How To Drive More Sales With Letterbox Marketing

by The Salmat Team
18 January 2016


Last year was a strong performing year for catalogues. Unlike other print media, readership is up by 8% and overall audience reach has increased to 19.7 million.

It would appear that, despite concerns that the digital revolution has completely disrupted the catalogue, the letterbox channel is thriving.

But what’s driving this performance? Clearly, customers are reading – 83% of Australians take catalogues into their home when they receive it – but mail itself is also getting smarter.

Technology and advancement in market targeting is delivering significantly improved return on investment results. And the good news is, all this data intelligence is right at your fingertips.

Here’s a closer look at how modern letterbox marketing can quickly boost and extend your customer base.

Go ahead, get personal

77% of Australians report when they receive catalogues they read them.

The demographical breakdown of that readership? More surprising than you think:

  • 1. 57% of 14-24 year old Australians read printed catalogues, continuing to dispel the myth they prefer digital communication

  • 2. 67% of 25-34 year olds, a powerful consumer market, read printed catalogues compared to 13% reading online

  • 3. 70% of Australians aged 14+ read catalogues in an average four week period. Up 8% from previous year

  • 4. Australians aged 50+ are the strongest consumers with 77% reading printed catalogues and 9% viewing online.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that data is the key to a letterbox campaign that drives action. After all, it holds the insights into who your customers are and what motivates them.

Take one of Australia’s largest pharmacies, Terry White Chemists.

To enrich their targeting success for their annual Mother’s Day sale, Terry White undertook detailed customer data analysis to identify target audiences within key distribution areas.

The catalogue was read by 744,000 people, 41% of whom were in the target audience of females aged 40 years and over, with some impressive engagement and conversion rates:

letterbox media effectiveness

The lesson here? If letterbox marketing is a part of your mix, make sure you’re using all the available customer insights and data to identify exactly who to target and the best way to reach them.

Give them what they want

77% of the Australian population engage with catalogues within a typical four week period.

That’s a lot of eyeballs across a huge range of demographics. So how do you hone your offer to target those you really want to reach?

One way to achieve this is to enrich your customer data by adding profile data from external sources,

An example of mail data in action is Westpac.

To flex their newfound targeting capabilities, Wetspac used detailed customer data analysis to redefine exactly what suburbs and streets should be associated with each branch and ATM.

A range of personalised campaigns were delivered to over 600 individual branch catchments using both addressed and unaddressed mail. The result was a truly customer-focused campaign that was both local, and relevant.

Another great example is Mazda.

For its “One Day Sale”, Mazda needed to achieve mass reach, in a very short space of time.

Armed with the address of each dealership, a detailed demographic analysis determined nearby households who were in the market for a new car.  

your day to save this saturday

Each household was then mapped and placed against a nearby dealership. Over 120 variations of the same letterbox ad were created and distributed into each catchment.

Mazda dealerships experienced an enormous increase in foot traffic for the event, posting record sales for the month. The “One Day Sale” has since become a permanent fixture on the Mazda dealerships’ marketing calendar.

Data is extremely powerful. The success of both these examples came down to hitting the right customer, with the right message, at the right time.

Give them somewhere to go

Readership windows flow throughout the day, with peaks between 9.00am and 12.00pm.

You can use behavioural insights like this to push customers in-store, or to encourage them to take a virtual walk-through via your catalogue.

For example, when Nescafé launched Greenblend Coffee, the campaign wasn’t short of challenges.

They needed to establish market share for the new product in a very competitive market and amongst a highly loyal customer base.

A sophisticated targeting analysis identified the households that would be most likely to buy the product, and samples were mailed out.

Most importantly, each household was assigned to the most relevant Woolworths store to measure the exact impact the distribution of samples had on sales.


Households who received the unaddressed mail sample purchased significantly more of the product at Woolworths stores than those that didn’t. Better still, the impact of the campaign remained evident in sales figures eight weeks after distribution!

For Nescafe, letterbox marketing was the most simple and direct way to reach their target audience. Unlike email, which is easily deleted, potential customers actually got to try the sample, making it much harder to ignore.

How you can start using data now

There are plenty of  information sources inside your business that provide insight into how and why your customer buys – family accounts or loyalty programs, transaction history, delivery locations, and experiences such as social media.

Once you have this information, the next step is to map the geographic regions most concentrated with individuals that represent your target audience.

All that remains is to target these different customer segments with a personalised, creative letterbox campaign that sells.

Ready to tap into the power of catalogues? Learn more about Salmat's letterbox marketing services here or call us on 1300 725 628.


About the author
The Salmat Team

Salmat is a leading Australian marketing services provider. We help clients connect with their customers, week-in, week-out. Salmat's unique combination of targeted letterbox and online marketing channels enables clients to Reach, Convert and Serve their customers. We also provide a wide range of back office solutions, through our Philippines-based Managed Services business.

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