Door drop volumes – 2015

by Graham Dodd on 11/11/2015

The Summer period has historically seen door drop volumes at their lowest and this year has been no exception, so we have reviewed the last three months and the year to date together.

At the end of July, the 30 week average was 7.3 which had fallen from 8.1 at the end of March.

By the time we reached the end of September that had fallen further to 6.5, with August being a really quiet month, though September itself had staged a small recovery with a weekly average of 7.75

But those top line statistics mask some interesting detail when you review receipt from the three final mile options; Royal Mail door to door, free newspapers and solus/shared delivery by teams or walkers.

In August, both Royal Mail and free newspapers only delivered 3 items in a 4 week month, compared to 9 solus/shared items, but just 15 items in a month is one of the lowest levels we have ever recorded.

In September, Royal Mail’s fortunes improved with 10 items in 3 of the 4 weeks recorded, but free newspapers dipped further to just 2, whereas solus/shared further increased to 19.

October got off to a very slow start with just three items in w/c 5th, but then picked with eight items in each of the remaining three weeks, so a weekly average of 6.75, pretty much continuing the monthly average of 6.5.

What this does show is a significant fall from the 2014 weekly average at the end of September of 9 items; 293 items in comparison to 343.

And in terms of final mile delivery, what effect has that had on market share in the same period?

Royal Mail door to door’s 2014 share was 30.4%, which has actually increased to 33.5%.

Solus/shared drops accounted for 48.1% of the market in 2014, rising to 58% in 2015.

Leaving free newspapers as the obvious losers falling from 21.5% in 2014 to just 8.5% this year.

We have reflected on this issue before, but its simply a question of how attractive publisher distribution propositions now are and the general answer is – not very.

Nationally, household coverage is falling, with whole cities and towns now totally omitted, so its no longer an immediate go to option.

And where coverage does exist, if postal sector levels are significantly less than the full household count, which they generally are, why would you allocate precious budget simply because the title exists?

Our use of free newspapers is now generally restricted to titles where we can overlay our SMART-Drop targeting service and assure a client their target market is being covered; assuming it exists within the sector in the first place.

That service continues to generate ROI for clients, but those publishers who are unable or unwilling to provide their postcoded coverage data are missing out on business, but many just don’t seem to care, so they will probably continue to lose market share.

And to close, a quick review of market shares and business splits for the top four categories.

Retail contributed 51.2% of the total volume, split 56% through teams on a solus basis, 34% through Royal Mail and 10% via papers.

Local businesses dropped 20.2% of the total, split 90% teams,1.5% RM D2D and 8.5% newspapers.

Charities came in with 10.6% of which 84% were solus drops, but it would be fair to point out the majority of them are clothes bags – quite often for fake charities!

Royal Mail’s 13% were all reputable, major charities, as was the one item delivered via a newspaper, but take the fakes out and Royal Mail again enjoyed the largest market share by far.

And finally direct response with 10.2% share. Royal Mail were clear winners with 90% of all items and the remaining 10% came via newspapers, with no solus activity.

It will be interesting to see how the run up to the Festive Season and the New Year impacts on these statistics for the year end.

This article was written by...

– who has written 77 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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