What is 'The' Response Rate From Leaflet Distribution? (Revised Edition)
08 Jun 2022
The question of 'what is the response rate from leaflet distribution' has to be one of the most commonly asked questions we at Mr Flyer receive from potential and existing customers. Back in 2016, we released an article here on the DMA website on this subject, which ranked the 3rd most read article that year! Six years on, we felt it appropriate to create an update. The stats are fresh, the analysis updated, and a unique response rate tracking software is revealed!
To put this question into context, it's like asking a gym instructor, 'how much weight will I lose by joining the gym?'. Many factors determine how much weight you may lose, and the same is true for your response rate from a door to door distribution. The following few paragraphs will help illustrate how to maximise your response rate.
Door to Door Response Stats
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has carried out extensive research to provide clarity on what to expect from your flyer distribution campaign. Here are some of their findings, mainly from the Door Drop Report 2022:
"89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing - more than any other marketing channel. And it has a powerful place in people's lives, with 45% keeping leaflets on a pinboard or in the kitchen drawer."
"The average door drop is interacted with 3.1 times a month."
"The under 35s now interact with door drops more than any other age group, opening up a world of new prospecting opportunities with the channel."
"The research shows that when people consume mail, the parts of their brain associated with laying down long-term memories were over 70% more active than when consuming TV and 40% more active than for email."
"4% of door drops resulted in some sort of purchase related outcome in 2021. Door drops generate effects throughout the customer journey however...(creating) an 11% effectiveness rate."
"The proportion of door drops driving web visits is growing 50% year-on-year."
"As a direct result of receiving mail:
- 92% have been driven to online or digital activity
- 87% have been influenced to make online purchases
- 86% have connected with a business online
- 54% have engaged in social media
- 43% have downloaded something."
Furthermore, MarketReach has recently updated their research and found:
"A record 96% of all mail was engaged with during lockdown."
"The average time door drops are kept in the house is 38 days, and 23% of all mail gets shared around the household."
"The younger generation are engaging with door drops because it's a novelty to get a physical item."
"73% of door drops are opened, read, filed or set aside for later."
"90% of campaigns that included door drops saw an increase in new customers, compared to 59% of those without ."
"Mail is generally remembered by customers with research showing it has 35% better recall than social media advertising and 49% more than email."
Many highlights are here, of course. One, in particular, is the increased time people keep leaflets in their house - in 2016 the DMA stat DMA said 17 days, yet now we are at 38 days - a 124% increase in just six years! Lockdown has thus significantly helped raise the profile of flyer distribution.
This is all great news! However, the average response rate is ultimately around 4% (though this is up 4x from 2016!). So the question is, why aren't more people responding, and more importantly, how can we encourage people to respond? Read on to find out...
Leaflet Distribution Top-Performing Sectors
According to a DMA article, the retail sector has the most success, with 9 in 10 people happy to receive retail-based unaddressed mail. FMCG brands closely followed this, then restaurants and local services. In our experience, the bulk of clients that regularly repeat with us due to consistently achieving a high ROI are:
- Estate agents
- Gyms & health clubs
- Car dealerships
- Schools (and education at large)
- Home improvement sector
New Business VS Established Brand, Who Wins?
Imagine that two businesses in the same industry decide to invest in a door to door distribution; who will receive the higher response? Consider, if you receive a flyer for DFS Sofas and another from Mr Sofas, they both say 50% off Boxing Day sale. In addition, both have images of impressive sofas from just £399. Which would you more likely respond to? Even if Mr Sofas had a better offer and better starting prices, you would still go to DFS over Mr Sofas because you know and trust the brand. In contrast, you have never heard of Mr Sofas (probably because I made them up!).
How Many People Will Respond to Your Flyer?
For this, let's stick with the sofa example. If you receive a flyer from DFS, a well-established brand, and receive a Dominos Pizza flyer, again a well-established brand, the response rate would be equal, right? No! How many times do you buy a pizza compared with a sofa?! The point here is not to dwell on the percentage response rate but on the potential value of each converted lead. Dominos needs to sell many more pizzas than DFS do sofas to see a return from their distribution.
But I'm Not a Big Brand. So are Leaflet Drops a Waste For Me?
Absolutely not, and there are several reasons why. Suppose you have a local business looking for local custom. In that case, I can't think of a better solution to advertise locally than flyer distribution. So, why will people respond if they haven't heard of you? They won't necessarily on the first view. Still, going back to the joining the gym analogy - leaflet distribution is not a one-hit-wonder event, just as going to the gym doesn't work if you only go once. Leaflet distribution works most effectively when treated as a long term campaign, which goes out to the same people repeatedly with a professionally planned strategy. Whether you are an established brand, a new business, or a small business looking to expand, this is the same.
Campaign Based Door to Door - Essential Strategy
This is the essential ingredient to ensuring you will see a return on your investment. People don't tend to respond to something from the first view. They need to see it repeatedly, which is known as drip effect marketing. Part of our service at Mr Flyer is to plan a long term campaign for you. It is tailored around your budget, enabling your flyer to target the right audience with actionable flyers regularly.
How Much Impact Does the Design of the Flyer Have?
A huge amount! For example, if you have an estate agency and send out a flyer with a boring image of your office, and it says something like 'We are an estate agent, we sell and rent houses', you will likely receive no response - even if you send 100,000 regularly to the same audience. However, if you structure your design as follows, your response rate will be completely different:
- Have a headline such as 'Thinking of Selling This Summer?' (notice the use of memorable alliteration and how it's associated with their potential thoughts)
- Followed by a sub-headline, 'We are offering Free Valuations in your area this week' (this provides a free gift, personalises it specifically to their area, and suggests to act promptly as they are happening 'this week')
- With a call to action, 'Call us Today on...and book your Free Valuation' (again encourage a prompt action)
- And include an image of an exciting house with a happy family embracing it (it demonstrates your expert photography skills and inspires the receiver of what they could purchase and how that will make them feel)
These four steps don't focus on your 'boring' business. Instead, they make your business relevant to the receiver and give them a solid reason to respond. Actionable design is vital.
Flyer Distribution Response Tracking Software
A few months ago, a large international client tasked us with tangibly demonstrating how many orders can be attributed to our distributions in each city. They also wished to compare the performance of the postcodes covered to other comparable postcodes within the same city.
Always up for a challenge, we have created a system for tracking the effectiveness of each distribution over its lifespan (in this case, over 90 days). This helped the client track the return on investment of their campaign. What's more, it also helps ensure we are targeting the correct demographics.
The system has proved to be an effective measure of the past distributions and a guide for future campaigns. And as it is also readily applicable to any clients in any field of business, we are providing this additional service to our wider clientele very soon. If you would like to know more, please contact us.