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Using Flyer Distribution For Marketing

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Using Flyer Distribution For Marketing

If you gather a couple of random people and politely ask them if they like receiving flyers and leaflets stuffed into their mailbox, you will probably get some negative reactions (that is why there is a "No Junkmail" system in operation in Australia for mailboxes). However, once you are in the position of a proprietor, you often have no choice but to be the one responsible for distributing flyers. It is very difficult to engage potential clients and there are not many avenues available for this task. Chances are flyer distribution, is one of the options you have considered or already used for your business.

What are some of the methods you can use for flyer distribution?

There are a number of distribution methods that are available to a business:

1. Unaddressed mailbox distribution. Stuffing flyers into residential or business mailboxes is one of the most common methods used

2. Unaddressed business PO Box drops. The same principle as letterbox distribution, but used to specifically promote B2B products

3. Direct mail. A letter specifically addressed to a targeted recipient with a commercial - proposition

4. Unsolicited deliveries under doors, into offices by hand or personal flyer distribution by some other means

5. Handbills. Handbills are given out by personnel standing near public places. They are specifically regulated by Australian Law. You will find this method commonly used in shopping centres.

There are some other less commonly used and not-so-legal methods, such as stuffing flyers under windscreen wipers and throwing them off buildings during parades. I won't go into those. Please note that flyer distribution is bound by Australian Laws to reduce environment impact. If you have invented your own flyer distribution - channel, please make sure it is legal before proceeding.

What I would like to expand on in this article, are some of the most common issues that arise while using these marketing tools.

Issue #1: Flyer Design and Overall Company Presentation

It is an extremely common scenario to see companies with a poor base presentation (i.e. a poorly designed logo/brand and no website) attempt to do a mass flyer distribution. This problem usually affects starter business owners with little real world experience.

When a company has no professional branding and a poor excuse for a website, it usually follows with a badly designed (read: homemade or designed by a talented brother/sister/cousin) flyer. Coupled with false expectations (see next point), the results are often disastrous. We, have seen some real shockers come through.

Issue #2: False Expectations when doing ROI calculations

False expectations are another issue that affects starter business owners. There are some odd numbers floating around, such as an expectation that an astronomical 5% response rate from a junk mail campaign is a normal average and 10% from direct mail is good. Some business owners are very surprised when I tell them that what they can actually expect is very far from these numbers.

The reality is that it is not uncommon to receive 3 or 4 genuine responses from doing a 10,000 flyer residential distribution.

How do you actually do a ROI calculation?

The below examples are crude, but realistic in terms of what is possible to get after a direct mail campaign.

Case 1

A company is selling an expensive B2B service valued at a range of $7,000-$15,000. The service is a one off and clients do not incur recurring costs. The service is applicable to the average business. The labour costs to the company are at half the cost of the service.

The company proceeds to do a Direct Mail Campaign to a database of 5,000 businesses at a cost of $1 per record.

The company receives 3 genuine calls that turn into 2 clients averaged at $10,000 ($20,000 total). Even after taking out labour costs, the company is well in profit.

The response rate was a mere 0.06%.

If the response rate was in fact the 5% often expected, life would be a breeze for business owners and companies offering direct mailing services would never have a need to advertise.

Case 2

The company is selling computer hardware. A product sells on average for $500, however the margin for the company is a mere $50. There is no recurring costs to the client, barring the clients that may come back and buy something else at a later stage.

The company proceeds to do a Direct Mail Campaign to a database of 5,000 businesses at a cost of $1 per record - exactly the same as Case 1.

The company receives 25 in-the-door customers who buy various products and end up spending $500 each on average. The profit from the sales is $1,250. However, the company spent $5000 on the campaign and ends up at a loss. Unless the customers keep visiting the shop in the future, the campaign is a failure.

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