Leaflet distribution: how to get the best marketing ROI

Last week we discussed effective leaflet design, in this third and final article in our leaflet marketing series, we consider the all-important process of leaflet marketing distribution.

Your leaflet campaign may incorporate great design and clear idea of target audience but it may fall at the last hurdle if you haven’t adequately planned how your leaflet will be distributed.

Think about where your customer is likely to be and the cost implications of distributing your leaflets to them. You may want to partner with another company in order to reach your target audience. This is a great way for both of you to benefit. The partner company could offer your product as a free gift, ensuring good will for their customer base, but generating walk-ins or online activity for you and increasing opportunities for new sales at the same time. This is called ‘host-beneficiary’.

Host-beneficiary case study: Women’s Clothing and BMWs*

One startup that successfully used this technique was a high-end women’s clothing boutique. The store arranged to give a free silk kimono to every female customer of a local BMW dealership who brought in a letter sent by the dealership offering the gown as a gift for their past patronage. The kimono had to be picked up at the boutique.

More than 600 women responded, picking up $100 kimonos that cost the store just $16 apiece. Those 600 women spent an average of $400 on other merchandise during their initial visit. Do the math, and you’ll see that the startup spent $9,600 to generate some $240,000 in sales – and, not incidentally, to begin building its own clientele.

Make sure you factor in ways to measure and monitor the success of each method of distribution.

Below we’ve outlined some potential avenues for leaflet marketing distribution:

Hand your leaflets out in the street

This can be a very effective and cost efficient way of getting your leaflets to your target audience.  Once you know where your ideal client is likely to be and when they will be there you can position yourself ready with your leaflets.  Be prepared to do this outside of the normal 9-5 working hours and potentially in bad weather conditions.

Leaflet Marketing Distribution

Post leaflets to existing customers

People who have previously bought your product will already have some familiarity with your product and be aware of your brand, which means they are more likely to respond well if targeted in your leaflet marketing distribution. Make sure your databases are up to date with the correct contact details so that any wastage can be avoided and be aware of any data protection obligations.

Place leaflets inside packaged orders

Make sure you choose a company offering a complimentary service to your own, so that your target markets will be the same. Graze, the personal snack box company, have successfully piggybacked off of ASOS and Amazon deliveries. This has allowed them to build a hugely successful brand and allowed them to also offer snack boxes in retail outlets as well as via the post.

Leaflet Marketing Distribution

Get inserted into publications

Again, you will need to work in partnership with the publication which will mean additional costs, but inserting your leaflets into a magazine or paper which is read by your target audience can be an excellent way to reach more people who will already be tuned in to your service. When choosing publications, make sure you choose one whose readership are also your target audience. You can often download a media and advertising pack from their website, which will give you information about the cost of inserts and the deadline for each edition, as well as the all-important demographics of their readership.

Display them at point of sale

Get local businesses to display your leaflets near the till. Make sure you do your research to find out foot-fall and the people who like to shop there – Use your eyes if no data is available, if a shop or location is busy and centralised to your key consumers then you’ve a good chance to convert some sales.

Put them in a waiting room, takeaway or front desk of hairdresser. Similar to point of sale distribution, this is a great way to reach new audiences and build your brand awareness.

Hand leaflets out at events, exhibitions or trade shows

This is an excellent way to promote yourself. Make sure you chat and build rapport with your potential customers in person before giving them your leaflet to take away and fully digest. You could do this by having a stall at an event or coming to an arrangement with the organisers whereby you are able to hand your leaflets out to the guests. If you choose this method, remember there’s a lot of competition at big events for audience, so get creative and make sure you have an inviting stand and enthusiastic staff to attract people to speak with you.

Leaflet Marketing Distribution

Tuck leaflets under windscreen wipers

A popular method of leaflet marketing distribution, the effectiveness of this method is questionable. Be aware of potential for complaints from the car owner. If you’re offering to wash their car – it could be a winner – if you’re promoting half price chickens – steer clear!

Drop them door to door

The benefit of this is you save money on expensive postage costs, but it can be a time consuming method of leaflet marketing distribution. In a survey carried out by The Direct Marketing Website, 48% of people reported either visiting a shop, buying a product or sending for information after receiving a leaflet through their front door, so it’s worth considering this option.

In conclusion, with all of these methods of leaflet marketing distribution, adequate research into the places and ways your target audience hang out and consumer their information is key. It’s important that you stay in line with the legalities of leaflet dropping and distribution. This brings home just how important it is to thoroughly research and plan each of your leaflet marketing campaigns to ensure they are most cost effective and successful to your business.

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to:

  • Leaflet Marketing: The Good, The Facts & The Stats – DLM
  • The Fastest Way to Find New Customers – Entrepreneur

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