Door drop volumes – 2017

by Graham Dodd on 11/07/2017

Regular readers of our volume blogs will know there is a significant difference between official industry statistics and our estimate of the market size.

The recently published DMA industry monitor shows a year on year decline over the last 5 years, with weekly volume in 2016 reported as 4.07 (claimed to be 5.26 in 2012).

The report does not predict any volume growth in the coming year, so it would be reasonable to assume that this year’s industry figure will still hover somewhere around four items per week.

By comparison, our 2017/6 month review shows a weekly average of 7.3; pretty much the same as the 7.1 we reported for 2016 and 6.9 in 2015.

Whilst those volumes are actually slightly lower than previous years, they are still almost double what official reports tell us.

2017 market share in our monitor suggests the following in comparison to the two previous years :

Royal Mail D2D – 2017 – 28%, 2016 – 34.5%, 2015 – 31.8%.

Free newspapers – 2017 – 3.2%, 2016 – 5.5%, 2015 – 8.6%.

Solus/shared – 2017 – 68.8%, 2016 – 60%, 2015 – 59.6%

Free newspapers’ market share continues to erode and given I have not received a free newspaper for some weeks now, I’m assuming my area is one of many which has been culled.

It’s an industry whose value has diminished significantly in recent years, but where it still exists should have a major role to play in clients’ local, regional or even national campaigns.

But, as the rest of the industry works to improve its overall offering and targeting in particular, most free newspaper publishers appear unable or unwilling to provide targeting to a degree that clients are seeking.

It’s difficult to see how publishers can or will reverse that decline.

We have reached out on numerous occasions, but are frankly staggered at the lack of response, particularly from apparently senior people within nationwide publishers, who cannot even answer an email.

Royal Mail market share is slightly down at this stage of the year, but there is plenty of time for the shortfall to be made up of course.

As market leaders, if the industry statistics are to be believed, the decline in volume is perhaps accurate.

From our recent work with some prospective clients there is evidence of volume being moved out of RM D2D and into alternative, cheaper, shared options.

How quality may be compromised only time will tell, assuming response/performance can be accurately measured.

And certainly the year on year growth of solus/shared drops in Cheshunt continues, though to be fair, much of it is attributed to local businesses and retailers.

Across all the door drop options, retail continues to dominate with 47.1% of items received.

Local businesses on 22.8%, followed by charities (mostly clothes bags) on 16.4% are significant contributors, totalling 86.3% of all items dropped, increasing to 93.2% when you add in 6.9% of direct response items.

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This article was written by...

– who has written 34 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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