Marketing Cheaply

May 1, 2005

I am a general practitioner, opening up my private practice soon. Is it legal and/or appropriate to distribute my business flyer door-to-door in the neighborhood?

Question: I am a general practitioner, opening up my private practice soon. Is it legal and/or appropriate to distribute my business flyer door-to-door in the neighborhood?

Answer: What an exciting time for you! I can't think of any legal reason not to proceed with your plan, especially if you are not offering any (financial) incentives.

One caveat, however: The U.S. Postal Service does not approve of you putting such flyers in mailboxes. That is why they are always thrust in doorjambs or under welcome mats.

As far as appropriateness, it does put you in the realm of pizza delivery guys and gutter cleaners. Not exactly panache, but that doesn't mean it's a terrible idea.

Perhaps you could invest in some slightly finer-stock paper from an office supply store and play with your word processor program to produce a better-than-average flyer. Print it in color at a copy center. Even make it an invitation to meet you and see your new office at an open house. Set a date - Saturday or after work hours. Offer healthy snacks and do tours. Invite the press - call the city and local papers. More bang for the buck.