Door drop volumes – annual review

by Graham Dodd on 11/07/2018

Our volume monitor in Cheshunt for the first 6 months of 2017 showed an average weekly volume of 7.3; in 2018 that has fallen to 5.5.

Major business sector scores were :

  • 2017 Retail was 47.1% increasing to 50% in 2018.
  • 2017 Direct response was 6.9% also increasing to 12.7%
  • 2017 Charities were 16.4% again increasing to 18.3% (predominantly clothing collection bags)
  • 2017 Local business activity at 22.8%, but falling significantly to 14.8%

That suggests Royal Mail door to door’s market share in 2017 was 28%, increasing slightly so far this year to 32%.

The local team solus/shared service in 2017 was 69% and that has decreased to 68%.

We no longer receive a local free newspaper, which was in the statistics for the first 6 months of last year and was the missing 3%.

The biggest volume drop is associated with local business activity, 130 items in 2017 to 97 in 2018, more than 1 item a week and the demise of free newspapers will have contributed to that.

Which really suggests that the “national” business market, probably best reflected by Royal Mail D2D statistics, has remained pretty stable.

We in fact believe Royal Mail’s market share is far higher than this summary suggests, when taking the national marketplace into consideration in isolation, as we also believe “local” businesses are not major users of Royal Mail D2D.

As always, these summaries will be at odds with industry statistics in a week where the DMA have released their official report on volumes for 2017, which can be found here.

The DMA report suggests an average weekly receipt of 4.03 in 2017 (in comparison to our 6.3), very marginally down on the 4.07 in 2016 (in comparison to our 7.1).

As we have said before, we believe the DMA statistics are an accurate reflection of the national/major user marketplace, but don’t accurately reflect the local market, which is not a surprise when looking at its membership base.

Fast forward a year, our current belief that the local marketplace has shrunk will perhaps allow a closer evaluation next year.

The DMA report references the decline in volume and spend as perhaps being a direct result of a General Election in May 2017, but again it’s a view we don’t necessarily agree with based upon our own trading patterns; it wasn’t a quiet time for us!

It may well be the case for some individual companies of course, but the statistics are not collected by month, so this has to be a subjective opinion as there are no statistics to support it.

Whilst Brexit still needs to be negotiated, there is a general buoyancy in the door drop industry of what the future may bring.

It’s an industry exempt from GDPR in terms of targeting and offers advertisers an affordable and reliable route to market, particularly for clients perhaps struggling with what their one to one strategies can provide in the future.

It’s a medium that is easy to test and in some areas test discounts are available for new users.

If you are not a user, perhaps its time to start thinking about it?

This article was written by...

– who has written 52 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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