The Seven-point Checklist to Finding A Good Leaflet Distribution Provider

Having made the decision to trigger a direct marketing campaign, and then painstakingly researched the focus and target market for your carefully crafted leaflets, the next big thing is to find a good leaflet distribution provider.  Sadly, not all providers offer the same service so, once you have identified a short-list of potential leaflet distribution providers, use our checklist to help select the right provider for your campaign, checking these seven key areas:

1) Reputation

In all professions, reputation is everything.  Check out the reviews, references and testimonials available for each short-listed provider.   Using as many sources as possible and cross-checking the feedback for each provider should help to flag up any warning signs about whether one company is more or less reputable than another.

2) Reality

After discussions with potential providers, check that what is being offered is actually realistic.  For example, the time-scales involved: is the company really going to be able to deliver, quite literally what they have promised?  Ask questions and take time before making decisions, to ensure that the logistics of what’s on offer, in the context of what is needed and when, actually add up.

3) Reliability

Alongside that review checking, make a point to find out which companies offer a trustworthy distribution network.  Trustworthy in this sense means not only using reliable, properly paid and equipped adult distributors but also conducting honest and rigorous post-delivery checks.

4) Tracking Service

Identify early on whether the leaflet distribution services available include a tracking service.  This should be an essential part of the direct marketing package, so if it is not on offer at all, or is only available as an expensive ‘add-on’ service, this might be a company to avoid.

5) Range of Services

Shop around for a company which offers a range of distribution services: even if the budget available for your direct marketing campaign might be limited, most companies should be willing to tailor their service to the customer’s requirements.  Asking questions is another way to find out about what is actually offered within each service or package, so asking a ‘control’ question of each company, for example how many households are delivered to for the quote you’ve been given, is a useful way to measure the value for money of each service on offer.

6) Geographic viability

Even if you are targeting a local demographic in your leaflet advertising, it is worth considering both local and national distribution services.  Whilst a local company may have the better local knowledge and offer discounts in order to secure repeat business from you as a local customer, national companies may themselves offer more localised provision and be part of national associations, such as The Direct Marketing Association, whose members adhere to a code of practice which offers both quality assurance and reliability.

7) Calculate the real cost

Identify the real cost to your business against what you have found out from each service provider on your short list using a common sense calculation:

 cost + efficient, reliable service = value for money;

cost + inefficient, poor service = a complete waste of money.

Consider all aspects of the quotations for your leaflet distribution campaign and beware the pitfalls of handing over your hard-earned marketing budget into the hands of a low-cost distribution services as these often mask hidden scams, such as poorly paid distributors and non-delivered (that is to say, dumped) leaflets.  Marketing campaigns are an investment and in order to ensure a return on your investment, a reliable and reputable leaflet distribution provider is a must.



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