How to run a successful leaflet campaign


To get the most out of your leaflet delivery, LDS recommends thinking of your campaign as a pie representing the response you will get from your campaign; you want as big a slice as you can get. Each step below will get you a larger slice of that pie.

Your leaflet is on the mat along with everything else – post, newspapers and other leaflets. Your prospective new client picks up the pile and scans it on the way to the bin. That’s how long you have to get noticed.

Getting noticed is important. That needs to happen before those prospective new clients will read what you’ve got to say.

How to get noticed? One third of your leaflet needs to be a picture. Keep your copy simple. If you have a lot of information to share, you should consider a trifold leaflet. This way you can dedicate the front to getting noticed then you can put as much detail as you like on the inside. We can help you work out the right size and style you need during a leaflet surgery (Click here to ‘Book now’).

Businesses tend to make their name and logo the most prominent piece of information. At this point your potential new customers are interested in what you, your product or your services can do for them – not necessarily who you are! If your name and logo don’t say what you do, put them at the bottom.

To increase the size of your slice of the pie, make sure you include:

• a local telephone number
• a map showing your location
• your opening times
• minimal copy
• quality pictures – clear and in focus
• an expiry date on any offers.

Free Advice

Put your leaflet on the floor and ask a stranger what they think it’s about. If they don’t get it immediately, and without you explaining it, neither will your potential new customers. Remember that you won’t be with the leaflet to explain what it’s meant to sell.

Use professionals to produce your leaflet. We were delivering leaflets for two cleaning companies. One had designed their own leaflet; the other hired a graphic designer. The professionally produced leaflet got exactly double the response rate of the homemade one. The extra business generated more than covered the one-off cost of the designer. The design cost is a one-time investment and, provided it works, you will reap the rewards every time you use the leaflet.

Copywriters can also save you from costly mistakes (see Five Biggest Delivery Mistakes).

LDS has a wealth of experience in what works and what doesn’t, so chat with us before you put pen to paper. Getting the leaflet right gets you a slice of the pie; to get a bigger slice of the pie you need to move on to the next item in the plan.

You need to describe what your ideal client looks like in detail. LDS can then advise where your target customers are likely to live. Then it’s a case of testing and measuring (more about measuring later). Here is a simple and effective way of looking at this.

Think of a Monopoly board. Old Kent Road (brown) is the cheapest street to buy, Bond Street (red) costs more, Mayfair (purple) is the most expensive. If your clients lived in Monopoly world, where would they most likely live?

If you have a client database, then there is a more accurate way. We have a client who came to us insisting that their product was of a premium quality and so they only wanted areas of a high net worth (purple areas on the Monopoly board). We had a close look at his existing customer database, did some targeting magic and it actually showed that they also sold a lot in lower net worth areas (Old Kent Road). This was because their product offered people more security than their cheaper competitors. Security in high crime rate areas was the deciding factor in buying their product and not simply the price. Our client hadn’t spotted this.

Sometimes it’s geography that dictates how people buy. We have found that the best response for a gym is within one mile of the gym. As you get further away, there is less response.

So how does LDS figure out the best areas? That’s what happens in a leaflet surgery. Getting the leaflet right gets you a slice of the pie, targeting the right people will get you a bigger slice. Later on we talk about reviewing the results. Reviewing the results gets you an even bigger slice; but can’t be done unless you do the next bit right. Measuring.

It’s vital that you know whether an advert is giving you a return on investment. If you don’t know exactly how much value an advert has, you’re wasting time and money.

When we see a new client and ask “How are you planning on measuring the response”, they often tell us “we’ve got that covered, we ask everyone”. That is an unreliable way of measuring your advertising. How come?

We were delivering 10,000 leaflets for a dental practice. They had all new patients fill in a form, on the form was a box asking “How did you hear about us?” Alongside this we instigated an alternative method of measuring that didn’t require asking the new patients anything. After the leaflet drop the dental practice could clearly see that they had 60 new clients as a result of their leaflet campaign. On their new patient forms only four of those 60 new clients recorded receiving a leaflet.

If the dental practice hadn’t put the other method in place, they would have concluded that the 10,000 leaflets netted them four new patients; they would have concluded that the leaflets didn’t work and that they were better off investing in other forms of advertising.

At LDS we will show you simple and indisputable ways to measure your advertising.

Delivering the same leaflet to the same letterboxes on a regular basis will get you the biggest slice of the pie.

The magazine Marketing Weekly regularly surveys people to see what TV ads they remember. In 2012 Tesco was consistently the number one ad most people remembered. The ads in question weren’t clever, fun, exciting or memorable. The reason they hit the top spot consistently is because if you sat down to watch TV you would see a Tesco ad – if not every ad break, at least every other ad break. Tesco repeated their ads over and over and over and over

We delivered 4,500 leaflets for one of our clients. The first time they got an average of two responses per thousand. With their average order value being over £1,000 they were happy with this. We then delivered exactly the same leaflet through exactly the same letterboxes every eight weeks. One year later the client was getting five responses per thousand. The cost of the delivery was the same each time, but the return on investment steadily increased from £2,000 to £5,000.

If you came to us with 30,000 leaflets to deliver (your budget for the year) – we could deliver all 30,000 leaflets in one go. You would get a better return on investment if we delivered 10,000 leaflets, then went back to the same area six to eight weeks later with another 10,000 then the final 10,000 a further six to eight weeks later. In most cases doing it this way you get a much higher response rate and therefore a better return on investment.

You do this when you get the measuring right.

We had been delivering leaflets for a garden services company for six months and went to see them to do a review. The leaflet was simple and clearly
working well. The headline was NEED A GARDENER? What came out at the review was that the first thing the potential new customer would ask is “Are you local?” So we changed the headline to read NEED A LOCAL GARDENER? A simple tweak that could get a few more responses – or at least save time on the phone!

When it came to looking at the areas where responses came from it was clear that some areas produced better results than others. Using this information we replaced less profitable areas with new areas that looked more like the successful areas.

Doing a thorough review doesn’t increase the cost of the delivery but it will increase your profits.

Managing your expectations and tester campaigns

We had a client who came to us with 500 leaflets they had designed themselves. They insisted that they would get a 1% responses rate. We delivered their leaflets. The client was convinced that every enquiry would turn into a sale. He was disappointed when they didn’t sell five kitchens at an average value of £12,000. The cost of delivering the leaflets at the time was £17.50. We took care to explain to the client that if all you had to do to get £60,000 worth of business was deliver 500 leaflets at a cost of £17.50 we would all be selling kitchens.

Response rates vary from business to business and many factors are involved. LDS has been delivering leaflets in the Cambridge area since 2000 so we have considerable experience. For example if a gym delivers leaflets within a one mile radius of their premises, they can expect between nine and 15 responses. If the gym comes to us before they design their leaflet, we can tell them how to make the difference between nine responses and 15 responses.

For other businesses the response rate is lower. In some industries it can be as low as one response per 5,000 leaflets. That said, in such cases their average order value is high enough to more than justify the cost.

There are some businesses where leafleting doesn’t work. We will use our experience to help you do the maths and may advise you to do a test delivery to find out what you can expect, before you commit to the expense of producing thousands of leaflets.

In summary

1. Getting the leaflet right gets you a slice of the pie.
2. Targeting the right areas gets you a bigger slice.
3. Measuring results helps you refine what you are doing.
4. Repeating leaflet drops gets you a slice that’s bigger still.
5. Reviewing regularly polishes off the plate – you have the whole pie!

What next? Click below to book now.


Let's make your campaign a success.