Handing out information about your business to people on the street or posting details of a special promotion through letterboxes is viewed by many as old fashioned and a waste of time and money.
But considering the facts that this form of direct marketing has always been effective, it continues to grow in popularity and is used on a regular basis by top businesses and government departments, it may be a mistake to discount it when planning your next marketing campaign. According to Leaflet Distribution Team £12m is contributed to UK businesses every week via leaflet drops. Could you be missing a trick? Let’s see what exactly we’re talking about here.
What is a leaflet drop?
Leaflets, pamphlets, flyers, handbills, circulars, advertisements and other variations on a theme, describe the small piece of printed paper used to hand out or send directly to potential customers. The ‘drop’ is the planned and targeted process of transferring large numbers of leaflets to the chosen recipients; also referred to as leaflet delivery, flyer distribution, flyer delivery, letterbox marketing and door drop marketing.
The main objective of flyer distribution is to promote a business, its products or services and to move people to action. This can be achieved through imparting information about a brand on how to make contact or by offering trial incentives such as discount vouchers or coupons.
What do leaflets look like?
They are typically unfolded, single sheets of paper of varying weights and quality and are printed on one or both sides. There are slight differences between flyers and leaflets. Flyers are usually printed on unfolded board weight or heavier paper 300gsm, whereas leaflets tend to be printed on lighter weight paper 130gsm to 170gsm and can be folded or flat.
Both leaflets and flyers are printed in full colour for a greater impact and come in four main sizes:
- A4 (letterhead size)
- A5 (half letterhead size)
- DL (comp slip)
- A6 (postcard)
When to use leaflets
Leaflets are great for reaching out to customers with information specific to them. Even before the start of a business relationship useful information can be targeted at a particular type of customer to introduce your activities or to give them an opportunity to trial what you have to offer.
Whenever you have something to tell a prospective or existing customer, leaflets achieve this for you in a very direct and effective way. For example, you may want to let local residents know where you are located and what you provide in the way of products and services. Equally, informing customers stored on a mailing list of any changes, additions or special offers your business is running can be achieved through distributed leaflets. Or you may consider approaching people on the street to hand flyers directly to them advertising a one-off special event they may wish to attend.
Why use leaflets?
Leaflets are beneficial for promoting your business either independently or as part of a larger campaign. When it comes to contacting your public, leaflets and flyers are advantageous in a number of ways:
- They are tangible – it is reassuring to have something physical to hand in printed form to refer to when making purchase decisions
- They are affordable – when compared to other advertising media such as billboards and brochures leaflets are cheap to produce and less labour intensive to put together
- They are memorable – if you have done your homework thoroughly, a well-designed leaflet will stay in the minds of recipients for a longer period of time than information that flashes up briefly on a screen
- They are long-lasting – once in the right hand, there is the potential to be kept or set aside for future reference over a considerable amount of time, depending on the perceived usefulness of its content
- They reach the right people – customers of a certain demographic, with a specific purchase history or living in the same geographical location can be targeted easily with leaflets
- They can be personal – when mailed to previous customers details stored on a database, businesses can address the recipient by name and customise the information to suit their needs or pique their interest.
How successful are leaflet drops?
There are three main methods of disseminating information to the public in the form of leaflets and flyers;
- Leaflet distribution which involves the scattering of leaflets ‘en masse’ over a large area to as many people as possible; for example, in political campaigns, council mail drops etc
- Leaflet delivery- usually to promote or create brand awareness of local businesses by posting smaller numbers of leaflets through the doors of relevant occupants
- Cooperative mailers- whereby leaflets promoting several local businesses are deposited at the same time to appropriate addresses
Greatest success on a leaflet drop can be achieved with the help of marketing professionals or distribution companies who will know specialised marketing information about purchasers in a geographical area. The aim with these leaflet deliveries is to get as many leaflets to a carefully chosen group of people with the least amount of wastage. Obviously, the more leaflets that reach the right type of customers, the greater the return on investment. Having said this, it is not a case of distributing as many leaflets as possible but more of carefully directing less promotional literature to those who are most likely to connect with or react to the contents. Anything from 10,000 leaflets in total handed out in quantities of 2,000 per week is considered a campaign.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has compiled some interesting statistics based on research on the effectiveness of leaflet distribution. Of those questioned:
- 89% remember receiving named leaflets and flyers
- 48% have been moved to ask for further information, visit the premises or buy a product
- 79% who have received a leaflet through their letterbox have either glanced at them, kept them or passed them on to a friend or relative
- 33% keep them for a few days
- 13% have kept them for a week or more
As an Industry benchmark figure, assume on a 1% response to flyers on average and 5% if they are well designed and properly targeted to the right audience. This may sound very low but when you consider that for a drop of 10,000 leaflets this amounts to something in the region of 300 to 400 new customers, that’s a remarkable return on investment.
How to design a successful leaflet?
There are basically two ways to create your leaflets. Put one together yourself using any online leaflet designer, Canva is a very good one and it’s free. Or ask a professional designer to put your ideas together. Online printers are a good choice as they will create a professional looking design for a small fee and in a short space of time. They will also print as many leaflets as you require, with top ups if you need them. Check out the Eazy Print flyers and leaflets FAQs for more information.
When designing your leaflets or flyers ask two important questions first:
- Who are you targeting specifically?
- What are you trying to tell them?
Once you are clear on your audience and objectives for using leaflets the message will become obvious. Always keep your design simple, eye catching and readable incorporating the following criteria:
- Be creative. Make your leaflet stand out by using a powerful image, striking colour, catchy title or by folding it in a different way.
- Be clearly understood. The message needs to be simple, quickly understood and acted upon.
- Be legible. Text should be 100 words or less and the font needs to be legible, appropriate and sectioned. Use bullet points to keep the message clear and to the point.
- Be high quality. Printing, reproduction and images should look professional and be organised.
- Be persuasive yet friendly in tone. Build confidence in your product by the way you communicate, ensuring spelling and grammar is correct. The leaflet should always reflect well on your business.
- Be informative. Don’t forget to include important information such as your company name, logo, website address and telephone numbers.
- Be rewarding. Include an incentive for the user such as coupon codes and discount vouchers.
- Be measurable. Leaflet numbers, QR codes and URLs help to monitor how successful leaflet drop has been.
Where to drop your leaflets?
The leaflets you produce need to be deposited in the vicinity or directly to your chosen public, wherever they may be located:
- In the street
- Under windscreen wipers
- Affixed to telegraph poles or walls
- Attached to bulletin boards
- In cafes, universities, laundrettes, meeting houses
- Inserted into newspapers
- Posted through residences
- Offered in the street, or instore
- Copied and sent via email
Never underestimate the power of these small, low profile yet highly effective marketing tools. They are still very relevant in our digital world and play an unmistakably prominent role in creating a good impression on customers, engaging with them, communicating with them and motivating them to take up the offer.
If you would like a hand in planning your design or printing your leaflets, contact Eazy Print online or on (02380) 700 111 where a team member will be happy to talk to you.