Abel & Cole

Harnessing the power of communities delivered fruitful results


Abel & Cole, an established organic fruit and vegetable subscription brand with a loyal and engaged following, were experiencing diminishing return on advertising spend. Recruiting sticky / loyal customers with a longer LTV (lifetime value) was crucial for the brand’s future. 

The aim was to use the power of Able and Cole’s existing communities (beyond their current CRM and social) to find new customers. The target was to recruit 114 NEW customers from a strict £40,000 media budget.


On average, Abel & Cole's data showed that customers in areas with strong Abel & Cole communities spent 10% more than those in areas without. The brand wanted to focus their targeting in these locations, and opted for door drops as the performance activation channel.

Working with their partners Herdify & Whistl, Able and Cole used community detection insights to identify where consumers were talking about their brand in the real world. In behavioural science terms, these community conversations are 92% more likely to result in a sale over any other type of advertising, because people trust recommendations from people they know. These insights enable marketers to direct activity to those areas with strong communities and recommendations - with their marketing activations acting as the nudge to purchase.

Abel & Cole created a targeted door drop campaign by combining proprietary modelling with Herdify’s community detection tool to hyper-target prospects located in their brand community hotspots. 

The campaign combined both door drop targeting and community targeting models to fit postcode sectors into one of three categories: 

1. Areas where the community modelling and door drop audience modelling aligned. 

2. Areas inside the community modelling and outside door drop audience modelling. 

3. Areas inside door drop audience modelling and outside of the community modelling.

For the door drop creative Abel & Cole used its control envelope creative, the best-performing format across the brand’s print media channels.

The key creative door drop media principles included in the creative were:

  • Can the recipient see immediately what they are required to do on the outer?
  • Do they have to read through the whole letter to find out what to do?
  • Connect the copy with visuals
  • Include one or more ways to respond

A strong offer was used, giving £30 savings across the first three shops. This meant new customers would benefit from at least three boxes, thus more likely to become a long-term customer.

The envelope was purposely bold using the yellow brand colour, and included the offer in a roundel, as well as the hero fruit and vegetable box image. A TASTE2023 QR offer code and the customer postcode aided measurement. Included too were the options to find out more through the web address or to download the Able and Cole app.


Abel & Cole’s community driven door drop recruited new customers – smashing the target.

Abel & Cole benefitted from response up to 10 weeks after the door-drop hit targeted homes.

198 new customers were recruited from the door-drop, exceeding the target.

There were 538 QR code scans, an exceptional scan rate of 0.17%.

Finally, the targeting tests confirmed that the test cell where both community and door drop targeting overlapped cell generated the best response and return, meaning that Abel & Cole could apply these leanings to future campaigns. 


Source: DMA Awards, Best use of Unaddressed Print and Door Drops (Silver) 2023 


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