Interested in the essentials of leaflets, direct mailers and the like?
Today’s blog post was inspired by a woman’s post on Facebook about leaflets and the value of direct mail (DM) door drops. She was asking if people actually read leaflets that come through their door and their thoughts on advertising business in this way. There were a lot of opinions expressed in response, with plenty of people interested in the subject. I thought it may be helpful to summarise some facts and pointers on direct mail.
Only a leaflet?
It is worth noting that leaflets or direct mailers/DM (postcards, letters or pamphlets through the door) are unlikely to gain a large response alone. They are often utilised as one piece of a broader marketing plan. Remember, a person usually has to see your brand mentioned multiple times (in different places) before they will actually do anything about it (click on your website, call you or purchase, etc.). This is why a successful marketing drive will often use DM along with emails, follow-up DM, social media promotions, press and events.
The average response rate for DM is 1% (2016). Many businesses garner a lower response rate (0.5%) yet the DM is still deemed a success as the brand gained customers as a result of sending it out. The real tell is what your return on investment is (ROI). ROI = (Gains – Cost)/Cost
If it costs you 20p a leaflet, you send out 200 and as a result you gain one customer worth £150 in business, then your ROI is 2.75% – not bad.
If you are simply wondering whether leaflets work – this is very individual to your brand, target audience and product, it isn’t a simple yes or no answer.
When thinking about direct mail the primary consideration should be whether your leaflet is targeted and whether you are likely to get a response from the recipient. By this I mean is your leaflet going to people who would potentially be interested in your product? Would a leaflet through the door be the most appropriate way of reaching them?
Look at this kids’ wear brochure direct mailer below. Now imagine this was door dropped to houses and it went to a household consisting of a single 20-year old professional man who has no children. It would be a wasted DM because the recipient(s) is not the target audience for the brand. If however, the brochure DM was distributed to schools and put in book bags, it would get seen by parents who are the target audience.
Next up, think about whether your DM is tailored. Is your product or service presented in a way that it is relevant to the recipient? Does the DM showcase your brand benefits effectively? If for example you have a kids’ wear brand and it is mostly formal, stylish and premium priced clothes that a fashion-conscious parent may like for their child, do you think the recipient will pay attention to a leaflet with poorly lit pictures, bad quality paper and generic headings? Probably not. However, imagine you create a mailer that is designed to appeal to your target audience, perhaps with large bright images of a party scene that show off the clothes, thick glossy paper with premium embossing or foiling, in an eye-catching format. Now the recipient is more likely to sit-up and pay attention to this because the mailer feels more relevant to them as an individual, appealing to their personal taste and preferences.
The Louis Vuitton DM in the image above creates an exclusive feel with lock and key imagery. The DM is true to the premium nature of the brand, using their signature brown and a luxurious gold effect – perfect for their well-heeled, style conscious target audience.
This Sky DM (image below) was part of a broader campaign with follow-ups and emails sent out too, and it did very well. The DM was targeted, tailored (different versions were sent to different segments of Sky’s target audience) and it was an eye-catching format that stood out from the usual mail.
If your direct mailer is targeted, tailored and cost effective (potential business gained is high when forecasting a 1% conversion rate) then it is certainly something to explore. My advice will always be to encourage you to think about marketing solutions holistically, looking at multiple touchpoints and angles in order to gain the best results.
My final piece of advice; ensure your DM is trackable. Whether you have a unique number or include a code on the leaflet that the recipient has to quote when they call. That way you can measure how effective the direct mailer has been.
I hope this post provided you with some helpful points for consideration when thinking about DM for your business.
Thanks for reading. xx