Rain drops are falling on your door drops

by Graham Dodd on 01/11/2013

Following a recent conversation with a client who was unhappy that their solus door drop start up was delayed because of the torrential rain, we thought it useful to outline how inclement weather can affect door drops.

As a specialist door drop media agency, we don’t have a weather policy per se, but the general principles for each door drop discipline which apply most in the Autumn & Winter months are as follows :

Royal Mail D2D – because of their legal responsibility to deliver the mail, the post and accompanying promotional items generally always gets through, even in heavy rain. If snow and ice are really bad making pavements dangerous to walk on, there can be delays, but Royal Mail are always very good at updating clients on such situations.

Free newspapers – every free newspaper in the UK will have a designated distribution day, which can be Tuesday – Friday of each week.

Distributors are expected to deliver their newspapers on the appointed day, but inclement weather conditions may feasibly mean distributors will elect to delay the distribution. It’s important to bear in mind here that many distributors work from trolleys containing the newspapers and leaflets and their rounds can take up to 2 hours to complete, so working in the rain could well be an issue, as again will be snow and ice.

Solus – at the point of booking, drops are confirmed so that timing mirrors that agreed with the client. As the planning agency, we will always advise how long we think a drop will take and contract sufficient resource to achieve those objectives.

But we cannot predict the weather and its always sensible to build in a contingency if and where possible.

Snow and ice pose Health & Safety issues for any door drop provider and its a question of using commonsense when expecting door drop activity to still take place.

Clients who only seek to book their distribution activity when their printed items are already available, often leave no room for manoeuvre and that can be dangerous if the bad weather descends.

It is always important to be made aware of time sensitive activity – but if bad weather arrives and you have not left enough time for the drop to be completed, don’t blame your supplier.

And you the client, always need to ensure that your bulk supplies are available on time, as the late delivery of stock can also cause drops to overrun.

We understand that clients will not really want their distribution items delivered in a soggy state, but it may happen, particularly if you the client are imposing pressure to complete as quickly as possible.

As a media buying agency ourselves, we fully appreciate that promotional agencies can only implement briefs from clients when they arise, but dependent upon the door drop option/s being used on any one piece of activity, it is always worth bearing the points we have made above in mind, when discussing timings with your clients.

TLC will continue to provide what we believe are realistic time frames for distribution, but weather can impact on the best laid plans given its unpredictability.

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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