5 tips for getting the most from letterbox drops

Small businesses seeking to gain exposure within a select geographical area may find value for money with good, old-fashioned direct mail in the form of letterbox drops. Here’s how.

Digital advertising through avenues like social media, newsletters, blogs, Google AdWords, and the like is a large part of most marketing strategies for businesses these days, appearing to have displaced things like brochures, pamphlets and the like.

But there are still reasons to use offline methods to get leads and clients. This is particularly the case for trades and hospitality businesses seeking to target consumers within a specific locality.

If you own a small business operating within a tight geography, you can try some direct advertising opportunities that more geographically spread ventures can’t.

One option that’s been around for a long time, but that’s still worth trying, is the trusty letterbox drop.

Here are some tips for making this type of campaign work for you.


1. Know your goals upfront


Before you start designing any pamphlets, get clear on your goals for the marketing.

For example, are you keen to increase brand awareness in your area, or do you want to advertise a new service or start targeting a specific customer demographic, such as seniors?

By understanding what you’re trying to achieve before you start work on the project, you’ll have a better idea of how to create effective letterbox designs to suit.


2. Use strong branding


Strong branding is essential, too. With most people bombarded weekly by a stack of junk mail, and with other competitors doing letterbox drops too, you need to find a way to stand out.

READ: 4 steps to develop a beautiful brand identity for your hospitality business

Ensure your pamphlets use the same colour scheme and font as your logo, website, social media setup, and other marketing collateral.

Also, always create the same kind of tone or “vibe” for your flyers as you use elsewhere.

This way, if people have previously looked at your website or another touchpoint, they’ll recognise your brand and be more inclined to take action.

Remember the marketing fact of life: customers usually need to hear your name, see your branding, or learn about your story multiple times before they feel comfortable enough to spend money with you.


3. Be concise


To get the best results possible from your letterbox drops, don’t crowd flyers with too much information.

People are time poor and overloaded with information, so get your message across in the fewest words possible.

READ: Top tips for writing in the trades and construction industry

Use quality graphics (such as photographs or illustrations) to convey ideas quickly, as “pictures tell a thousand words”.

After you’ve written your copy, leave it for a little while and then look at it again with fresh eyes.

Examine each sentence, looking for ways to say the same things in fewer words.

Pick one key message to try to get across in each piece of collateral, too.

For instance, mention a great deal you have going for a customer’s first lawn mowing job or their annual air-conditioning service.

Alternatively, focus in on how you offer sustainable cleaning or use eco-friendly equipment.

By choosing a single element to zoom in on, you won’t overwhelm readers with information, and your message has a better chance of making an impact.


4. Have a call to action


Letterbox drops must also have a clear call-to-action to be effective.

Don’t just create a pamphlet that explains what you do. Instead, give people a reason to jump on your website, check out your social media pages, or pick up the phone.

Each flyer must show, in an easy-to-spot place and in large font, your contact details, plus information related to the action you want people to take.

For example, if you hope people will get in touch to book in a quote, say something along the lines of ‘Call today to arrange a quote ASAP’, followed by your number.

It helps to give people impetus to respond, too, so they don’t forget about contacting you.

You might decide to offer a free bonus for the first 20 customers who call you, or a discount for those who quote the code mentioned on the ad within a limited timeframe.


5. Be persistent


Lastly, keep in mind that while letterbox drops can be quite successful when done properly, you may not see the results you want straight away.

It’s wise to do multiple campaigns in the same area.

People may not get in touch with you after they first receive a letter, but after being reminded of your services repeatedly, you’ll be who they think of when they need the types of services you offer.

Make notes about the kind of response rate each flyer gets from a suburb.

Compare results between different versions and test and measure to see what works best.

Over time, keep improving your marketing collateral so that it delivers increasing returns.

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