FAQ’s

The Service

Royal Mail door to door is the distribution of unaddressed promotional material (leaflets, brochures, envelopes) alongside addressed mail.

The service delivers to more than 29 million households in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Distribution is planned and completed at postal sector level – EN8 9 – and there are 9,360 postal sectors across the UK, an average of 3,099. Postal sector volumes range from 1 to 14,029.

Within postal sectors, distribution is planned at postal walk level, units of “hundreds” of households. Individual postal workers, full time employees of Royal Mail, distribute the unaddressed material alongside addressed mail, though some households may only receive the door drop items.

Sharing items

Royal Mail door to door will carry a maximum of 7 items in each postal sector, though the average is nearer to 2-3.

Royal Mail door to door do provide a business/service exclusivity clause, but you are advised to consult your service provider about restrictions in some business areas.

Distribution period

Royal Mail door to door operates in one-week cycles, 52 weeks of the year.

Any volume up to 29 million can be distributed in one week, or distribution can be staggered over a maximum of 13 weeks.

Distribution will normally take place over a 6-day period, Monday – Saturday.

Booking lead time

Royal Mail door to door’s standard booking period is 3 weeks in advance of the required distribution start date.

But equally, you can book up to 13 months in advance to guarantee postal sector availability.

Some service providers will be able to reduce the advance period.

Bulk delivery of leaflets

Royal Mail door to door operate from 5 regional depots: Rochester (Kent), Swindon, Warrington, Perth, and Belfast.

Leaflets will need to be packed into cardboard cartons and labelled for delivery to the depots a minimum of 6 working days in advance of the agreed Monday start date.

Fortnightly consignments will be accepted.

Reliability

But Royal Mail have a legal responsibility to deliver addressed mail to all UK households and employ full time postal staff who are fully trained in delivery.

Royal Mail door to door is widely regarded as the most efficient and reliable distribution service in the UK, based upon historical research and client response patterns.

Royal Mail door to door offer the greatest depth of coverage in all UK sectors.

Charges

Royal Mail door to door has a rate card driven by a combination of distribution volume and the weight of the distribution item.

There are also a wide range of financial incentives such as new user rates, seasonal incentives and annual volume agreements and your service provider should be able to provide guidance to the most appropriate scheme.

Cancellation/postponement

Royal Mail door to door’s Terms & Conditions will confirm their cancellation/postponement policy, but your service provider should be able to provide more guidance.

Under certain conditions, charges may be waived, but you are advised to seek guidance before confirming your contract.

Standard Rate Card

Royal Mail door to door has a rate card driven by a combination of distribution volume and the weight of the distribution item.

For volumes up to 25,000 items, 25,000 – 100,000 items and 100,000 – 200,000 items, charges per thousand are fixed.

For volumes more than 200,000 items, there are five further volume bands up to 10 million items, where distribution charges are based upon individual postal sector financial values. And there are nine financial bands added to the equation.

So, any client looking to drop more than 200,000 items but without postal sector details, can only be provided with a “guide” charge.

Once postal sector identities have been agreed, a formal charge can be quoted.

For clients looking to distribute more than 10 million items, charges can be supplied upon application.

The charge will however also be determined by the weight of the door drop item and there are five weight bands on the standard rate card: up to 20 grammes, 20-35 grammes, 35-60 grammes, 60-80 grammes and 80–100 grammes.

Royal Mail will also distribute “heavyweight” items from a separate rate card, which similarly has five weight bands between 100 and 200 grammes.

A Royal Mail distribution contract can be spread over a maximum of 13 consecutive weeks and the charge is based upon the overall contract volume.

New user rate card

Any client who has not used the Royal Mail service in the 18 months preceding the distribution start date, will be eligible for a new user rate.

This rate card is governed by the same volume and weight bands as the standard rate card and contracts can again be spread over a maximum of 13 weeks.

New user eligibility has a 6-month lifespan from the date of the first distribution, so may be also used on multiple, individual bookings.

On expiry of the 6-month period, charges will revert to rate card.

Further Incentives

In addition to the new user rate, there are a wide range of further financial incentives.

Summer & Winter Incentives

Each year, Royal Mail door to door offers incentives specifically over the mid July-August and late November to late December periods.

Such incentives may stipulate minimum and maximum booking values, may further stipulate minimum incremental volumes in comparison to previous years’ activity and cannot be used in conjunction with other schemes.

Additional Schemes

Royal Mail door to door also offer a range of other volume-based incentive schemes, some of which focus on lapsed and returning clients, test and learn schemes or tactical users.

