The Private Life of Mail (and door drops!)

by Team on 20/03/2015

Over the last 18 months, Royal Mail MarketReach have conducted a series of research projects to understand exactly what advertising mail means for consumers. These projects included ethnographic interviewing, CCTV observation and survey work through focus groups and telephone/online quantitative surveys.

In January it published an informative document called The Private Life of Mail which reported on all the findings and whilst the report focuses predominantly on advertising mail, there are a number of interesting, specific references to door drops.

Alongside which there are a number of “facts” which TLC believe are also pertinent to door drops.

These are best summarised as follows :

* the average amount of time door drops are kept in households is 38 days, longer than the 17 days advertising mail is retained.

* 69% of people have a specific place in the house where they store catalogues, brochures, vouchers and coupons.

* 39% of people display items such as local information or time limited offers within the house; the kitchen being the most popular location within 51% of households .

* 22% of people shared a leaflet without an address about a promotion/offer and 17% about a product/service, with another member of the household.

* 59% of people opened a leaflet without an address about a product/service and 43% interacted* with the leaflet.

* 54% of people opened a leaflet without an address about a promotion/offer and 43% interacted* with the leaflet.

* door drop ROI delivered excellent performance – around the same level as OOH (out of home/posters) and above cinema and online display advertising (based upon 42 door drop databases).

Key learnings from a case history with data provided by The Salvation Army and analysis by MC&C:

* TV amplifies response to mail and door drops and all drive people online.

* door drops should be deployed to maximise effective reach and use addressed mail for precision recruitment of new donors without wastage.

* 55% of donors recruited by door drops were new, behind only TV 69% and advertising mail 97%, but superior to press, inserts and search.

Some of these bullet points help to answer questions commonly posed by clients, but TLC would recommend anyone to obtain their own copy of the document by visiting

Interacted is defined as having read, kept or acted upon the item. Interaction rates are shown as a percentage of overall population rather than those who opened them.
Other sources : Royal Mail MarketReach, Media Moments & Ethnographic Quant, Trinity Mc Queen 2013/4, Royal Mail MarketReach Brandscience 2014.

This article was written by...

– who has written 51 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

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