Tag Archives: door drop

4 ways to enhance the print to mobile path to purchase

Last week, wearing my mobile marketing expert hat, I spoke to a group at the DMA mobilising print event. Some of you may know that I’m also MD at YooZap, a mobile technology partner of Fireworx. The subject of the DMA event was the use of mobile and traditional print in the path to purchase. Via presentations and a panel discussion we explored the growth of offline to online interactions in recent years, discussing current trends and best practice.

The smartphone has unlocked the capability to move online and the UK population have embraced it wholeheartedly. Not however, as the DMA’s research reminded us, at the exclusion of every other channel. 70% of commercial activity still happens in the real world. Now the DMA are no luddites, if that was the case I wouldn’t have agreed to speak. It does however serve to remind us that mobile is but a single channel. A new and exciting one, with great potential but just a channel all the same.

There were many take-aways from the morning; here are the key ones for me.

Print is dead, long live print
Panellists and delegates alike agree that print is having a renaissance. Neglected by many during the austerity drive and the rise of digital, direct mail, door drop and print are again featuring in budgets and campaign plans. Firstly, creative print stands out because the doormat has become such a barren land in recent years. Some younger groups even see it as novel.

Secondly, well-targeted, relevant print can engage, inform and deliver response. Its tactical nature means it is distinct from a tablet, phone or laptop and thus fulfils a different function for consumers. It co-exists with digital and as marketers are learning it’s a multichannel world. The consumer picks and chooses to suit their needs, lifestyle, location or even mood on a particular day. That leads neatly on to my second take-away from the DMA.

Ease is everything in mobile response
Mobile is still a new channel. Devices and technology are changing and customer behaviours are inconsistent. As such it is naive to try and second-guess the consumer and exclusively push consumer to a single digital response method.

Firstly, make it easy by giving lots of response options, short URL, QR codes etc. Secondly, tell the responder what to do “Scan here”. Finally make sure the digital media they connect to is responsive. Consumers switch between devices at will so whatever you offer should provide a sympathetic experience on every device.

Apps are a good debate point when we consider ease of interaction. The requirement to download an App puts an additional step in a customer’s path to purchase. This reduces response. The emergence of html5 based solutions bypass the download, speeding the interaction.

Apps still have great importance in the digital landscape. Where the target audience already uses an App, such as for airline customers, encouraging customers to respond via their App is entirely logical. Whatever makes it easy to transact is good for customers.

Transaction is key
The transaction is everything in this area of the communication landscape. Four years of test and learn shows the transaction is the key motivator to interact from print to digital. DMA research shows consumers are increasing their interaction from traditional media to digital. They are stimulated to buy, donate or subscribe.

The world has moved on from the days of scan a print ad to receive “enhanced” content. Consumers are looking for more. The reward for an interaction has to be transactional. With willing consumers and smartphones to facilitate there is no barrier to selling off a page or poster.

Analysis and attribution
Measurement and attrition is important. In fact it’s been a driving force between the success of many digital channels. As a result, marketers are numerate and accountable like never before. A lengthy discussion on channel attribution among DMA delegates is testament to that. However, measurement of real world advertising interactions has never been as clear-cut as it is online.

This new era of offline/ online interaction offers some opportunity for greater understanding and attribution. The combination of people’s identity, location and address combined with transaction behaviour alludes to a wealth of data for profiling and insight. This will remain a mere concept for the moment until consistent behaviours emerge and proxies for personal identity data can be established. I have little doubt the teams at Experian, Callcredit and the like are working on solutions.

I hadn’t expected to deliver earth shattering revelations at the DMA’s print to mobile – path to purchase event. Just reveal some personal insights, campaign experience and the odd battle scar. Apart from the positivity of delegates towards interactivity, I was most pleased with the consensus shown by the expert panel (good meeting you all BTW). A consensus that targeted, creative printed communication combined with a simple and quick digital transaction is the key to encouraging interactivity and improving response.

By DMA guest blogger Alan Beesley, Co-founder, YooZap

This is an edited version of a blog that first appeared on Fireworx Creative


Evolving with the smartphone revolution

There’s currently a lot of talk about mobile marketing and it’s been that way has been for the last couple of years. First, it was the challenge of integrating mobile into media campaigns. This evolved into developing a standalone mobile strategy and now it’s determining the significance of the smartphone in your multi-channel strategy. The challenge as it stands is not to write the strategy, it’s to deliver it before the technology and the resulting consumer behaviour has changed.

