What are the exact benefits of a local leaflet distribution campaign, is it right for your business?
Whilst the 21st Century digital world offers a wealth of modern marketing techniques that can deliver healthy returns on investment and a great cost per conversion, for local businesses particularly, “old school” leaflet and flyer distribution is still popular and can yield impressive results. In fact, done well, there are few techniques, online or offline, that are as effective.
This form of direct marketing, also known as leafleting or door to door marketing is simple, affordable and effective at bringing in new customers and boosting sales. It involves delivering unaddressed flyers to homes in the local area. If you offer a service locally, such as takeaway food, window cleaning or a taxi service, leaflet distribution is an ideal way to spread the word about your business. When it comes to launching a new venture, such as a shop or restaurant, this type of advertising is particularly effective. If, on the other hand, your business is already established in the area, leafleting can be used to advertise a future event or promotion, or to deliver money off coupons to incentivise your target audience to buy now rather than later in a drive to boost sales.
In addition, you can select delivery areas to ensure you are reaching your target market, such as families or affluent consumers, and unlike TV or radio advertising, you can also have confidence that your advertisement will be seen. By choosing leaflet advertising you are leaving nothing to chance. You’re not reliant on your prospective customers buying a newspaper, listening to the radio, checking the Yellow Pages, or doing an online search. You’ve put your business message on the doormat of the people that you most want to see it; they will need to pick it up and so inevitably, it will be seen.
Advertising campaigns based on leaflet distribution aren’t for everyone, but if you are a business owner managing a local business of any size there is compelling evidence to suggest that there are big rewards to be had here.
So, what makes an effective leafleting campaign?
- Eye catching design
- Clear message
- Professionally printed
- A call to action
- Targeted distribution
- Measurement of the response
Creating and Printing your door drop
In the past, poor-quality leaflets and flyers have given leafleting a bad name. To make your leaflet or flyer stand out, good design and professional printing are essential. The creativity of your campaign will have a significant impact on the level of response. Of course, the good news is that leaflets and flyers offer a great deal of creative freedom, restricted only by the size of the letter box, the look shape and weight of your leaflet or flyer are all up to you. You can use more than one creative design or have different versions of the same leaflet if you are targeting different groups of people. On the doormat, your leaflet will be competing with other door drops, post and newspapers. Your challenge is to create a flyer that captures the attention of the recipient and avoid it going straight into the recycling box! Even if it just gets glanced at by a prospective customer as they pick it up from the doormat, a well-designed leaflet will grab their attention sufficiently to create an interest in your business and develop an almost subconscious respect for it, such that even if they do not require your services personally, they may mention your business to family members, friends or colleagues that do. A printing company will be able to guide you as to what is possible and what isn’t from a creativity point of view.
A call to action
Your marketing message should be clear, with a call to action. Offers and coupons work well as an incentive and are likely to be kept and used.
Distribution is a vital part of the whole campaign, and there are several ways to deliver your flyers. Many small-business owners pound the pavements themselves or pay casual staff to do the delivery. If you use outside leaflet distributors, ensure you employ trustworthy people who will deliver every leaflet to every house in a way that reflects well on your business.
If you are sending out large numbers of leaflets, there are specialist door-drop delivery companies that provide a professional service. The Royal Mail also offers a service whereby it delivers flyers with the post to specific postcode areas.
Leafleting is generally seen as a blanket-marketing method. However, as mentioned above you can take a targeted approach to your door drops and improve response levels. Study your local area and assess which streets are most likely to have residents that fit your target market.
Also for effective targeting, consider the timing of your campaign. Could the sales of your product or service be affected by the seasons or a particular time of the year? For example, the Landlord of a local pub may wish to offer a Christmas party menu throughout December and the New Year period and may decide to use a leafleting campaign to promote it. However, timing will be key here as distributing too early may cause the leaflet to be viewed as irrelevant and put in the bin and distributing too late may miss opportunities if prospective customers have been organised and already booked their Christmas Party meal.
Measuring the response to your campaign
Leaflet distribution gives you full control over where you advertise, making it easier to accurately gauge performance and success. It’s a good idea to use a promotion or coupon to help you track response to your leafleting activity. Give different campaigns or delivery areas unique promotional codes or coupons so you can compare and measure the results.
Like other direct marketing techniques, leafleting is a numbers game and the bottom line is cost per response. Once you have calculated this, you can roll out the most successful creative approaches to the most responsive areas.