Are you really getting what you are paying for?

by Graham Dodd on 06/09/2019

A while back, we received an unprompted email from a media agency offering us a range of dates to visit them and present our door drop services.

Recognising them as an existing user of the medium, on what we believed to be a reasonably substantial basis, we were a combination of excited, confused and cautious.

Was it a just a beauty parade, industrial espionage or were they genuinely interested in our offering and seriously looking around for a new supplier for whatever reasons?

Selecting a date, we sought further information on why we had been invited, primarily so that we could create a presentation that focused on their key issues, problems or points of interest.

With no further input, we could only focus on our core values and strengths, which we believe set us apart from our competitors, plus a product range different to what others may offer and service levels we pride ourselves upon.

Our mission statement has always been to provide clients with door drop proposals created on a bespoke basis, which may vary from campaign to campaign for any individual client, based upon their stated objectives.

The presentation makes it crystal clear that we sub contract 100% of client activity to Royal Mail door to door, an army of team distribution companies, providers who operate walker systems and free newspapers, in isolation or appropriate combinations, sometimes further endorsed by other media such as direct mail.

Because we have no in-house, final mile distribution solutions, there are no distractions, needs or desires to feed internal cost centres and any client, on every campaign, can be assured that the door drop plan presented will be the door drop plan implemented throughout the UK’s 27+ million households.

Our media plans really are created with the client’s best interests uppermost in our minds.

Cue a little silence in the room, copious note taking and a few sideways glances at each other.                                      

We had obviously hit a nerve unintentionally, but our absolute openness has never changed and never will.

It subsequently became evident that the agency had some serious concerns over whether a proposal they signed off had really been implemented in the prescribed manner (without going into details), but the response pattern was said to be “unusual”, where response had been generated.

Why have we published this blog?

The door drop industry in the UK, like many others is having a tough time and its often a maligned medium.

Industry statistics show a continued fall in annual volumes (though relatively small year on year) and it is increasingly fighting for its share of spend against digital, seen by many (wrongly in our opinion) as the catch all solution, despite the new JICMail service starting to show the true impact and value of door drops.

The last thing the industry needs is ANY door drop supplier to offer clients a solution they find acceptable, but then implement the activity in a different manner, wholly or partially, without notifying the client, which ultimately may well show up in terms of response or rather the lack of and cause concern with the client.

The industry cannot afford to lose spend, simply because a supplier juggles the final mile plan for internal benefit or greed at the client’s expense.

Particularly if you are using Royal Mail door to door, here’s a tip.

When you have confirmed your booking with your supplier, ask to see the Royal Mail Delivery Summary schedule, which is the front page of their stock delivery summary as the title suggests.

In the top right hand corner this detail will appear – Run date/timing : 27/08/2019 11.27am (which should be a date after you have confirmed the contract!).

The summary will also confirm the volume booked and the depots to which stock should be delivered.

When your printer receives delivery instructions from your door drop supplier, this detail should match.

If you’re reading this after distribution has inexplicably failed in certain areas, ask to be provided with the booking summary – you’re entitled to confirm that what you have booked and paid for is what you have been provided with.

This article was written by...

– who has written 82 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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