No sooner have you developed an App to address a customer need and the requirement has changed. The only certainty is that the customer journey is evolving faster than the marketer can map it. According to Google IPSOS the average UK smartphone user has 29 apps on their phone and claim to have only used 10 in the last 30 days.

However, we humans evolve far more slowly than technology. To date we still have just 24 hours in day, a finite capacity for information and a tendency towards habitual behaviour (the marketers friend). We also still have roughly the same number of pockets and, with the average person carrying 2.9 devices, we need them.

Interconnected-interactivity here to stay
The instant information, interaction and interconnectivity provided by mobile is hugely popular and here to stay. Last year Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2013 revealed the changing media consumption patterns in the UK. Striking is the impact of portable devices, 51% of UK adults own a smartphone. UK smartphone penetration is now almost double that in 2011 (27%). At the same time, tablet ownership has more than doubled in the past year, rising from 11% of homes to 24%. The average household now owns more than three types of internet-enabled devices, with one in five owning six or more.

However, the TV is still the heart of the home – 91% of UK adults view TV on the main set each week, up from 88% in 2002. However, the huge growth in take-up of smartphones and tablets is creating a nation of media multi-taskers, transforming the traditional living room of previous generations into a digital media hub.

However, increasing arrays of digital media are now vying for their attention. People are streaming videos, firing off instant messages, updating their social media status and shopping – all while watching more TV than before.

These activities are mostly carried out using Smartphone as over half of all adults have one nearby. With UK smartphone penetration rates and tablets penetration set to grow again this year, the trend is not going away.

Business is quickly coming to the realisation that online media has to be optimised for multiple devices. Rather than predict the device a consumer will use, one solution is to convert traditional websites to a responsive design platform. This adapts the website design and navigation seamlessly to deliver the best visitor experience on the device in front of them. Conversion rates are typically improved with this approach. E-consultancy recently quoted a 100% increase in conversion by brands moving to a responsive design.

UK smartphone users love to shop
According to Google’s latest research, mobile users in the UK are more likely to buy goods using their smartphone than anywhere else in Europe. Out of 18 European countries surveyed by Google, the UK has the highest percentage of people who make a monthly purchase on their Smartphones – 32%, compared to just 8% in France, 15% in Germany and 19% in Sweden.

Around 83% of 1,000 UK consumer surveyed said they used the internet daily, compared to 75% last year. The amount visiting social network sites has also increased, from 64% in 2013 to 72% this year. The percentage of Britons buying online increased in 2014, to 77% compared to the previous year’s total of 72%.

Traditional media is dead, long live traditional media
Despite the explosion in online activity, the Ofcom Communications Market report showed our relationship with TV endures. This is naturally reflected in advertising spending. In April 2014 the IAB and PwC published their regular survey giving full-year figures for online advertising in 2013. Online has indeed grown and stands at £1bn a year. However £3 in £4 is still spent offline in traditional media like TV and print advertising. This underlines the continued effectiveness of traditional media and the opportunity to integrate these with online media, particularly mobile.

It’s this fundamental interest in the offline/online journey that’s behind the development of mobile response platforms. They use the connective capabilities of smartphones, tablets and PCs in combination with mobile web to provide instant secure subscription, donation or payment. With no Apps to download customers can instantly buy or give with credit cards or PayPal wherever they are from any form of printed media.

Print integrated technology has emerged over the last couple of years at the intersection between analogue and digital media. The growing consumer familiarity with Smartphone related technology such as QR codes, NFC tags and augmented reality apps is changing the role traditional media such as inserts and door drop are performing. Customers can quickly transition online from the original stimulus material to engage or transact.

This offline-online transition also hints at a new form of mobile data modelling whereby hitherto undiscovered customer journeys can be mapped from the first interaction on the doormat to the last interaction with an online checkout. If mobile response to purchase via inserts and door drops can be leveraged there’s potential for laying new consumer paths and driving increased ROI from traditional media.

By DMA guest blogger Alan Beesley, Co-founder, YooZap

The DMA will be exploring the opportunities of print integrated interactive technology with a panel of creative and technology experts on 19 June.



