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Old May 14, 2003, 04:55 PM
Michael Ross (Qld, Aust)
Posts: n/a
Default Here's how they work in my neck of he woods...

After the "walker" - the person who does the actual distributing of the flyers - has completed their route (and they are given a set day to do it), a "supervisor" - actual supervisor who works for the distribution company or the owner of the company - does a drive by the route to double check on the delivery.

Sometimes they will even stop the car and speak to people they see on the street (I've chatted with them many times over the years).

A few times I have called a business on a flyer and let them know I got five of their flyers. Then I leave it with them to follow up.

The walkers themselves are usually sourced from simple classified ads. Usually something along the lines of make money distributing flyers; get fit and make money distributing flyers; flyer distributors wanted for Area; and so on.

The rate these walkers get is $10 per thousand for the first flyer. If there is a ride-along then they get less for that - maybe $8 or $6 per thousands - because they are already going along the route. But ride-alongs are not guaranteed.

So at $10 per thousand, many walkers don't know what they are in for. It could take three hours to do 1,000 houeses. And for that they get $10 - $3.33 an hour.

And they don't get any allowance for driving to the area they have to walk, or any allowance for inserting multiple flyers into a "baggie."

Quite frankly, the distribution companies are using slave labor in my opinion.

But anyway. Because of this, the distribution company has a HIGH staff turnover.

And what of those staff?

Some can be flakes. Some can be desperate for a few bucks - after all, no real training or qualifications needs to distribute flyers. Some can be looking for something to relieve their monotonous lives at home and thus also get a few bucks - they use the exercise logic to justify why they work for slave money.

They are generally NOT people who are doing this on the side as well as having a normal 9 to 5. So you could question their reliability.

But generally I'd say most walkers want to do the right thing and distribute all the flyers they are given - at least in the beginning.

As for your reduced results...

Without knowing when you flyers were supposed to go out, there is no way to figure why your results were less than normal. But here are a few things which could have reduced your results...

War Against Iraq.

Vacation - people not in, kids checking the mail and tossing everything that is not in an envelope or a toy catalog.

Flyer delivered with a LOT of obvious junk flyers. Sometimes the flyers that come in bundles are a mix of good quality and obvious photocopies that have been cut with scissors "things." No time to sort through it all so the whole lot goes in the round file unread.

Bad demographic pocket. Too many older people. Too many younger people. Too many people with high mortages. Too many renters. Or too many owners if you were targetting renters. Too high a concentration of condos or apartments and not enough houses - or visa versa. Too many illiterate people. Too many DINTS. Not enough DINTS. Incompatible ride-alongs - bad ride-alongs could set the tone of how the recipient views the rest of the pack. A new test on your part - headline change, text change, etc - instead of a control piece. Junk mail thief from a rival distribution company trying to wreck the reputation of the good company. Flakey walkers who snapped during their route and had finally had enough and trashed the most of the flyers after deliverying a few.

See, the walkers around here are also told NOT to go into properties with dogs. So a high dog ownership pocket would end up seeing fewer flyers delivered. But if that was your target market your flyer never reached them.

The most frustrating thing is not knowing why something doesn't work. You could have discovered all the above reasons were not it. And that all the flyers were delivered as promised. But for some cosmic reason your flyer didn't go over like normal.

I like to think of it in terms of the scientists rule... "under the most strict conditions of light, humidity, temperature, climate, and outside influences, an organism will do as it damn well pleases."

Michael Ross

It's like a precious gift

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