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Making a mountain out of a door drop

Gavin Wheeler, CEO at UK-based direct response and relationship marketing agency WDMP (, presents a case study of a successful campaign run via an unpersonalised channel – the traditional door drop.

Although it’s increasingly a mainstream holiday these days, skiing is still something that tends to evoke passion. Indeed, going skiing is so much more than just going on holiday – it’s about exercise, learning and improving skills, pushing yourself, being one with incredible scenery. And most of all, it’s just so much fun! 

The fervour ski fans have for hitting the slopes is something we wanted to invoke with the campaign we were briefed to create for Monarch Airlines to build awareness of its new range of European ski-routes. Not so much of an issue if we’d been creating a TV ad, but in a door drop it was a bit more of a stretch. How could we lift a traditional, unpersonalised piece of DM and make it stand out on the doormat like a blast of fresh Alpine air?

Well, firstly, by using the best targeting we could achieve. Few dispute the importance of relevance that comes from targeting in turning a standard piece of DM into a truly compelling communication. The other essential ingredient was augmented reality. As the saying here goes, ‘if you can’t take Mohammed to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed’.  And with new technology this is exactly what we were able to do – create a virtual experience for recipients that would take them to the slopes, accompanied by Monarch’s ski ambassador and British Triple Olympian, Chemmy Alcott, no less!

For the targeting we used ski specific sources and Monarch’s own data to create a profile and matched that to Mosaic to find where the hottest prospects lived at a micro level.

We then used this insight to identify the optimum distribution methods to reach these hot prospects with limited wastage. For instance, where free local newspapers were the ‘best fit’ channel for an area, instead of approaching all 2,500 households in the postal sector, we could identify specific delivery rounds of approximately 150 homes to optimise our reach amongst the target audience. Where there were no free press channels to reach hot prospects we identified the best from alternative delivery routes, such as Royal Mail inserts and solus door drops, to reach them. 

Also, by matching data against catchment areas we were able to push relevance further by tailoring messaging and offers according to which airport was closest to the recipient. 

However, while the targeting was essential to the success of the campaign, it was the use of augmented reality that created the glitz and excitement that lifted it from good to great. 
Recipients who downloaded the free Blippar app on their smartphone or tablet could scan the pack and instantly explore the resorts available through Monarch’s new routes to Innsbruck, Grenoble, Friedrichshafen and Munich. They could experience the mountains for themselves in 3D and watch a video of Chemmy herself, including footage of her training on the slopes. 

To provide a call to action and track the campaign we adapted the augmented reality so that, when a user clicked on a destination, they would see a pop up box of the UK airports that Monarch Ski fly from, as well as prices and a discount code – with a click through to the Monarch website and the ability to book through the Blippar app. The door drop leaflet itself also featured a trackable code which offered a discount on return flights and free ski carriage.

So, how did it do? While I can’t give too much away, it did all we set out to achieve and more. The activity created a clear spike in direct web traffic to Monarch’s website, taking over from Google pre-campaign to become the top source of site entry. Google traffic also increased by almost 40% in the first week following the door drop landing, showing a very positive impact on awareness overall. The time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits increased too and the ‘long tail’ of direct traffic continuing to arrive at the ski section in the weeks following delivery demonstrated an ongoing increase in awareness.

We believe this was the first door drop of its kind by a travel brand, creating a communication that combined the best of tried and tested techniques with new technology. This was a big test for Monarch which is now committed to pushing the boundaries for door drops – and as we take the learnings from this campaign to fine tune and improve each campaign, their importance for the brand can only grow.

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