Virgin Trains use door drop as a medium to sell tickets

Royal Mail MarketReach 04/04/2017

Virgin trains sells tickets door drop

Brand Name: Virgin Trains


Virgin Trains were required to fill empty seats on various off-peak trains on their Manchester to London route. They decided to continue the drive of their ‘Arrive Awesome’ campaign and successfully show the value, speed and experience of travelling by train (as supposed to driving or flying to London) in a way that would stand out and connect with their busy target audience.

The Case Study

Target audience where Northern – Virgin Trains decided to forge an immediate commitment to this group of audience by trialling an acquisition door drop consisting of cheeky commentaries about Southerners. The resulting ‘Northerners Guide to London’ – a tongue-in-cheek take on a pocket travel guide – gave the travellers tips on what to do (or rather what not to do) on a trip to London.

Using witty language, Virgin pointed out the obvious flaws on a London trip and useful translations of Southern terms. It also included tips on getting there and back, which allowed them to bring in the benefits of travelling by Virgin Trains rather than car.

The guide also included a complimentary £10 voucher off their next train journey, giving Northerners a real reason to take a trip to the lovely and expensive capital.

103,757 door drops hit households within a 30-minute drive time of Manchester Piccadilly as well as the immediate vicinity of Wilmslow and Stockport stations.

Targeting was further refined to include postcode areas with high penetration of Virgin Trains’ top 4 marketing segments (Urban Up and Comers, Mature Explorers, Business Bods and The Jones). The dominance of younger segments meant Virgin hit 80% penetration of these audiences within 30-minute drive time from Manchester Piccadilly station and over 40% in Wilmslow and Stockport. Timings of the drop coincided with ‘Arrive Awesome’ press activity in the same areas.


  • The door drop achieved a response rate of 0.14%, beating the industry benchmark which sits at 0.1% – achieving a 40% uplift.
  • Overall, 11% of those households (11,648) targeted with the door drop went on to purchase a Virgin Trains ticket.
  • Generating an ‘awesome’ £2.4 million in revenue. Case Submitted By: Royal Mail MarketReach
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