4 ways to target your audience in a letterbox sampling campaign

by Clare Henderson
11 July 2017
4 ways to target your audience in a letterbox sampling campaign
Brands like Sorbent, Uncle Tobys, Scotch, and even Airbnb have all executed integrated letterbox sampling campaigns with great results. But, the key to success is hitting the right letterboxes at the right time with the right message.

Knowing exactly who your customers are, and where they live, allows you to send fewer samples to more receptive households, reducing costs. But, you can also tailor campaign messaging to maximise conversions and, in turn, boost return on investment (ROI).
It's an attractive advantage when budget accountability is palpable, no? The question is, how can you narrow down a distribution pool of more than 6.8 million households to get the results you want? Here are four key ways:

1. Geo-location

Geographic targeting considers the likelihood of purchase based on location. Typically, this has been done at a state, city, or suburban level, drawing on third-party data to help you identify location-specific consumer needs and preferences, as well as market gaps.
Today, you can geo-target by proximity to store – both distance and drive times. Will your customers be willing to travel far to buy your product? Generally, the answer is no, but whether they think 3km or 15km is reasonable will vary. Furthermore, store-level data can also help to identify locations with potential for growth.

2. Census variables

Targeting by demographics, such as age, gender, education, and cultural background, is one of the most common and straightforward ways to segment consumer audiences. For letterbox sampling, your best source of data is the Census, which can tell you the demographic and economic characteristics of people in different areas and different population groups.
The more variables you combine,the tighter the targeting. While it’s easy to make assumptions, it’s important your decisions are based on real market data. If you’re sampling a feminine hygiene product, only drop at households with women. Marketing an organic children’s cereal? Distribute to young, high-income families with children. 

Targeting letterbox sampling

3. Customer Sales data

Customer sales data is another rich source of data. Armed with this type of information, you can not only hit areas and households that have already engaged with your brand, but you can use the information to map areas with people with similar characteristics and interests.

For example, knowing how much a household earns and is willing to spend on any given product is an essential tool in letterbox targeting. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Surveys, such as the Household Expenditure Survey (HES), are a rich source of data on income and general living costs. 

4. Household psychographics

 Psychographic data takes into account a range of behavioural and psychological factors such as personality traits, attitudes, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. It can be the thread which holds segmentation together when demographics and variables, like spending, are too mixed.
Household psychographic data can be purchased from specialist companies and aligned with buyer personas to find a match. Offering a subjective understanding of a household’s likelihood to purchase can be a more effective way to map and target your audience than more commonplace approaches. 
It’s a powerful combination
Advances in big data and new technologies, like geo-location targeting, and heat and overlay mapping, mean each of these four approaches can be carried out with greater precision. Thanks to sophisticated segmentation tools which merge data sources, such as household surveys with Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas, you can even layer them for razor-sharp targeting.
So, rather than using each method in isolation, truly smart letterbox sampling lies in their intersection. By combining all methods, you can dive deeper into the heart of Australian households and target fewer letterboxes with more nuanced campaigns. But don’t stop at the drop. Tracking and evaluating your efforts post-campaign will help you target and map even smarter in future.
To find out more about how to create a highly targeted and localised letterbox sampling campaign, visit us online or call 1300 725 628.

About the author
Clare Henderson
Senior Manager Client Engagement, NSW

Clare has extensive experience in client services and senior account management. Her career has spanned roles with Nielsen, Bazaarvoice and Hostworks, amongst others. In March 2017 she joined Salmat as an account director, and today she heads up the Client Services team in NSW where she spends her time working to guarantee client success within the ever-changing marketing services space.

More articles by Clare Henderson