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Marketing Academy.

If you don't know Canvass, you're losing customers

The canvass is a key concept in modern marketing and sales. Simply put, canvassing refers to the act of identifying, reaching and engaging potential customers or supporters in a direct and manual manner.

Often used in the political context to identify and persuade undecided voters, the canvass is also becoming increasingly popular in corporate sales. Companies of all sizes are adopting canvassing techniques to connect with new customers, build deeper relationships, and drive better business results.

It's time for you too to know everything about this powerful tool. Let's begin!

What is Canvass, where does it come from

A little-known word in Italy but quite a lot in the Anglo-Saxon world, the term was born with the actions of politicians who "knock" on doors to present their platforms and solicit votes. Or when making fundraising calls. However, canvassing is not only a political or social concept, but also and above all a powerful marketing tool for sales . For example, when someone knocks on your door to sell you a product, they are using canvassing.

Canvassing in sales is the process of reaching out to potential customers who have never interacted with your brand or company before . This can include both companies and individuals, selected through target market research and prospect list generation

5 Effective Canvass Tactics for Marketing

There are multiple ways brands can leverage the canvass to drive better results. Here are 5 of the most effective:

  1. Door to Door Campaigns. Classic door-to-door campaigns remain one of the most effective canvassing tactics, despite their high-intensity nature. Brands like Vivint and RainSoft use field teams to knock directly on the homes of local residents, generating millions in sales.

  2. Local Events and Stands. Community events such as fairs, festivals and markets offer the opportunity to connect directly with local residents in a relaxed atmosphere. Many brands set up booths to showcase products, distribute samples and collect leads.

  3. Petitions and signature collections. Petitions, both online and in person, allow you to tap into individuals who are passionate about social, environmental or political issues. Once you have captured attention, you can also expose your audience to your brand and commercial message.

  4. Surveys and Research. Surveys are an excellent excuse to start fruitful conversations with relevant prospects. They can be conducted in person, on the phone or with tablets in high-traffic locations to collect valuable data and generate interest at the same time. One of our favorite tools, in total honesty .

  5. Influencer campaigns. Influencers with a strong local following can be effective “megaphones” for spreading brand awareness and special promotions. Brands like Daniel Wellington and FabFitFun have had great success partnering with micro and nano influencers in their neighborhoods.

This list is not intended to be definitive. Every new marketing channel actually has elements of Canvass that businesses can exploit.

Investigations per person on the sofa
Surveys are a great form of Canvass

Why is Canvassing so important?

As we've seen, companies of all sizes are adopting canvassing techniques to connect with new customers, build deeper relationships, and drive better business outcomes. There are a few key reasons why canvass has become so important to the success of modern selling, in parallel with regular marketing and sales tools :

  1. Reaching New Customers. The canvass allows companies to identify and reach new customer segments who may be unaware of their products or services or unwilling to respond with traditional methods . Through surveys, local events, door-to-door campaigns and other direct contact tactics, marketers can introduce their brand to highly targeted prospects.

  2. Increase Engagement. Canvass methods encourage greater engagement between brands and prospects. Instead of impersonal advertising like digital ads or social media posts, personal contact builds deeper relationships and brand trust.

  3. Driving Sales and Loyalty. Studies show that prospects contacted via canvass are much more likely to become customers than those reached via traditional channels (obviously nothing beats branding strategy!) . Once acquired, these customers also tend to be more loyal and spend more with the brand over time.

  4. Collect Valuable Information. Face-to-face interactions provide the opportunity to gather customer feedback, needs and wants more effectively. This information can then be used to refine products, services and marketing strategies.

  5. Differentiate yourself from the competition. While many brands still rely on mass marketing tactics, canvass allows you to stand out with a more personalized and targeted approach. "Challenger" brands can thus gain market share even in highly competitive sectors.

What differentiates Canvass from other sales methods?

In theoretical and operational terms, some key differences can be identified between the canvass and other sales methods:

  1. The canvass focuses on actively reaching out to new prospects who have never had previous interactions with the company. Other methods such as inbound marketing are based on the fact that customers spontaneously contact the company.

  2. The canvass provides direct and personal contact with the customer through phone calls, door-to-door visits, local events, etc. Other methods such as digital marketing use impersonal channels such as email, social media, website.

  3. The canvass allows you to collect feedback and information in person from customers. Other methods such as advertising campaigns provide limited data on customer reactions.

  4. The canvass requires a greater investment of human resources in the field. Other methods like automated email marketing have lower costs once set up.

  5. As we saw above, Canvass allows you to differentiate yourself with a more personalized approach to the customer. Other methods such as mass promotions are more generic in nature.

Compared to other sales strategies, the canvass therefore allows direct and proactive contact with customers to establish personal relationships, collect valuable feedback, differentiate the offer and drive better results, although it requires greater investments in the field.

Tools to Enhance the Canvass

Digital technology has made the canvass much more efficient and productive than in the past. Here are some key tools marketers should consider:

  • Mobile App for Canvass : Allow you to efficiently manage door-to-door campaigns, providing maps, optimized scripts and data collection capabilities. Examples include Canvanizer, Canvasser, and Rhodium.

  • Chatbots : Chatbots can qualify leads and schedule appointments for telemarketers 24/7. Cutting-edge platforms like ChatFunnels help automate and scale digital canvassing efforts.

  • CRM : A dedicated canvass CRM makes it easy to track leads, interactions, and follow-up activities over time. Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho all offer powerful canvass management capabilities.

  • Email Automation : Automated email workflows can be used to invite prospects to special events, share follow-up materials, and stay top-of-mind after the initial interaction.

