4 steps to using leave behinds in your marketing

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Make a lasting impression – whether you’re replacing a leaky pipe, painting a house or shovelling someone’s driveway – with leave behinds. Leave behinds are an easy, affordable marketing strategy for all kinds of small business owners – especially in-home service providers. And they’re exactly what they sound like: an item that gets left behind with a customer once your service is complete.

At their core, leave behinds serve as reminders of your business and leave customers with all of the information they need to contact you. And beyond that, your leave behinds should have some kind of value for customers – that’s why practical items like pens, magnets and tote bags work so well. If you’re leaving behind something inexpensive, like a business card or leaflet, consider including a coupon or offer to encourage customers to hang on to it. In addition to encouraging repeat customers, leave behinds can be used as tools to gather feedback, reward customers and spread awareness about your business.

8 leave behind items:

  • Traditional marketing materials: Folded leaflets, Business cards, Door hangers, Magnets, Stickers
  • Promotional items: Pens, Tote bags, Key rings

Here’s how small business owners in the home improvement industry can use leave behinds to encourage returning customers, spread the word about your brand and make a professional impression. Get started in 4 steps:

  1. Choose the leave behinds that best suit your purpose.
  2. Customise your marketing leave behinds.
  3. Add a personal touch.
  4. Decide how to distribute.


Choose the leave behinds that best suit your purpose.

Folded leaflets
Leave behind a folded leaflet that details your products and services that features on-brand colours and images.

Think about how much information you want to communicate, and what kind of medium will work best for you. Are you a house painter and want to leave customers with detailed information about your pricing and services? Choose a leave behind like a folded leaflet, where you’ll have plenty of space to print this information.

Also, consider whether there’s a certain kind of leave behind that matches up with your small business. If you’re a plumber, maybe you can leave a cheeky door hanger on your customer’s bathroom door knob.


Pressed for space? Print a QR code on your leave behind. Customers can scan it to get more information, fill out a feedback form or download a special offer.


Customise your marketing leave behinds.

Tote bags
Let your customers market your business for you (at the supermarket & beyond!) with a branded tote bag.

This might seem like an obvious step, but make sure your leave behinds (whether a leaflet or tote bag) clearly communicate your brand. While some materials have more space to add your message, even the smallest leave behinds – like pens! – should display your logo and business name. Make sure your leave behind’s design reflects your brand identity in the colours, fonts and template you choose.

After that, the next most important thing to include on your marketing leave behinds is a method of contact. It’s important to give potential customers everything they need to get in touch with you, whether it’s a phone number, email address or website URL.


Do you offer a routine home improvement service, like landscaping? Leave behind a magnet to keep your small business top of mind the next time they need their hedges trimmed, or note your recommended next service date on the back of a business card.


Add a personal touch.

Door hangers
Leave these eye-catching reminders all over your neighbourhood – you’ll attract new customers & encourage new ones.

Leave behinds can help build long-lasting relationships with customers…so make sure your marketing materials don’t come across as generic or impersonal. There are a few easy solutions for small business owners when it comes to adding a personal touch.

One way is to create leave behinds that touch on various stages of the customer journey. If you’re visiting a client’s home for a consultation or introduction, leave them with a comprehensive kit of information. You may consider a business card with a special offer, or even a promotional tote bag filled with reading materials about your business.

If you’re using a leave behind as a follow-up tool, include a handwritten note – maybe a short message on the back of a door hanger, or a promotional reminder to encourage new customers to take the next step.

Making a routine visit to a regular customer? They clearly have your contact info by now, so there’s no need to laden them with leaflets, door hangers or business cards. Instead, leave behind something more ‘fun,’ like a magnet r stack of logo stickers.


Get creative with distribution.

Custom pens
Leave behind something your customers will use again and again – like a custom pen.

Leave behinds are traditionally, well, left behind after an in-home service. But now that you have these ready-to-distribute marketing materials, start thinking outside the box.

When customers sign a receipt or an invoice for your service, give them a branded pen and let them keep it. Whether they use it to scrawl a shopping list or do a crossword puzzle, it’s sure to stay within reach of your customer – keeping your small business top of mind.

Do you need to announce a new service or offering? Let existing customers know with a leave behind…even if you’re not performing a service. Whether a door hanger on their front door or an updated leaflet through the postbox, promote what’s new at your business with a physical reminder.