How often have you heard the term “the poor relation” when people involved in advertising and direct marketing are talking about leaflet drops.
Often this slightly derogatory term is used when comparing door drops to the (supposedly) superior direct mail shots.
Of course, it is easy for those unfamiliar with door drop leaflets to assume that a direct mail shot is somehow more sophisticated and scientific in its approach.
They see a personalised mail shot as a rapier while the door drop is seen as a blunderbuss.
I realise that is not a very good analogy, but I think you get my meaning.
The truth is that both methods have plenty to offer their prospects and target markets: they just approach them from a slightly different angle.
The expensive angle
A direct mail shot is a personalised letter or offer sent through the mail to a named individual.
These names may be obtained from the company’s own data base that has been built up over the years, but often some companies will purchase a mailing list with (hopefully) names of people who are in the market for the product or service being offered.
The purchase of these names plus all the other extras such as envelopes, inserting and postage costs, make the direct mail a path an expensive one to tread.
The cost effective angle
Of course, door drops do not target specific individuals, but research is carried out to make sure the leaflets are delivered to households who are likely to require what is on offer.
Without the need for expensive mailing lists and the other costs attached to a direct mail shot, door dropping offers a more cost effective method of reaching potential customers.
What they both have in common
Despite the difference in approach between the two direct selling methods, the one thing they both have in common is they want customers.
And once they have obtained these customers, they do their best to make sure they give them the best service possible.
Both will do follow up calls, or send follow up letters to make sure they have left a satisfied customer after the sale has been completed.
Both door dropping companies and direct mailing companies know only too well that a database of satisfied customers can be a valuable source of future business.
Are some companies missing out on a valuable sales resource?
However, there is another source of sales that is often overlooked by some companies in the direct mail business, and I am wondering if the same valuable source is being overlooked in the leaflet distribution business.
Many companies send out after sales letters or make after sales calls to satisfied customers.
But an awful lot of people overlook those who made enquiries but never made a purchase.
Now, many sales people will write these non-buyers off as a waste of time. But, very few people will answer an ad just to waste time, they have shown an interest, but for various reasons have decided not to buy.
Get more for your advertising pound
Direct mail companies who have sent out a polite letter asking why the prospect did not buy, often found they could overcome the initial objections and make a sale.
So if it works for the direct mailers, why shouldn’t it work for door droppers?
By getting those extra sales you will be getting more for the advertising pound you spent on your door drop leaflet.