You have a product or service you want to promote and you’re ready to market it to your potential customers - but how do you make sure your advertising lands in the right letterboxes and the messaging and design make an impact, delivering ROI?
Designing and implementing an effective campaign can be a challenging feat, especially if you’re new to the medium. There are many elements that make up a successful letterbox marketing campaign and for a campaign that really sticks, you need to be nailing all of them.
Here, we share the letterbox marketing ‘secret sauce’ that we’ve spent years refining.
1. Know Where Your Audience Is
Arguably the most important part of the process is to have a really clear view of where your audience lives, so that you can deliver mailers directly to the right people. Without the right layers of data, this can be really difficult to achieve, and traditional mailer services tend to take the random drop approach based on a wide-swept location.
At ReachMedia, we use a rich data ecosystem to paint a clear picture of where your customers live, that’s made up of census information, mobile data, wifi & beacon data and demographic segmentation. In fact, we tap into more than 3,000 data variables and billions of aggregated data points to better understand NZ households and their media interaction journeys.
The key here is not to go too narrow. Often you might have your own data to go off as well, and it’s important to weave together the right layers of data to paint the best picture of where your customers are. That’s what we specialise in at ReachMedia - we’ve spent years figuring out the right ways to correct, validate and consolidate your customer records, and stitch together the most valuable layers of data analytics to know exactly where to send your letterbox marketing. You can learn all about it, here.
2. Identify Your Campaign Objectives
The second port of call for creating an effective campaign should always be to understand your objectives and what you want to achieve with your campaign. Jumping straight into designing flyers and creating a campaign is a surprisingly common mistake we see, when the first step should always be defining what success looks like.
Success could mean a number of things for different businesses. For example:
- Getting people into your physical store
- Attracting new customers
- Retaining old customers
- Generating engagement online
- Brand awareness and reach
Once you’ve identified your campaign objectives, you’ll be able to design a new campaign around these goals and set clear benchmarks for what success looks like. If you decided that the goal of your campaign is to get new customers to engage with your business online, your artwork, call to action and copy would all speak to this goal and encourage readers to take the next step (like entering a discount code through your website).
A successful campaign would then be measured based on the conversion rate of customers who bought your product using the online discount code in the letterbox mailer.
Without these objectives and clear success metrics, you won’t be able to design an effective campaign or tell if your campaign was successful and improve future campaigns based on your results. That’s why it’s so pivotal to start with the basics.
3. Nail Your Creative (Copy & Design)
When it comes to the creative side of a letterbox campaign, your number one priority should be to define what the offer is that you’re trying to promote to the audience. This should be something that incentivises people to go out of their way to take action and do what you’re asking them to do - so the more enticing, the better.
Sometimes this can be as simple as a low price point or discount, and sometimes it might be a particularly engaging competition - whatever the offer is, this is what your copy and design are going to try and sell.
What your letterbox mailer should include:
- Call to Action 'CTA': Your letterbox marketing should always have a visually clear call to action that tells the reader how to take the next step.
- Fonts: Make sure that the font type you choose matches your brand guidelines, is easy to read and stands out on a page. Try not to cram too much text into a small space.
- Copy: You’re only going to have your readers attention for a short window of time, so make sure your copy is punchy, on-brand and delivers the messaging that you’ve pre-defined in the campaign objective setting stage.
- Shape and Size: Fundamentally, your flyer needs to be physically noticeable and hold a presence in your letterbox, compared to all of the other flyers that are sent week on week. Consider a heavier GSM and a larger flyer if you can (and your budget permits it!).
- Check for the basics: We’ve seen a surprising number of flyers go out without the absolute basics, like contact details, the correct phone number and even a missing website address on a flyer asking customers to visit the website. Always do a sense check with someone else and make sure you’re getting the details right. You can’t take it back once it’s sent!
