Are online-only brands missing a trick?

by Beth Gladstone on 12/09/2017

Solely online brands often turn to solely online marketing means. After all, that’s where their customers are right? Yet by ignoring practically half of the marketing spectrum (plus tried and tested techniques like door drops which have been used successfully for years) they are missing out on an opportunity to connect in a new way.

Why offline?

Offline marketing helps with targeting customers. Not everyone has access to the internet and older generations are not necessarily as tech-savvy as the younger generation. Also and perhaps my favourite reason, is that the world is heavily digital and digital is noisy. Now when you go to read an article, you have to fight your way through the ads and pop ups just to find it. This week I’ve been asked in everywhere from New Look to WHSmith for my email address. What relevance that has to a new pair of shoes I have no idea, but I can only guess it’s so they can bombard me with “personalised” (cue: generic) emails. It seems that even when shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store, the marketing vultures are still out to get digital details.

At the same time offline marketing tactics which used to be viewed as the number one go to, such as exhibitions, advertising billboards and physical print materials, seem to have taken a back seat. Many marketing peers that I speak to today aren’t even familiar with them as part of the wider marketing cycle.

If it’s not online it’s not worth doing right? Yet in a world of online bombardment, offline marketing is actually a bit of a novelty and novelty is effective.

Why door drop services?

Door drop services are an effective offline marketing tactic that companies have used for many years to reach a wide audience. For the uninitiated, a door drop campaign allows you to distribute unaddressed mail to consumers in micro target audiences. For example, you can target specific types of household and/or consumer at postal sector level, or smaller bespoke units of just hundreds of households

The benefit of door drop services over another offline medium such as say, experiential events or billboard ads, is that you can get more targeted than the average Joe Bloggs on the street. It’s pretty difficult to track who might walk past a bus stop, but who might live at a specific address is actually fairly easy to drill down into.

Then you have the creative aspect. I’ve always found with print that there’s a bit more pazazz that goes into it. When you produce emails, social media or even blog content you’re aiming for success but you know if you miss the bar there’s always next time. Part of the nature of digital is refining, testing and re-doing campaigns so there’s never pressure to get it right first time. Another headline to write, another post to tweet, another campaign to send.

With door drops, from the off there’s a creative “stand out” element where you know you want to make an impact on your audience as soon as it lands on the doormat. Every last design detail is considered – from the shape of the mail, to the texture of the paper and the line of copy on the front. Great creative is key to success. As is learning what works and what doesn’t. The most effective in this market test different distribution methods, creative formats and copy and continually try to improve on their success. You don’t want to waste money on sending something to someone’s house that they’re just going to ignore. So you have to get not only really targeted and concise in your messaging, but also really creative about how you will tell your brand story.

Online brands are often pretty good at coming up with this narrative and by their own admission, they’re always keen to test, test and test again. So isn’t it about time they gave offline tactics like door drops a go? I for one, would certainly like to see more of them give it a chance.

This article was written by...

– who has written 1 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Beth is a freelance digital marketer and content writer, helping businesses to amplify their incredible work, achieve growth and become known for really great marketing. Through her consultancy Gladstone Digital, Beth plans and delivers integrated digital marketing strategies across areas such as SEO, social media, content, email marketing and web management, with a focus on creative strategies and best practice tactics. Clients she has worked for include Dove, Dogbuddy, Microsoft, Twilert and ScreenCloud.

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