Digital interfaces
Technology is only a support for Canvass, but it can help a lot

The 10 "typical" Canvassing mistakes that can destroy the sale

It should be clear by now: if done the right way, canvassing can bring excellent business opportunities. However, by making some typical mistakes , you risk obtaining disappointing or even counterproductive results.

1 / Lack of clear objectives

Before starting a canvassing campaign it is essential to define clear and measurable objectives that you want to achieve. Quantify the number of contacts to be made, the desired conversion rate, the potential turnover. Without these metrics it will be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of your commercial action.

2 / Lack of segmentation

Generic canvassing, without identifying specific clusters of potential customers, is unlikely to be successful. It is necessary to segment the target market by age, gender, interests and spending capacity. Only in this way will it be possible to intercept leads truly inclined to purchase.

3 / Weak message

The message used during contact is the business card of your offer. It must be incisive, persuasive, suitable for the target. A weak or generic message will be ignored by the prospect, reducing the chances of conversion. We need to work thoroughly on the value proposition to be communicated.

4 / Lack of follow up

After the first contact, it is essential to carry out a follow-up activity at pre-established intervals. Segment prospects into hot, lukewarm and cold. Provide automatic reminders via email or text message. Without a planned follow-up, most of the contacts obtained will be lost.

5 / Non-competitive offer

Before proposing your commercial offer it is necessary to benchmark the competition. Proposing a product/service that is not competitive in terms of price and quality will make the effort put into canvassing in vain. Studying the market and adapting your offer accordingly is an essential step.

6 / Absence of tests

Each canvassing campaign should include an initial testing phase to test messages, proposals and contact methods. This pilot phase on small samples allows us to correct any critical issues and optimize response and conversion rates. Starting at full capacity immediately without tests is a risk to avoid.

7 / Invasive contact

The contact method you choose can make a difference. Opting for overly invasive channels such as unsolicited phone calls or unarranged home visits can irritate the prospect. Better to prefer emails, social media, text messages which are less intrusive and annoying.

8 / Absence of call to action

After having illustrated your commercial proposal, you need to push the prospect into action. We need to close the contact with a strong call to action: visit our website, download the brochure, buy now with a 10% discount. Without a CTA, contact risks being an end in itself.

9 / Poor content

The contents used in canvassing, from the initial message to the subsequent follow ups up to the landing pages on the website or social networks, must be quality, accurate and compelling. Trivial or approximate contents will communicate an unprofessional image of the brand, negatively impacting sales.

10 / Lack of integration

To maximize results and efficiency, canvassing must be integrated with the other levers of the marketing mix. From digital content to promotions, from PR to sponsorships, all commercial and branding activities must speak a common language and be coordinated with each other.

By avoiding these 10 frequent mistakes, a commercial canvassing campaign will have a much better chance of achieving its objectives. Defining clear metrics, segmenting the target, testing messages, carrying out a structured follow up, monitoring the results and optimizing accordingly : these are the best practices to implement for the success of your sales initiatives.

Great content is the basis of the canvass

Frequent questions

What exactly does the canvass process include?

The canvass process typically includes identifying and profiling the target audience, developing persuasive messages, choosing effective contact channels, contacting prospects, collecting data and feedback, carrying out follow-ups and finally measuring results.

What metrics should I track in my canvass campaigns?

Key metrics include impressions, interactions, response rates, appointments set, leads generated, conversions, cost per lead and ROI. This data allows you to refine and optimize campaigns over time.

Does canvass work well for all types of businesses?

Canvass can be effective for almost any type of business, but it works especially well for local brands like restaurants, pharmacies, real estate agencies and retail stores.

What are the most common challenges in implementing a Canvassing process?

Some of the most common challenges companies may encounter when applying canvassing as a sales strategy include:

  • Difficulty in correctly segmenting the market and identifying the most suitable prospects to contact. Experience and in-depth knowledge of the sector is required.

  • Develop engaging and effective sales messages for different direct-to-consumer contact channels. It requires creativity and testing.

  • Efficiently manage a high volume of generated leads and perform effective follow-up. Requires integration between sales team and CRM.

  • Correctly measure ROI and impact of canvass campaigns. Analytical models require continuous refinement.

  • Maintain high motivation and productivity among field canvassers in the long run. Fundamental training and incentive systems.

  • Balance investments on the canvass with budgets for other marketing channels. We need an integrated omnichannel strategy.

How does the Canvass process fit into individual companies?

Here are some ways to adapt the canvass process to a company's specific needs:

  • Segment the market based on relevant criteria such as company size, industry, geography, etc. to define target audiences and tailored messages.

  • Choose the most effective contact channels to reach each target segment - email, telemarketing, in-person visits, direct mail, etc. 2Customize the sales script based on the sector, products offered, customer characteristics to maximize relevance and conversions.

  • Vary the frequency and duration of canvass based on the industry sales cycle - monthly, quarterly, yearly.

  • Offer specific incentives to salespeople for each segment/channel to encourage them to focus on high-potential prospects.

  • Integrate your company's CRM with your canvass process to record interactions and automate multi-channel follow-up.

  • Measure results and ROI for each segment/contact channel to identify and enhance the most effective tactics.

Where to start from?

Setting up a Canvassing process can be difficult for a small business, especially in the absence of professional salespeople.

In our experience, although a marketing agency will never and under any circumstances be able to replace sales personnel, it can provide valuable insights and give the entrepreneur and his managers a point of comparison to avoid catastrophic errors and limit the waste of time and occasions.

Deep Marketing works and has worked with clients in every market, this allows it to avoid the fallacies and hyperspecialization of many other agencies, too verticalized on a single segment and therefore with no possibility of transferring know-how between markets and therefore providing competitive advantages.



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