just like they do online but for real households.

We can target by age, income, ethnicity, size of family (back to school specials? Don’t send them to empty-nesters), and many more demographics – within your trade area. We can create customized door hanger campaigns for very specific targets.

And again – many ideal customers for retail stores don’t get the newspaper. And even if they do, you’re competing against everything else in the paper for attention. Plus, newspaper readers have routines. They know what to expect and where the ads are, and how to ignore them.

A door hanger is ‘pattern interrupt’ marketing. It catches them off guard. They HAVE to look at it.

2. Create Full-Color Mini-Billboards on Front Doors

Front-door marketing of this sort is literally impossible to miss.

These full-color oversized ads get seen and considered far more than any other form of print media. Being seen and considered by more shoppers means one thing: More action.

If your ad is planned accordingly, it will bring foot traffic to your store.

3. Intensify Your Marketing for Specific Merchandise, Services, Events, & Brands

All those tips from the experts about drawing more foot traffic in your store? This is how you get people to actually come in and experience them.

Feature them in your front-door marketing!

With the huge amount of space available and with no visual competition, you can afford to put large images of new products, special events, menu items, guest appearances, amenities, and anything else that you think will draw people in your store.

4. Capitalize on the Biggest Shopping Season of the Year

During the holidays, there is even more competition from other advertisers, and everyone is in a frenzy. Online is just insane.

What does a campaign cost?

Get a custom-built sample campaign with real targeting data, ad creative, cost estimates, and distribution plans.

Use the Project Estimator

With front-door marketing, your store will stand out. If you plan your holiday campaign early enough, you can get ahead of the others and make sure you get seen by everyone in your local target audience.

And remember – in-store traffic is far more valuable than online traffic. People in the store make unplanned purchases. They respond to offers they didn’t know existed. Online, for the most part, they just buy the one item they were looking for. It’s lower revenue, and you’re competing on price on almost every item. In the store, they’re already there, so convenience trumps price.

5. Make 1-Day or Limited Time Special Offers

Again, for holidays like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas, everyone offers sales and discounts. But if no one sees your sales or discounts, they still add up to zero revenue.

In addition to other places you might put scannable holiday coupons and discount offers that can only be redeemed by coming into the store, include them as part of your front-door marketing. Shoppers will cut them out right there and come in to take advantage of them.

Again, the methods of marketing don’t have to change much from other media. The same stuff works. The only difference is, front-door marketing amplifies all of it.

More people see it. More people respond. More foot traffic results. And more money comes into your store.

6. Get One-on-One Time Alone With Shoppers

There are no distractions at the front door. Unless the kids are screaming and dinner is late. But even then, that door hanger will get picked up and looked at. (It might even work as a babysitter for a couple minutes…)

The front door is a unique place where it’s just you and the customer.

7. Wow Them with High Impact Offers

You can do a lot more than door hangers. If you want to get really creative and inventive, and show customers something they’ve never seen, we can make that happen.

Amazing visuals coupled with one-of-a-kind offers are a superb approach to drawing foot traffic to your store when you need it most.

If you’ve got a big campaign coming and your success depends on getting a lot of shoppers to show up, this is the way to boost your in-store traffic.

8. Track Your Data on Both Ends – Foot Traffic, Response Rate, Basket Size, AND Delivery

How well did your front door campaign do compared to your other advertising media? Track it and find out.

Use coupon and scanning codes to know your immediate response rate for that item. Compare the average basket size for customers who saw the front-door marketing versus ones who saw other forms of marketing or none at all.

There’s also a flip side to tracking. With direct mail and even newspapers, you don’t really know for sure that all your stuff got delivered to every address you intended.

But we track our deliveries using GPS, box counts, and on-site auditors. Your front-door marketing is visually verified as having been delivered to every address on the list.

You know it will be seen. And you can track the response data as well.

9. Send It Fast & When You Want – the Ultimate in Media Flexibility

Other media are very restrictive in when they get delivered. Marriage mailers usually come the same day every week or month. Sunday newspapers come on …. Sundays.

But with front-door marketing, you can deliver your door hangers on Thursday so shoppers can plan to come in for your weekend sale. And maybe you do want them delivered on Sunday. Even if you could time it with direct mail, the postal service doesn’t deliver that day. But we do.

We also offer flexible, staggered delivery based on your needs. This way, if you want to reach a large audience, they don’t all come calling on the same day. Your sales staff will appreciate having a steady, manageable flow of customers that can each receive the level of attention they deserve.

Finally – almost every other form of media requires substantial lead time for planning, securing media space, approving ads, and so many other details. Usually months.

But what if you want to do a flash sale, but you’re limited by time? What if a news event happens and you want to take advantage of it while it’s still on people’s minds? What if you just delayed, and now it’s too late to make it in the holiday newspaper?

You can get front-door marketing prepared and ready to go with a much faster turnaround time than other forms of media. We can also staff brand ambassadors to meet people face to face.

open sign for a store

Young, Old, Families, Singles, Any Income – This Gets Them in the Door

Again, front-door marketing is especially effective with younger shoppers. They’ve grown up in the online world of fake news and flimsy trust. To them, real tangible mail is special and different.

They won’t just wander in your store to go “shopping” as much as people did twenty years ago. But they will come in if you give them a reason.

Front-door marketing effectively engages all ages, all family types, all income levels, and all ethnicities. And with a targeted campaign, you’ll get the foot traffic your store needs to keep ahead of the competition.

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