Eye-catching leaflet design: why less is more

Leaflet dropping is all about catching people’s attention and making an impression. Make the right impression and that leaflet will not only be kept, it will be acted upon. Whether you need your potential customers to act on a short time offer, or you simply want to make them aware of the services you offer, your results are directly linked to the design of the leaflet. It needs to be eye-catching and in keeping with the style of your business so that your customers know what to expect and can’t resist reading the whole leaflet.

Leaflet design is not as straightforward as you might imagine. The temptation is there to fill up all the available space with text, getting as much information to your customer as you can. However, you only get three seconds to make a good enough first impression to grab their attention and not let go.

Fill the page with text and they will scan it until they find anything in bold, explaining the ultimate point of the leaflet. So ultimately you are only holding their attention with a sentence or title, wasting the rest of the leaflet and we all know that this just isn’t enough to make a good first impression. Not to mention, text-only leaflets usually come from political or religious organisations, which slims down your chance of having the full leaflet read as many people will assume they are not interested before reading it.

A well-designed leaflet will find a perfect balance between images and text. You need enough information to explain the purpose of the leaflet and the type of business you have, but it needs to be displayed in an eye-catching manner, in as few words as possible and in an easy to read font. You need to make it easy for the customer and do the work for them. To make it eye-catching include vibrant designs and images that stand out from the usual style seen on similar leaflets and businesses. The impact of the leaflet rests solely on the design, so don’t be afraid to be imaginative.

The whole idea behind leaflet dropping is to gain a response and generate further business. A well-designed leaflet has been shown to double and even triple the response rate in some cases. Make it easy for your customers and give them what they want in terms of design and content and you are much more likely to have a successful response from your leaflet delivery.

By DMA guest blogger Jeff Franklin, Franchise Director, DOR-2-DOR (UK)


Is the future of public sector communications with residents, offline, online, or both? – Part 2

Part 2 of a 2-part blog on print and online communication from local and county councils

The DMA Door Drop Committee commissioned research in November 2013 to determine the extent of the gap in understanding between householders and local and county council marketers in terms of how they want to be communicated with.

A six-question online survey was sent to 1,000+ consumers via Toluna QuickSurveys. The same survey was also sent, with the help of The Letterbox Consultancy to 800 marketers (13.25% response rate – 106 completed responses) based in local and county councils. In this blog ‘marketer’ denotes ‘marketers from local and county councils only’ and not the industry at large.

Print, online or both?


- 40% of consumers prefer receiving communication in print (marketers 21%), 39% prefer online (marketers 22%), whilst 21% of consumers actually want communication via both channels (marketers 57%)

- Over 60% of 18-34 year-olds would prefer to receive communication in online form only, or online and print form. Nearly half (47.5%) of 18-34 year-olds go online twice or less per year to access information about their local council

- 42% of women are more inclined to receive communication in print form than men 36%

Are consumers searching online for information from local and county councils?



- 18% of consumers never search online for information from their local/county council (marketers 1%)

- When considering only 18-34 year-olds and 55+ year-olds, the number of people that never search online increases to over 21%

- Only 21% of consumers search for information once every three months, in comparison to marketers’ beliefs that nearly double (41%) actually search

- Just 14% of consumers search online for information at least once every fortnight (marketers 20%)


Given that local/county councils provide residents with numerous services, consumers would generally be favourable to receiving information from them, as they’re mostly trusted organisations. Over 73% of consumers openly state that they want to receive communication from their local authority.

A similarly high proportion of consumers (74%) expect to hear from their local authority at least on a quarterly basis, with many wanting more regular communication. There is a demand for information from the local authority.

When considering how information can be made available to consumers, only 13% state that they’re unlikely to read local authority communication that is provided in print form. Direct mail and print media score highly for trust (according to Letterbox to inbox July 2013), and over 71% of consumers want print to play a part in the communication that they receive from their local authority.

Consider the younger generation: over two thirds of 18-34 year-olds want to hear from their local authority on a quarterly basis or more regularly, and over 60% would prefer to receive that communication online, or in online and print form. However, nearly half of 18-34 year-olds search for information about their local authority online twice or less per year. There is a disconnect between consumers (particularly young) believing that they want information online, with how likely they actually are to go out and find that information online.

Furthermore, over 35% of consumers never search for information about their local authority online, or only search once a year. How likely are those consumers, therefore, to read a Council newsletter online?

