Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Anyone tried direct marketing? Letterbox drops?

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  • #993920
    Helen27
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    Has anyone tried it? Good results, bad results, mixed results….. any experiences with it let me know! I would love to hear it as its something I am considering, but very unsure about.

    I’ve read a lot of the articles about it, but want to hear real peoples experiences. Anyone who’s tried it I would love to hear about your experience.

    #1194109
    Warren Cottis
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    Hi Helen

    I would rate letterbox drops as a poor example of Direct Marketing simply because you know nothing about your audience.

    It’s better to be more targeted in who is receiving your offer.

    #1194110
    Helen27
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    Yes letterbox drops aren’t highly targeted, except to area, which is what I was going for. I just wanted to know if anyone has actually done it, and what their experience was.
    Basically I was considering a drop in my local area – 10,000 flyers into 10,000 letterboxes for $900. Choosing my local area because I would plan to drop off all orders myself to save on postage. The flyers would give local customers a 10% discount and free delivery when ordered through my site.
    So far all my sales in my new business have been between $110 and $180. So if I make a general assumption of an average sale being $100 to be on the safe side, then I am just trying to work out ROI.
    At a success rate of 1%, so 100 people responding, at a $100 dollar sale, thats $10,000….. but maybe 1% response rate is too high to assume? 0.5%? That’s 50 houses responding, and $5000 ish in sales (maybe). And honestly just to cover costs, I really only need, say, 18 houses to respond and put in an order to at least make back the cost of the products plus the cost of the advertising and not come out behind.
    But I don’t know what sort of response rate I can expect…. is 1% out of the question? 0.5%? Is it possible to get at least 18 houses out of 10,000 to at least not be loosing money?
    I have no idea at the minute, which is why I am hesitant to go down this route, and why I really just wanted to hear from anyone who has tried it, to see what their experiences were. Of course their experience isn’t going to immediately translate into my experience, but I was hoping several people on here may have tried that route and could share their experiences.

    #1194111
    Rowan@quaotic
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    Here is my take: I think a letterbox drop may not work for you because you think your market is everyone because nearly everyone organises a party at some time. Assuming here that you are trying to promote your party supplies.

    The problem is that letterbox drops are VERY temporary, a flier will only attract someone if they are trying plan a party at that moment, if not, your magnet or flyer will go in the bin immediately. The people who will keep your flier for later would be extremely small so this excersize would be a huge waste of money. A drop would only work in your case if you were doing it every couple of weeks or month, that would attract more interest but I am not sure that it would be cost effective..

    Your market is probably not what you think, it is only the people who are planning an event at a particular time. If you were offering window cleaning it might be a different story as that is something that people will step back and say “Yes, I was meaning to get that done”. It is unlikely that a person will see your flyer and say to themselves ” this looks good, who can I organise a party for? I have done successful window cleaning drops.

    #1194112
    Helen27
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    I don’t think my market is everyone, I am more than aware that many people aren’t currently planning events, and that even those that do have something like a kids birthday coming up aren’t necessarily planning on buy up on party stuff for it rather than going to the movies or maccas or something. What you have said is exactly why I have hesitation about using this form of marketing. I don’t want to throw my money down the drain, or in this case post it away through a letterbox. I suppose the tempting thought was that out of 10,000 households, which would incorporate many more people, somewhere around 30,000 based on a 3 person household (which is probably under estimating as there are lots of families with 2+ kids around my area according to last sensis), but out of those 30,000+ people, at least 50 of them should be planning something soon……………..right?? haha I guess theres no way to know for sure.
    It is good to know you had success with your drop, but I do very much understand your point that your drop was for a service that could be taken up by anyone at anytime, not just when they have a special event coming up. That is a very good point for me to keep in mind.
    Perhaps this is the only type of business this really works for, businesses that can be sold to anyone at anytime rather than a business that needs an occasion to sell for…
    I would be interested to hear from more people to see of this seems to be the experience across the board.

    #1194113
    Stuart B
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    If letterbox drops got a 1% response rate then most people would never need anything other than letterbox drops for their marketing.
    I would work on a 0.1% return rate as a maximum. If that is the case then by your numbers you’ll barely cover your outlay, let alone the time taken to coordinate it.

    There’s a reason why letterbox drops are typically booked in multiples of 10,000 because that’s the absolute minimum you need to move the needle.

    Most flyers will go straight into the bin. The ones that don’t you have to hope that the people are interested, and then move from interested to purchasing.

    Why don’t you do some digital pay per click ads or something? At least you will have nowhere near the waste and the people who do click your ads will be actively looking for your services.

    #1194114
    Helen27
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    Thanks for the info. Letterbox drops were something I was a little wary of, since I know what I do with flyers…. But wondered if my initial feeling may have been wrong and it could be worth it, otherwise, why would people use it so often? I really wanted to be able to reach out to my local community since its somewhere I can drop off myself, but I think my own gut feeling combined with the advice here means I might just steer away from doing the letterbox drop.
    And I have been doing PPC ads………. it’s not really converting to sales. Its cost me a fortune so far.
    I’ll try to come up with some different ways of getting out to my local community. At the most basic a few posters up around the place at local memo boards etc couldn’t hurt, but honestly I can’t really see it generating much, if anything.
    Checking if local schools will run cheap adverts in their news letters may be an idea too.

