In a world where start-ups are increasingly geared towards digital, it’s surprising to see a print-based business not only start, but flourish.
Even more surprising is the fact that a team with a strong technical and online background started the business.
Letterbox Deals supplies offers on printed leaflets, delivered to homes via a special deal with Australia Post. Clients include Optus, Domino’s and NRMA, as well as smaller, local businesses.
Launched as an adjunct to creative agency Tonic, Letterbox Deals was created with the idea that it will do something better than what has gone before and will, through scale, rapidly become the market leader.
The print and distribution costs of launching an old-style printed product were significant and Bakewell admits to some early cashflow headaches. But the business is now in a decent position and is ready for expansion.
“From a perception perspective, many look at unaddressed mail as unwanted and a waste of resources but this is not necessarily the case,” he says.
“Not only is unaddressed mail popular in Australia, but it can be argued that unaddressed mail has better green credentials than most other mainstream and online media, as long as the recipients do the right thing with the end product.”
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“It is a capital intensive business, much more so than we thought. I had to re-mortgage my house and there were some dark days, but they were worth it.”
“I wanted to create something that was difficult to enter. We’ve now got a moat around the business that would be hard for others to get over.”