Marketers have slightly over estimated the degree and frequency to which consumers want to hear from their local authority, but have rightly estimated that a far greater proportion of consumers are unlikely to search online for local authority information than they are to read information in print form.

However, it would appear that marketers have severely underestimated how many consumers would never search for information about their local authority online.


The initial conclusion to draw from these survey results is that a local authority’s choice of media channel, through which to promote their council newsletter/magazine, will directly affect the likelihood that the people within their local authority will read it.

Consumers express a greater preference to receiving information from their local authority in print form, and though many are happy to receive information online, the lack of print option will affect the number of people that choose to read the information.

More pointedly, there is a clear distinction between the regularity that consumers search for information about their local authority online, compared with those that read information in print form.

If you consider this as a comparison between picking up and reading an item that has been delivered through your letterbox with an item that has been published on a page of the council web site, it is perhaps understandable.

Local authorities are under terrific pressure to reduce their budgets, and it is understood that an online version of a printed newsletter or magazine will have significant cost benefits.
However, the findings of this survey raise the question of how damaging an online-only approach can be to readership levels – with a significant proportion guaranteed not to see the item, because they never search online for local authority information.

Whilst many local authorities continue to produce communication in printed format, it is perhaps time for other local authorities – that have moved to online-only – to review the value of print, and to consult experts about how costs can be reduced without losing the effectiveness of the printed item entirely.

Read part 1 of the blog 

By guest bloggers from the DMA Door Drop Committee

Advertising mail on the up in 2014

Mail is back! What a relief after the last five years of wondering what was happening and worrying about how fragile the market for the physical mail product was at last there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe you hadn’t noticed how the number of letters you received seemed to disappear from the door mat. Or the constant encouragement to go online with your bills and statements. And to add insult to injury we were asked to pay for a paper bill. It all started looking better at the end of 2012 and the demand has continued to increase through 2013. Continue reading

One digital native discovers the wonderful world of print

Entering the direct marketing world as a digital native, I was quite oblivious to the developments that have taken place in print technology over the last few years. Having met a few marketing folk since I joined the DMA I must say I am much more informed now. So if there are any young marketers out there who think offline and digital are different channels, think again. The lines are blurring, and surprisingly have been blurry for a quite while now! Continue reading

Door drop industry celebrates its best with Arthur Thompson Memorial Award

Earlier this month the door drop industry’s highest accolade, the Arthur Thomson Memorial Trophy, was presented to Chris Roxburgh, the former MD of LinkDirect Ltd and long-time serving member of the DMA Door Drop Council and its MLA working party in recognition of his contribution to the door drop industry over the course of his 40-year career.

The Arthur Thompson Award was created by the DMA Door Drop Council following the death in 2006 of Arthur Thompson as a memorial to a man that made an immense contribution to growing the door drop industry. The Award is presented when one person is singled out for recognition by his peers for their outstanding work in developing the door drop industry.

At a lunch in his honour attended by 14 former industry peers, Chris was presented with an engraved trophy by Steve Thompson, managing director of Stepcheck in memory of his father. I too paid tribute to Chris in a speech which outlined his career which spans over 40 years in the direct marketing industry.

Chris was a founder member of the British Household Distribution Association, which merged into the Association of Household Distributors, which subsequently merged into the DMA and was a founder member of the Door Drop Council, which he served for over a decade. At that point, Chris also chaired the Committee which updated the AHD Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines into a DMA format. When the Membership, Legal and Administrative Committee was formed under the chair of Roger Sparrow, Chris became a member for over a decade which entailed constant travel from his base on the Wirral. Chris was also a leading figure in the creation of the Your Choice preference service, which to this day, is still a cornerstone of the industry’s opt out service.

In response, to the tributes Chris said he was “Honoured to have received the award and flattered to become only the fifth recipient of an award in memory of a man who was an industry giant, following from other industry leaders.”

I can say that Chris truly deserves to be in such illustrious company.

Previous recipients of the Arthur Thompson Memorial Trophy:

2013 – Chris Roxburgh
2011 – Roger Sparrow
2010 – Jayne Ferguson & Steve Mulvihill
2007 – Peter Morgan

By DMA guest blogger Graham Dodd, Managing Director of The Letterbox Consultancy