74baja: “I’ve been reading here for a while now and have established that flier distribution is probably the best way for me to start advertising. I’m wondering what time of day is best to put fliers in mailboxes? Do you try to go after the mailman? Does it matter? I’m printing them on yellow 8.5-by-11 paper in black ink, as I saw suggested here. Should I fold them? I think I’ll make my first round in a week or two.”
kemco: “I’m sure I won’t be the only one to chime in on this, but putting anything in someone’s mailbox (or even on the mailbox for that matter) is illegal and can end up costing you a lot of money in fines, etc., in the long run. Sure, maybe no one will turn you in, but if the person delivering the mail sees a pattern of the same fliers, you will probably get a not too nice of a call from your local postmaster telling you what kind of fines you might be subject to if they catch you doing it again. Just giving you a head’s up.”
shelbymustang616: “Here’s what our company does. We do what you are doing … we get fliers, fold them up and put them in cheap Ziploc baggies. In these baggies includes a flier of our services and maybe three little rocks. We’ll throw the packet on their driveway and the rocks keep it from blowing away.”
SangerLawn: “We had a customer go out of town last year and ask us to put their invoice in the mailbox. A few days later I got a phone call from the postmaster. Personally, I think he just had a serious case of little man’s disease. He said there is a $25 fine for anything having to do with business that is in someone’s mailbox or newspaper box without paying the mailing costs.
“Like I said, I believe this guy just had a case of little man’s disease, but I still recommend calling your post office just to be sure. Twenty-five dollars per flier can get really, really expensive.
“I also know in most cities and counties you have to purchase an advertising license. They are cheap, but not having one holds large fines. This license is for fliers only. Towns trying to stop littering. I think we pay like $125 per year per city. Two of the cities around us require it; one of them does not.”
Michael Geist Yard Works: “The most interesting thing I have seen recently is this: the contractor puts their flier in a non-addressed envelope, drops it on the doorstep of the home. Out of curiosity, people pick it up and open it. Got me with this one day when I was doing door hangers. Notice all these envelopes on doorsteps or under door mats, as I was delivering hangers, too. When I came to a home in foreclosure, I went to the doorstep to see if there was on there, too, and there way. It was an irrigation guy’s flier. I think this could be a decent way to get them to at least look at your flier. I think the curiosity of most people will get them to open the envelope.”
CrazyBlonde: “If you already have the fliers made, then you need to use them up. I would suggest getting the clear plastic door hanger bags off eBay. They are very inexpensive. In the future, you might make door hangers instead of fliers.
It is a federal offense to open any mailbox without permission. I would never take that risk. They will slap you with a very hefty fine, and postage for every flier and possibly jail time. The fine is for each flier; last time I checked it was a $300 fine for each flier. “
74baja: “Thanks for the help folks. I haven’t actually printed out the fliers yet, so I think I’ll look into some way to hang them off the doorknobs. Or, maybe fold them up and stick them in the crack of the door somehow.”
STL Ponds and Waterfalls: “Use the 9-by-15 bags, that way you can see the flier and you have a better chance of them reading the flier. Plus, you can put inside the bag a card, magnet, pen, whatever with your name on it.”
MDN78: “I have never heard of putting a flier in a newspaper box to be illegal. I know each state is different, but that paper box is property of the newspaper company, not the postmaster. But, I like the door hangers, you know the customer will see them and sometimes it gives you the chance to talk to them.”
AAA Irrigation: “I got my first customer doing fliers nine years ago. I always put fliers between the flag and the mailbox if they don’t have a paper box, in which case I would be using the paper box if they have one.
“I get home owners telling me to put the invoice in their mailbox all the time. Sounds like the government is worried they’re going to lose their 44 cents.”
TreeClimber57: “If there is a newspaper box versus a post/mailbox, then you are likely OK. Postal boxes are under federal jurisdiction and federal laws.”
Jaxxon1212: “I was told from the local post office that it is illegal to put anything in or on the actual mailbox, however, they told met that I could put the flier on the mailbox post. Also, a lot of mailboxes around here (luckily) have a newspaper slot underneath. A lot of the mailbox posts have seams or other areas that you could put them on. Worked for me.”