5 Marketing Leave-Behind Ideas for Your Small Business

Posted Apr 24, 2024 | Updated 3 weeks ago

You’ve had a great sales pitch or initial meeting with a potential client. Or maybe you’ve made some promising connections at a trade show or networking event, or you’ve just finished a successful landscaping project for a customer.

Whatever the scenario, the last thing you want to do is end the interaction without leaving behind some sort of physical gift or memento that will make a professional impression or ensure your small business stays fresh in their mind.

That’s the goal of leave-behind marketing: to create a tangible reminder of your business and services, so you can increase the odds that customers will think of and reach out to your company in the future when they’re in need of the services or products you offer.

What is the Best Approach to Leave-Behind Marketing?

Leave-behind marketing is pretty much what it sounds like. When the situation arises, you leave behind a tangible item or piece of marketing that an existing or potential customer will associate with you, directly or indirectly. It might be a branded magnet or pen bearing your business name and logo or a printed material, such as a brochure, rack card, or one-sheet.

You typically leave the item behind after completing a service for a customer or after a sales pitch, as a tool to assist you in fostering new or repeat customers. The most important goal is that the item leaves an impression, one that will strengthen the client’s relationship to you and potentially spread awareness among their family, friends, or business associates. You also can use marketing materials to gather feedback or announce new offerings and services.

This strategy can be especially effective for in-home or personal service providers in the Colorado Springs area, such as landscaping and construction companies, plumbers and electricians, professional cleaners, healthcare providers, real estate agents, and pet groomers. However, most small businesses have some sort of contact or interaction with customers that provides the perfect opportunity for making an impression—and leaving behind a special token.

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Creative Leave-Behind Ideas for Your Marketing Strategies

In order to work well, leave behinds should provide some sort of value to your customers and be uniquely tied to your company. The more personalization you can incorporate, the better.

There is a wide range of well-known and tried-and-true marketing leave behinds that double as effective reminders of your services or products, along with serving a practical purpose that motivates the recipient to hold onto the item for a long time. A few examples of marketing leave behinds include pens, magnets, water bottles, and business cards.

If you’re looking to expand your leave-behind marketing strategy as a small business in Colorado, here are a few items to consider for your stockpile:

1. Brochures with Coupons or Promos

If you leave behind something like a postcard, flyer, door hanger, or brochure that communicates more about your small business and what you have to offer, it’s a smart idea to include an incentive or reward for the client. That might be a coupon code they can use in-person or online at your business, or information about an upcoming promotion to which they have special access. Additionally, you could leave behind a punch card or a sign-up form for your business rewards program. QR codes are a great way to connect your printed materials to your online presence and make the most of limited space. A graphic designer in the Colorado Springs area, like Third Angle, can work with you to decide what type of printed product is right for your small business and what images, graphics, and text will help you communicate the perfect follow-up message to existing and prospective customers.  

2. Customized Tote Bags

People are constantly on the lookout for reusable bags. They come in handy for so many purposes: grocery shopping, packing snacks or activities for a road trip, or transporting workout clothes to the gym. That makes a tote bag—bearing your business name, logo, and/or slogan—a potentially good fit for your leave behind. They are comparatively cost-effective, and there’s a good chance the recipient will keep the bag for a while. There’s also a good chance they will have it out and about with them, indirectly spreading the word about your small Colorado Springs company to those around them.

3. One-Sheets that Go the Extra Mile

One-sheets, informational packets, and flyers are other effective leave behinds for small businesses, but you can make them more valuable to your customers by including robust and unique information. Yes, they should incorporate a few important nuggets related to your business, such as your web address, phone number, and what additional services you provide. However, you also have unique industry knowledge that is valuable to the general public—or worth holding onto. For example, as a landscaping or gardening company, you might provide a short list of season-specific tips for taking care of a yard or what native plants attract pollinators. If you’re a pet groomer, you might include resources where the customer can purchase pet supplies or list local veterinarians, pet-sitters, and other related professionals.

Get Printed Marketing Materials

Boost your small business' marketing efforts with custom, printed marketing materials. From postcards and brochures to flyers and look-books, our custom promotional materials will help you stand out.

4. Free Samples of Products

If it works for your small business, your leave behind could also be a free sample of one of your products—branded, of course, with your company name and logo. Again, this type of leave behind provides value to the recipient and gives them a chance to experience what you have to offer. It works best if your small business sells actual products, such as a pet-supply company distributing dog or cat treats, or a dining establishment giving out individually packaged food samples. But there are other items that could still tie into your services, even if you don’t sell physical products. For example, a health and wellness provider could distribute sample-size lotions or massage oils, or a real estate agent could use branded to-do list notepads or planners for their leave-behind marketing. And if you can’t think of anything specifically linked to your industry, that’s alright. There is a wide range of customized promotional products to get the job done in terms of providing exposure and reinforcing your brand identity with customers.

5. Marketing Stickers and Magnets

While stickers aren’t exactly a flashy or new idea, they are extremely popular right now. With reusable water bottles used frequently, people enjoy personalizing them with stickers. Or they’re used for laptops and other supplies. One-of-a-kind branded magnets are also popular and practical leave-behind items to consider (who doesn’t need more magnets?). The goal is to make them unique, fun, and eye-catching. Try to think beyond simply printing your logo and contact information on a magnet or sticker. Humor is typically a good route to take, and it can serve as an effective conversation starter that will have customers sharing more frequently about your small business. People also enjoy feeling like they’re part of a community or club, so incorporating an inside joke or industry-specific reference could be speengaging for recipients. 

Boosting Your Leave-Behind Marketing Strategy in Colorado Springs

There are so many ways to incorporate leave behinds into the marketing strategy for your small business or nonprofit organization. The trick is to select customized items—and a style of distribution—that makes sense for your particular customer base. If you are looking for new marketing leave behind ideas, reach out to our team at Third Angle. With the help of our graphic design, printing, and other business services, we will work with you to create the marketing materials you need to drive business forward.

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