A lesson in debunking letterbox advertising

We’re in a digital age but people still get excited about getting mail. So how does a SME go about letterbox advertising?

Letterbox campaigns can deliver great results for a local business with even the tightest marketing budget or limited marketing know-how. Reaching out to customers close to your business and letting them know who you are and where you are, is easier than you think.

Strategy

With a few frequent letterbox campaigns in quick succession, you can build up brand recognition over time and then maintain it with periodic campaigns.

‘If you build it they will come’ may have worked for Kevin Costner, but for the rest of us we need to tell customers where we are and what we have for them. Think about what you want to tell your customers and tell them a few times so they remember it.

Demographics

Letterbox distribution is delivered to homes and businesses in your selected area so can be very targeted. As a local business owner you know your local area and what is happening in your community. Harness this knowledge to create messaging that will resonate with the locals.

Are the locals football crazy, are they office workers or are they stay at home mums? Your local council website can give you a quick run down on demographics in the area, and you can find out about community activities by checking out notice boards.

Costs

Local mail drops can be very inexpensive – you could feasibly have 5,000 DL sized flyers printed and distributed for under $600. You need to add any artwork costs on top, however it’s a pretty small investment to reach 5,000 homes around your business!

Letterbox advertising doesn’t have to be personalised which reduces costs and minimises the chance of offending the home, or business owner with an out-of-date mailing list, or incorrect spelling. Or reminding them about an ex-flame!

The key with this marketing method is to deliver them regularly; don’t do it just once. For example, a new retail business in the area might repeat the mail drop every two weeks for three months. So you might consider printing flyers in one go and distributing in six separate drops, saving on print costs by printing in higher volumes.

Alternatively, you might choose six different messages. Overall print costs will be higher, however you are better placed to test what works in your market, so the return on investment may be higher in the long run.

Content

Letterbox flyers don’t have to be fancy so they can be affordable. We are a visual nation and love browsing Pinterest and Facebook, so make your flyer visually appealing. Be bold with colours and imagery to help your flyer stand out.

Unless you are a premium brand you don’t have to choose the thickest paper stock out there and you don’t need design that rivals Apple: keep it simple and make sure it reflects your brand.

Make it clear you are local and perhaps create an offer that is only relevant to local residents and businesses to make them feel special, such as 10% off for locals or promote ‘locals Friday’ with a compelling offer.

If you don’t achieve a positive response, then change the headline or change the copy and test again. Don’t give up after the first try! Repetition is important.

Testing

For your first mail drop, you may want to consider testing responses in one suburb or a few streets before rolling out your offer to the whole area. This will help minimise your risk and can allow you to plan for any additional stock or staff that you may need to handle the response.

Distribution

You can deliver the mail drop yourself (one way to keep fit!) or find a supplier in the area who can do this for you, so you can get on with running your business. An online platform where you can create a flyer from a template and order print and distribution can be a good option.

About the Author

Paola Tanner is the Director, Fuse Franchise Partners

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