If you are looking for a relatively cheap and potentially effective method of promotion for something local I believe flyering is one of the best options out there. This post will discuss the art of flyering and hopefully give you some ideas as to how you can maximise the results of flyering.
Location It's all about location, location, location when it comes to flyering. You want to be in a place where there is a decent volume of people but also somewhere where you can stop people to talk to them. Also, make sure you are somewhat close to the place you want to coax people into - if you can point to it all the better, don't want people getting lost after they've been "flyered".
Presence Try have a sign or something beside you to enhance your presence. A small chalk board on the ground which reflects the message you have on your flyers can be very beneficial as when people are approaching you they will be able to get an idea of what you will be handing out flyers for. Also, it makes you look more authoritative and somewhat different to most people handing out flyers if you have a sign beside you.
Pitch Do NOT just give the flyer to people as they are walking by but give each person a short 10 to 15 second pitch about what the flyer is advertising. Lots of times flyers end up in back pockets (and then washing machines) and have no value at all - use the flyer as an excuse to tell people about your local product or service. To initiate the pitch do something do daze/dazzle or confuse so that you get the passer bys attention..Quickly tell them what the flyer is for and let them know why you are there "I'm handing these flyers out now as there is a huge promotion happening in XYZ and my boss would not be happy if I didn't give one to you!"..Saying something likes this sets the pitch up for the real reason "this promotion is valid only for TODAY" - you want to try get people to take action there and then. Try tailor your pitch to the person as much as possible, pay attention to their body language and responses to your questions/pitch so that you have the best chance of a positive outcome.
Flyer The flyer you are handing out is first and foremost a prop. It is your wand to dazzle to get passer bys to stop (get creative, a robot dance of some description with flyers gripped in extended arms [I honestly have done this and it works]). The flyer can also be used as a device to keep people talking to you - don't give them the flyer until you give them the full pitch..have the flyer half way towards them and gesture like your giving it to them but don't do so until they have heard the full spiel. Once you give them the flyer you want to make sure that it hammers home the points made in the pitch, ie, mentions the promotion/incentive to take action. Also, make sure to include web addresses and all useful contact info as some people who are interested might not be able to avail of the promotion on that day but might do so at some point down the line.
Hope the above points and ideas have been of some use to you. Any veterans of flyering care to share some of their tips? Have any good flyering stories to tell?