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13th Mar 2017

The Ides of March

Timing your print distribution

“Beware the Ides of March” were the words of misgiving spoken to Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s famous play. If you paid attention in class you’ll remember that following that warning, the great Emperor was assassinated on that very day in the Roman calendar: roughly March the 15th in our modern equivalent. From the seventeenth century onwards therefore, the Ides of March have been associated with the bleak, the doomed and the wretched.  So as we approach that very time, we want to turn the tables and look at reasons that mid March is actually an excellent time to launch your print campaign!


The month of March sees the beginning (finally!) of meteorological Spring, so every day brings more and more daylight for us to enjoy. In turn, people become more receptive to trying something new and opportunities to engage with customers become more frequent.


Mid-month is a great time to reach out to potential customers before they have hit the end of their monthly pay packets. This year, March 15th falls on a Wednesday and it is distribution in the second half of the working week that sees the highest response rate in most industries. The middle of the day on weekends is also a good time to distribute to homes; there is less competition and most households have marginally more time to pay attention to your message. When you target a specific area, take the time to research which day of the week the local free sheets are distributed as coinciding with these can risk your leaflet being swamped amongst other information.


There are so many calendar events this time of year that can tie into your advertising or offers. From Easter to national saint’s days to pancake day. Using public awareness of national celebration days or holidays can create a bond of recognition that engages your target audience. Images and motifs that hold common associations also suggest a basic time frame to encourage a response.


March is a notoriously unpredictable month for the weather. The past few years have seen both snow boots and flip flops out on the streets. So clearly the weather isn’t something that you can bank on when planning your distribution. When an increase in response rates has been attributed to leaflet distribution on a rainy or cloudy day, though, it may be worth maintaining a certain degree of flexibility.


We haven’t yet hit holiday season, so door to door drops are more likely to be fruitful. Similarly, the arrival of less Arctic conditions means that public events start to crop up once again. Spring fairs, festivals and sporting events are all great places to target with your flyers, leaflets or brochures. Once you’ve put some thought into which events might attract the most likely consumer for your business or service, you can get straight out there!  

Distribution marketing tends to have an average response rate of around 1%. However, leafletting is notoriously hard to measure. Often the use of an offer or voucher code can help to identify those customers who are responding to a flyer, but The Direct Marketing Association found that 89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing and 45% keep leaflets on a notice board or in the kitchen drawer. So clearly the ability of print to build awareness or result in customer contact a long period after the initial distribution means that its true value is impossible to accurately represent. With this in mind, every bit of thought that you put into the timing and implementation of your leaflet distribution has the potential to reap substantial rewards.