    #1194115
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi Helen,

    At the parks near my place there are a few undercover tables and they are swamped by kids parties every weekend. And virtually every 5 year old at the party is also having a party in the following weeks to months.

    Anytime there’s a cluster of potential customers in one place, there could be an opportunity to get their attention. It may be as simple as putting your posters up there, or park your car in a prime spot with your signage, or put your flyers on the cars in the carpark. Just get creative.

    Dave

    Edit: You don’t do it once and declare it a failure. Do it every weekend for a year until there’s not a kid or parent in your suburb who doesn’t know the name of your business.

    #1194116
    Helen27
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    Thats a great idea Dave, I had not thought about parls at all, but you’re absolutely right, the rotunda’s at some local parks are often flooded with kids bday parties on nice weekends! I think I will try that one out! I might need to check council permits and the like however.
    Another thought I just came up with was my local Play Centres! Having operated one close by (not one of these two in my direct town), I know there is often a want for themed party ware. Play centre’s tend to serve of generic plastic plates they can wash and reuse for every party, or on plain white paper plates to throw out. But it was not uncommon for a mother to ask if she could bring in her own themed plates, ie/ Thomas the Tank or whatever, and she would hand them over to us at the start so when we serve the food its on those plates instead of the plain ones. I bet all the other centres see this too! It is not however, very economical for play centres to try to buy all the tm=hemed stuff them selves. There’s too big a range of themes that may be wanted, and buying wholesale there’s too large orders of each item to buy, when they don’t move enough of it constantly. And then there’s finding room to store all these extra sets of party ware in a place thats already pressed for space. But I’m thinking…. if I can partner up with them, offer them a low enough price its worth their while buying from me, and a high enough price for me that I still make something off it, it could really be worth it. It gives them a big range of themed and coloured party supplies they can provide to their clients, with no risk because they don’t need to buy anything at all before hand, they simply buy what the customer wants from me, when they want it, in the amount they need. Dropped right off to the play centre on the Friday before the party. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier……….. I’m already on good terms with one of the two centre’s owners as well, I have given him a few pointers and ideas about running his play centre before (as I was in the business much longer than him, he’s still relatively new). Sorry for the long rambling post, think I was just half figuring it out for myself by typing “out loud” so to speak haha.

    #1194117
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Now you’re on a roll Helen. :)

    #1194118
    roxanne40
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    Do you have a Facebook page? remarketing with Facebook is an effective way of sticking in people mind for when they are having a party. If people do come to your website you need to remarket to them and this can be set up in google adwords- rather cheap to run.
    I do know someone who does flyer drops themselves ( business is computer services for the seniors) and he drops 5000 flyers once a month to local residence and he sometimes get 1-2 people respond and other times none. A lots of work for little return.

    #1194119
    PistolandBoo
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    I’ve just quickly skim read the responses to your question so apologies if I reiterate what someone else has said.

    Can I suggest you get magnets printed instead? I am the mother of two kids and let me tell you i NEVER throw out any magnets I receive in the letterbox (ok, so maybe a few of the poxier looking estate agents).

    As a party planning business, this seems like the perfect way to remain front of mind in households in your vicinity.

    I 100% agree that it is best to really know your target market although this is sometimes easier said than done when you are first starting out. You could do a letterbox drop or you could provide them as freebies at kiddy tradeshows, kids daycares, play centres, sports activities, movies….etc

    #1194120
    bluepenguin
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    You could always do a small test run.

    Print maybe 200 flyers (enough to cover a 0.5% response :)), go for a nice lunchtime stroll and deliver them yourself.

    I’ve been part of many flyer distribution jobs over the last 10 years or so. They work wonders for some businesses, and are not so great for others – but there’s no magical formula for finding out if they work, you’ve just got to give it a shot.

    Just make sure that your design and content is well thought out and well executed, or you’ll soon be back here unfairly telling everyone that flyer drops are a waste of time!:p

    #1194121
    bb1
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    I have used letter box drops, and had really good success with them, I see a comment above where someone mentions people don’t keep them, but I have had new clients ring 2 years later, because they stuck my flyer on their notice board, just because one day they may need it.

    But having said that, I did do specific market research and target areas where I knew there was high disposable income, larger style properties, one partner working and the other partner out for long lunches, ie. the more effluent areas.

    For your business if you go down that path, I would be looking for areas with a lot of younger children, or other family situations conducive to parties.

    #1194122
    AgentMail
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    Letterbox drops are rarely about creating direct response, and when people expect that to be the result is often when they are disappointed. It is more of a branding and positioning exercise. At this point, and for your investment, I would be focusing on letterbox drops as a data collection exercise – Create a lead magnet that gets people to provide you with how many kids they have, and when their birthdays are. Now you have solid data that you can market to more effectively. The lead magnet should be something free to the resident, and preferably low cost to you. I would recommend something like ‘the Ultimate Party Planning Guide’ as an ebook (or printed if budget allows). Once you have solid data on when the kids birthdays are, your response rates on TARGETED marketing will be far greater.

    The other thing to consider is that not all letterbox drops are created equal. It sounds like the offer you mentioned is part of a Salmat or similar distribution, where you flyer will be wrapped up with the Coles and Woolworths brochures, and completely lost in the middle. This will drastically reduce your response rate straight away. 0.1% may be generous.

    There are alternative options, but maybe think about printing a few hundred at a time, and going door to door on a day the junk mail is not delivered and drop them yourself.

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