Over the years, we’ve worked with a multitude of clients within various industries, all of whom have needed some education, in some form, in front-door marketing. Instead of providing all of our sales collateral and presentations, we’ve listed five key terms (and their definitions according to PowerDirect) to help you frame a better understanding of front-door marketing, and how to evaluate future front-door partners.
1. Front-Door Marketing
(noun) A highly specialized and measurable discipline that uses creative, precisely targeted media to reach and engage consumers through one of the last uncluttered environments — their front door.
Contrary to popular opinion, front-door marketing isn’t just door hangers. Polybags, boxes, and express envelopes are among the different print materials and construction that can be delivered to the front door. In front-door marketing, the focus is on the uncluttered space, rather than the media type. Your front-door partner should be able to develop any type of front-door program for you — and not just using door hangers.
2. Block Groups
(noun) Formally known as US Census Block Groups, these are Census-defined territories of approximately 100 to 400 households, and typically smaller than a zipcode, which includes approximately 13,000 households.
Block group targeting and delivery is unique to front-door marketing because it allows for extremely targeted and efficient distribution, while still providing enough market coverage. Ask your front-door partner at what level they target and deliver (DMA, CBSA, zipcode, or block group) to determine overall program efficiency.
3. Reco or Counts
(noun) Short for “recommendations” and “household counts”, these data sheets outline the program’s targeting recommendation based on specific consumer demographics
Recos and counts are a good demonstration of a partner’s targeting capabilities and experience. What typically happens in the targeting analytics process is that the front-door partner will rank all the block groups in your desired market based on your ideal customer profile (or specific demographics) and select the “best block groups” for your campaign. Ask your front-door partner for counts or recos in a specific market; your front-door partner should be able to provide you with recommendations that include not only demographic, but also psychographic and expenditure information.
4. GPS Delivery
(noun) Delivery that can be tracked and verified via a global positioning system
The use of GPS technology varies across the front-door marketing industry. What doesn’t vary is the back-end reporting and analysis of the GPS “maps”, which log GPS coordinates and movements on a satellite map image. Ask your front-door partner to provide you with a post-campaign GPS map and analysis. Their GPS teams should be able to provide you with information on how fast the delivery occurred, any indications of abnormalities in delivery, and a grade for the overall delivery.
(noun) Block groups that are similar to program-selected block groups, and have been identified as “contingency” zones in the case that program-selected block groups cannot be delivered to.
Overages are basically contingency areas. Most front-door marketing companies recognize that not every city is a perfect delivery zone. Geographical limitations may prohibit delivery in certain block groups; thus, overages will address this challenge. Ask your front-door partner what limitations they have on delivery and what their policy is to address these limitations.
Are there any other front-door marketing terms you’ve encountered and don’t have a definition for? We’ll be happy to help you define them; just leave your comments below!
To be frank, when we say “door hangers”, there are certain perceptions attached to the media. Yet which of these perceptions are true and which are actually just myths? Learn the 5 most common myths about front-door marketing and door hangers, and the truths about consumer perceptions, delivery, and dumping.
Myth #1 — Door hangers are a flimsy, low-quality media for mom-and-pop shops, not major brands.
The truth? While door hangers have historically been perceived as cheap and used by small pizza and laundry-mat chains, today’s door hangers are nothing like their predecessors. PowerDirect’s industry-leading standards have reinvented the media into a large format size (5.5” x 17”) that is printed on quality stock, and is visually impactful. Fortune 500 clients like Comcast, Clorox, and Verizon have recognized the value of the media and regularly employ it as part of their marketing campaigns.
Myth #2 — During delivery, delivery crews dump the door hangers into the trash.
The truth? Dumping used to be an industry problem, but the introduction of technologies like GPS and dedicated auditing teams have minimized dumping issues. Furthermore, having worked with our delivery teams for more than 10 years, PowerDirect has trained and educated the delivery teams to meet our exacting distribution standards.
Myth #3 — People don’t like door hangers, and response rates are dismal.
The truth? Less than 1% of all calls received through our Customer Service line are opt-outs from people who don’t want to receive door hanger advertisements. As for the response, while the industry average varies due to the different delivery standards, PowerDirect’s clients have seen response rates between 1% – 2% and usually greater than other comparable direct mail or solo mail efforts.
Myth #4 — I don’t want to deal with all the consumer complaints.
The truth? Our policy is to direct all consumer inquiries, including complaints, to our in-house Customer Service team. Our team handles all opt-outs (usually less than 1% of all calls), requests for additional door hangers (yes, we do get these very often!), and miscellaneous inquiries. Aside from our phone support team, our in-field Auditors also deal with any field issues as they occur.
Myth #5 — Door hangers are more expensive than other print media.
The truth? The pricing for front-door media will vary depending on the media type (door hangers, polybags, boxes, etc.), but we’ve found that our pricing is very comparable to solo mail. We’ve also found that the ROI for front-door media campaigns are higher than other print media because front-door marketing, delivered to one of the last uncluttered spaces, successfully engages consumers.
What other myths have you heard about door hangers or front-door marketing? Leave your comments, and we’ll add them to the list!
Going the Extra Mile with Expert Delivery and Tracking
We’re often asked how we do it – that is, how do we ensure our clients’ branded front-door marketing pieces are being delivered to their pre-determined targets. Well, as far as PowerDirect is concerned, delivery is the mission-critical aspect of campaign deployment. Execution is everything, and our clients reach their customers based on our sophisticated, technology-fueled approach.
The selection and education of distribution teams is something we take very seriously. We’ve taken great care to develop a network of skilled and reliable ‘walkers,’ carefully trained in PowerDirect’s systems and processes. They carry identification and maintain a positive, homeowner-friendly image through their assigned neighborhoods. Equipped with wireless handheld GPS devices, walkers record their travel paths and geo-tag homes as they distribute client materials. Timing and exact distribution location can then be pinpointed via Google Earth map technology. This allows potential issues to be recognized in real time via GPS technology integrated on board PowerDirect’s branded delivery vehicles.
Beyond this, four levels of in-field auditors shadow distribution crews to verify accurate and complete delivery. Our strict auditing standards are part of an advanced, proprietary monitoring system that not only raises industry guidelines, but also ensures superior distribution by compiling proof of delivery via computerized GPS maps, job logs, digital photos and field reports. Auditing staff monitors every job each day and uploads vital information in near real-time, keeping data flowing into PowerDirect’s own tracking systems.
This layer of accountability distinguishes the expertise and resources of PowerDirect, and it’s one of many factors that make us unique in this industry. Does your front-door marketing partner take great care in developing your campaign but leave you guessing about actual delivery? Can they show you proof that your offer made it to your customer’s door?
PowerDirect’s COO was in attendance at the 36th AAPS Conference in Cancun, Mexico to discuss the emerging technologies that PowerDirect is implementing to improve distribution quality and service.
Stuart Hayden, PowerDirect’s Chief Operations Officer, spoke at the conference about our company’s commitment to technology and how we are working with distributors to test new proprietary software and knowledge. Read more about the conference and Stuart’s speech here.
The AAPS (Association of Alternate Postal Systems) consists of privately-owned advertising distribution companies, with the mission of promoting a standard of quality and maintaining an ethical environment in the industry. Learn more about the AAPS at their website, www.aapsinc.org.