It amazes me that when a discussion takes place around the merits of direct marketing, leaflet distribution is still seen as somehow the poor relation in the process, leaflet distribution is not and never should be regarded as a cheap alternative.
This unfortunate state of affairs was brought to my attention recently while I was reading a book on copy-writing and a chapter on direct mail. Part of this particular chapter gave the reader some twenty-eight creative tips for a mailing.
The creative tip that occupied the seventh position in this list was “The door drop mailer.”
Now some people will think the seventh place in a list of twenty-eight was not a bad position to be in, but it was not the position of seventh place that irked me, it was the way the idea that door drops were the poor relation to direct mail.
The benefits were described as having control of where the leaflet goes and the timing of its delivery. However, I believe these benefits should have been granted much more attention than the one sentence it was given. In fact, I did not think that door drop leaflets should have even been in the list of creative mailing tips.
The reason I think this is that I believe it reinforces the perception, in people who do not understand direct marketing, that leaflet distribution is a cheaper alternative to direct mail. When the truth is door drops can be an integral part of a larger advertising campaign, or they can be used as a separate campaign. Either way they have proved to be a highly effective way of reaching customers and creating sales.
Another area where I believe door drop leaflets do not receive the credit due to them is in the field of their creative work. Unlike the writers of direct sales letters, the copywriters of leaflets do not have the luxury of several pages to get their message across to the prospective customer.
They have to use a very limited space to get their sales message across. They employ their skills in copy-writing to produce short but informative text to emphasise the benefits of their offer as well as it features.
And you will not see “clever” tricks used in the creative work of leaflets. No sensible designer of a door drop leaflet will use the dubious techniques often seen in some magazines and on some so called “classy” website where an art director or designer places a large body of text on a solid black background with the type reversed out, making difficult if not impossible to read.
Door drop leaflets need to catch the attention of the prospect and make it easy for them to read the sales message. The writers and designers of these will use the correct typeface to utilise the limited space available.
Of course, the things I have described above are not widespread in the advertising and marketing business, but there are still a few unenlightened people who look upon leaflet distribution as the poor relation of direct mail. Let us all hope one day the penny will drop and they will see it for what it is, a valuable professional industry filled with highly talented and knowledgeable people who know how to use their talents and knowledge in creating sales for their customers.