Door drop volumes – an update

by Graham Dodd on 04/03/2013

Our first volume update of the year sees the average weekly volume of door drop items received in Cheshunt during February increase from January’s 7.25 to 10.25, so for the first 2 months of the year, an overall weekly average of 8.75.

And I’m predicting a further rise in March in the lead up to the Easter weekend, which is traditionally the start of the season for many business sectors.

An overall summary of other statistics this year would reveal 47.2% of the items received would be what we would classify as “local” business, with the remaining 52.8% therefore classified as national business.

The overall splits for the year to date are 28.5% Royal Mail D2D, 24.3% free newspapers and 47.2% solus.

Next month we will have a closer look at individual business sectors, but the February mix of items carried many of the predictable grocery multiples, pizza options, insurance companies and telecoms suppliers, but nothing I would call “creative” or which generated that “stand out on the doormat” feeling.

From my years judging the DMA Awards, I’m well aware of the debate between creatives and planners, door drop suppliers and even clients about creativity.

Many creatives will consider some of the more regular door drop items to be boring and unattractive, but presumably from the clients’ perspective, if the activity works, they will keep dropping?

The argument has always been if it looks more inviting and interesting, will it increase response/redemption?

Incidentally, Steve Thompson MD of door drop validation company Stepcheck also has a view on door drop items which are envelopes – click here to read more.

But I’m pleased to report that our specimen box contains a number of creative pieces distributed in February by our clients, though not in Cheshunt.

And with respect, the sources of some of these pieces are clients where you might not expect creativity to be high up on the agenda.

Yet in each case when we started the planning process, creativity, in the shape of die cuts, was.

I’d like to take some of the credit in some of the cases, as creativity is a subject we have talked about in years gone by and its gratifying to see some clients implementing such advice.

Some of the surprises came in that, with respect, clients were from the public sector.

Now I’m not going to name anyone and provide my competitors with sales leads (!), but two London NHS organisations dropped die cuts, both with the same headline within the same shape, but one with a huge sunflower background which I think really stood out.

Both items carried pretty much the same copy offering the same advice and help, but each also carried dedicated telephone numbers, email addresses and websites with specific landing pages for residents to use.

Its too early to determine response rates, but given its repeat business, I’m assuming it worked well last year hence being repeated!

But my clear favourite for the month was a new f.m.c.g. client who tested three creative treatments within our two tier door drop test plan, one of which was a die cut in the shape of a meat cleaver!

I don’t think anyone picking it up would not look more closely at it, even if it was alongside other items.

The clever use of dated coupons to stimulate first time purchase and then encourage repeat purchase, is a technique we have seen used successfully by other f.m.c.g. brands, which we shared with this new client at the planning stage and it will be really interesting to see how this works over the coming weeks.

And it does not end there.

In March we have another two pieces of activity where die cuts are being used, one from a regional authority and another from transport organisation (with the help of an agency it has to be said), but more about them in the next blog.

Now it would be true to say that all of these clients are completing relatively small volumes in comparison to the millions associated with grocery multiples, the pizza guys, telecom suppliers etc., but we would always urge clients and agencies to seek advice about creativity.

Door drops are not all about volume.

Less can mean more.

So talk to us when you are planning your next activity and seek advice from specialists like GI Solutions.

They can even now produce door drop items which smell nice!

This article was written by...

– who has written 86 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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