- Get creative: Our number one piece of advice is to spice it up. People have been receiving mail for years and years, and if you can do something a little different to stand out - do it! We’re talking unique colours, dye cuts, card paper - once, we even saw a rural sector mailer cut in the shape of a drenching gun which landed exceptionally well. Be different.
The last thing you want is for your flyer to do is get lost with the junk mail, so it’s important to take time on your creativity and make sure that your design and messaging translates well on paper.
4. Get the Fundamentals of Printing Right
One of the biggest hurdles to jump over in your first creation of letterbox marketing is the requirements you’ll need to meet to process print media. The fundamentals that you’ll need to be really clear about before you supplier can hit ‘print’ can be broken down into four things:
- Bleed marks and crop (or trim) marks
Often when designers present a file they need printed to a printer, they’ll forget to include both bleed marks and crop marks. When a printer processes a design, they feed through a sheet that’s larger than the size of the finished item (for example for an A4 print, they’ll use larger than A4 paper). After the printing is done, they’ll then trim the white edges off along the crop marks, to leave you with the final product at ‘finished’ size.
The ‘bleed’ is an extension of the colour on a page. The reason for this is because when a guillotine cuts the paper along the crop lines, if there is no bleed (or extension of colour over the crop lines), your paper will be left with a white line where the guillotine cuts. Bleed solves this problem.
- The GSM of Paper
The different types of paper you’ll see in your letterbox are measured by GSM (or grams per square metre). Put simply, this number allows printers to know the quality of the paper you’ll be using, and the higher the GSM, the heavier the stock.
Typical flyers are quite light and sit at around 50gsm, as this weight can accommodate colour without too much seep through the pages. However, we’d always recommend looking at a heavier stock if you’re looking to establish a presence in the mailbox. If you’re looking to go premium, then ideally you’ll want to be using 250 - 300 GSM paper - but usually this is dependent on budget.
Make sure to have a clear idea of the GSM you want to use before sending your design to print, and if you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask for a sample pack of GSM paper to get a feel for each weight before making a decision.
- Communicate Folds to your Printer
Flyers aren’t always 2D - sometimes you’ll need them to be folded into different shapes before sending, and it’s really important if that’s the case that you’re communicating these preferences clearly to the printer.
In saying that, communicating how you envisage the end product to be with your printer is a key part of the process - don’t just send away and hope for the best - always have a chat around your ideal solution.
Finally, you might like to consider the sustainability of the stock that you’re printing on. Fortunately, most of the stock that’s printed in NZ is replanted forestry. However, there’s also FSC verified paper and even compostable options.
Of course, making sure that your marketing is highly targeted and that you’re not just random letterbox dropping mailers can significantly reduce waste as well - so make sure to consider all of your options before you print.
5. Determine a Strong Distribution Plan
The final piece of the effective letterbox marketing campaign puzzle is a comprehensive distribution plan. In a nutshell, who is going to deliver your mailers, to where and how.
Traditional flyer drops would plot a list of letterbox numbers and street names, but the most effective way to do this to reduce wastage and dynamically plot your distribution plan and the costs associated with it, is to use a tool called Sputnik.
Essentially, Sputnik helps you to visualise and have a true understanding of where your letterbox marketing would go. You’ll be able to draw the area you want to target, and see how many flyers you need to reach your audience.
From here, you’ll need a network of deliverers to take your newly printed letterbox marketing campaign to your customers doorstep. At ReachMedia, we’ve built a 3.5k strong network of reliable and trustworthy delivery contractors. People always tend to assume that it’s kids delivering mail - when in actuality, often it’s older people from all walks of life who have picked up delivery as a part time job. We also send our internal team out and about to deliver on occasion too, to get a feel for what it’s all about on delivery day!
Don’t do it all alone.
As for the number one trick to a successful letterbox marketing campaign? You don’t have to do it on your own.
The ins and outs of a successful campaign are an intricate science, and managing the process end-to-end and really nailing it is a big ask. That’s why we’re here to help! Harness the combined mixed-marketing experience of our team, and get in touch below.