Thursday, 28 May 2009

Leaflets and letterboxes

According to a story in this week's 'Carmarthen Journal', Carmarthenshire County Council's Marketing and Tourism Department are now the proud owners of a new door. Sadly, this particular story appears not to have made it into the online edition as far as I can see.

The door (or to be more precise, half a door – it has been cut in half just above the letterbox) has been presented to them by Anglian Building Products, and is standing in the Council's offices. It is being used, apparently, to enable staff to study "the way a letter or leaflet drops through a letterbox and lands on a doormat".

Now, like many people involved in politics, I have a certain amount of experience in the business of encouraging leaflets through letterboxes. On the basis of that experience, I think I can say fairly categorically that unless the leaflet has had to be folded in some way in order to push it through an odd-sized letterbox (and the helpful picture of Carmarthenshire's half-door shows only one, standard sized, letterbox), then it will land with one side facing up and the other facing the floor.

So, if they really need an in-depth understanding of "the way the homeowner perceives a publication" at first sight, they have only to toss it gently to the floor a few times so that they can see what it looks like from both sides.

The most amazing part of the whole story, for me, is that they claim to have had "24,500 new brochure requests since February using this method". I have no idea how they can attribute that increase to watching leaflets flutter through letterboxes. But I suppose that I should content myself with being pleased that they didn't actually go out and buy half a door.


Anonymous said...

An interesting blog indeed!Mmm

However someone who has never won an election maybe you could adopt this method to ensure the voters read your leaflets and who knows you could win the next election???

So will you be using the council's new door? Don't under estimate the effectiveness of visual Media.

John Dixon said...

"never"? Au contraire.

I understand the importance of visual media, and of the initial impact of a leaflet; but I won't be using the council's half a door approach any time soon!