Door drop volumes – an update

by Graham Dodd on 04/04/2013

You may recall I started a monthly blog on door drop volumes this year based upon a straw poll of one in Cheshunt, following the suggestion in the DMA Annual Door Drop statistics published last Autumn, that the weekly average receipt for UK households was just 5.1 items in 2011 – when we believe it was more.

Interestingly, the DMA Door Drop Board Committee’s March newsletter featured an article from Chairman Mark Young (also MD at The Leaflet Company), which stated that the 2012 industry volumes will be published this month (we will keep you in that loop), but predicted a fall from 5.1 (which we again do not agree with), whilst also suggesting volumes in 2013 will increase (we think they have already!).

You can read Mark’s article here.

In that same newsletter, there is a really interesting article from Lucy Stafford, Managing Director at Mindshare Direct where she reviews the items which came through her letterbox in rural Hampshire. Lucy’s article starts with a comment that she does not receive many door drops, but that week, she “only” received five (the supposed national average)!

You can read Lucy’s article here.

The introduction to Lucy’s article, from Mark Davies, Managing Director at TNT Post, describes Lucy’s corner of Hampshire as a “door drop desert”, so perhaps Lucy and Mark Davies also think the stated national average should be higher than 5.1?

Certainly more 60% of people who voted in our poll last year agreed that they received more than 5 items per week, so perhaps that ball is rolling a little quicker!

The monitor is already identifying some interesting plots; such as 10 weeks out of the 12 that have elapsed so far this year, I received a (solus) charity bag through the letterbox – with some charities delivering more than once in that timeframe.

Another is the frequency with which some of the large grocery multiples deliver pretty much the same looking leaflets, which some may consider to be repetitive and boring, whilst others will probably claim it increases awareness amongst consumers looking out for their leaflets.

One of the most interesting points to arise for me however, is how the choice of the free newspaper title in a sector which has two titles is made?

My interest is provoked by the fact that some clients’ material is regularly booked with the same title and I think they are being short changed by whoever is buying the media, but more of that in a separate blog to come, as I think its a really important issue that many clients are possibly not aware of.

My prediction of a pre Easter surge surprisingly failed to materialise, but some of our clients postponed activity at the last moment because of the weather, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

My weekly average in March was still 9.75 items and is 9.08 for the year to date.

Statistics for the first three months of the year show Royal Mail D2D with 29% of the market, free newspapers 24% and solus a whopping 47%.

In terms of market sectors, retail with 41% of the items delivered is by far the largest business area, with local business contributing a further 21%, whilst direct response and charity clients both weigh in with 15% market share.

Its been a quiet week so far in Cheshunt, perhaps a sign that many clients have considered the impact of Easter school holidays and people being away (?), so it will be interesting to see how this month’s figures play out.

This article was written by...

– who has written 32 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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