Three Reasons The Letterbox Isn't Superfluous For Outdoor Ads

by Sarah Pike
07 October 2015

As seen in B&T

Despite the decline of newspapers and magazines, not all print media is going the way of the dodo, argues Sarah Pike, CMO of direct marketing company Salmat.

Letterbox media (catalogues and unaddressed mail) is still incredibly effective in reaching consumers and converting them to buyers.

husband and wife reading catalogue

Retail has always supported letterbox media and, as technology advances, this channel is becoming more tactical and targeted.

It is now possible to narrow the focus of your campaigns by utilising geographical mapping, census data and ABS spending patterns, and this continued innovation is extending to its effectiveness in supporting other marketing channels.

From Salmat’s own experience working with a range of marketing and advertising agencies, we’ve identified a strong channel synergy with letterbox and outdoor advertising. In fact, letterbox media is incredibly powerful in improving recall when combined with outdoor. Almost three quarters of people who have seen outdoor advertising in the last seven days have considered buying a brand or product as a result of also reading letterbox media.

Here are three reasons why you should support your next outdoor campaign with catalogues.


The challenge with outdoor advertising is that, for the most part, people are exposed to it at a time when they can’t act on what the ad wants them to do. The hope then is consumers will recall the ad when they can actually take action but, when consumers are exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day, there is only a small chance that they will remember what they saw.

Nielsen found 70 per cent of people are exposed to outdoor advertisements every week, but from an ROI perspective, how many of those people acted on that advertisement? Conversely, 60 per cent of people read letterbox advertising every week, and of those, half consider purchasing as a result, 43 per cent make a purchase and 21 per cent visit a website.


Letterbox media also helps reach people at an ideal time – typically late in the day – and, if it’s used effectively, can reinforce the communications they’ve been exposed to during the day at a time when they are most likely to make purchases. Australia Post research found 83 per cent of Australians check their letterbox daily and almost half read letterbox advertising in the evening.

Letterbox also allows you to personalise marketing to better target specific demographics based on data. Locally tailored mailers are easy to arrange and improves the impact for consumers who get relevant information and offers. Not only that, but it reinforces broader outdoor media due to the targeted nature.


Compared with other advertising channels, letterbox offers fantastic value to support out-of-home. In a $500,000, multi-channel campaign just 8 per cent of your budget can reach more than one million households.

Even just $35,000 can reach more than 500,000 households, all of which can be targeted based on a range of data.

Letterbox advertising provides a unique and targeted means of supporting outdoor advertising and there’s no doubting its ability to help improve recognition. For your next campaign, consider unique ways to support your out-of-home ads and enhance your brand awareness.

Find out more about Salmat's letterbox marketing services here or call us on 1300 725 628.

About the author
Sarah Pike
Chief Marketing Officer

Sarah Pike is a recognised expert in marketing and building brands. As Salmat’s first CMO, Sarah brings masses of experience in multi-channel marketing and the smart use of big data and analytics. She spent the past 18 years in the telecoms, mobile, TV, technology and digital sectors in Australia, Europe and the USA.

Like all great marketers, Sarah loves nothing more than a transformation. Prior to Salmat, Sarah was Optus’s VP of consumer broadband. She drove the transformation of the Optus Broadband & TV business, establishing new thought platforms to challenge Telstra and position Optus as the alternate brand of choice. And all this before her second cup of tea.

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