General Advice

Navigating Royal Mail door to door’s rate card and plethora of incentive schemes can be a daunting and confusing process, particularly to new or lapsed users, who are unfamiliar with the framework.

As an approved Royal Mail door to door reseller, TLC has decades of experience in handling Royal Mail door to door bookings, for small or large, local or national clients, so are perfectly placed to help you through this maze.

General Introduction

Door drops is the term given to the distribution of unaddressed promotional and information material through UK households’ letterboxes.

The distribution can be completed by Royal Mail door to door, distribution teams who may distribute items on their own (solus) or on a shared basis, alongside free newspapers, and local magazines, or by the clients themselves.

Distribution items may be leaflets, brochures, product samples, newspapers, magazines, or envelopes.

Some envelopes may be addressed to The Occupier, Householder, Gardener, or any other general salutation and commonly carry a strapline to stimulate interest.

Who Uses Door Drops?

The door drop medium is regularly and extensively used by a wide range of clients:

Charities – leaflets and envelopes for both acquisition and legacy campaigns and shop promotions.

FMCG – money off coupons and free samples, to generate trial and stimulate purchase of product.

Public sector – residents’ magazines, consultation plans, waste recycling information, local events, and adult learning courses.

Retail – material to promote sales and offers and to drive and increase footfall.

Leisure – health & leisure centres promoting membership and usage.

Travel – airlines, train and bus timetables, offers and route updates, cruise promotions.

Utilities – gas, oil and electricity providers offering incentives and sales.

Direct response advertisers – the term applies to users whose door drop items are designed to prompt engagement with the consumer through email, telephone, or online options, where the final objective is to generate a sale.

However, all the above business sectors will use door drops to increase online engagement and actions with their target market.

A Closer Look at Retail

The retail sector has year on year contributed the largest percentage of all door drop items distributed.

When you think retail, it would be reasonable to focus on the major grocery multiples, the large fast food suppliers, and major store groups, and to a degree their smaller counterparts.

All of that would be true, but also falling into the “retail category”, but perhaps on a smaller footing would be:

Art galleries, bars, butchers, car dealerships, care homes, colleges, decorator shops, department stores, dog grooming services, estate agents, fishmongers, funeral directors, furniture stores, hairdressers, hearing aid providers, hospices, opticians, public houses, restaurants, schools, theatres, travel agents, universities, veterinary services, wine merchants.

The effectiveness of door drops will be measured in different ways, partly dependent upon the type of client using the medium.

From the outset, a client needs to have clear and precise methods of determining effectiveness and your door drop provider should help you understand what measurements are possible.

Some measures may include:

Direct response – the number of customers or transactions directly attributable to the door drop activity. This may be because of a coupon that the customer has used, a URL they have visited or a request for confirming about where the customer heard about their business.

Incremental spend – charities, furniture stores and other types of client will often consider the resulting income that a door drop has generated to determine whether the campaign has been a success.

Sales uplift – people’s behaviour is not always predictable, and it is often true that a leaflet may contribute to a sale but it is not possible to track it. In these instances, considering the overall sales uplift in distribution areas compared with non distribution may help you understand the true impact of the leaflet drop.

Other considerations should be the longer term, brand awareness that leaflet drops will help you build. Estate agents, for example, may drop ten leaflets per year to ensure that you remember their name for when the time comes that you do need an estate agent.

Web site visitors and in store football may be opportunities to understand how effective the leaflet drop has been in directing potential customers to your business.

JICMail - https://www.jicmail.org.uk/ - is a recent innovation measuring the success of door drops and direct mail.

The site will contain useful information on door drops revealing the length of time some items are retained in the household, the number interactions it generates in that time and then critically, the number of commercial actions taken as a result of the door drop.

This is helpful when considering the overall effect of your distribution – from both an immediate response and a longer term perspective.

Such clients will commonly allocate significant amounts of budget to online advertising and their algorithm for allocating response to the correct channels is of vital importance.

If a consumer receives a door drop leaflet from a company they have never heard of, but they may be in the market for the type of service or product the leaflet promotes, will their first action be to Google the client’s name?

If their second action is to then click through to the company’s website, that action should be attributed to the door drop, but commonly is not. It is a simple process to align campaign response to postal sectors on the door drop plan, within an agreed period after the distribution completion.

Your door drop supplier may have experience of working with your business sector and whilst unable to share specific client data, may as an example be able to share detail such as “achieving three time the forecast income and 37% higher levels of forecast response”.

Door drop success is not simply determined by the quality of the distribution service/s.

Creative content, the targeting and timing of the activity and the offer or incentive will all play vital roles.

Whether you are a small, local, independent High Street shop or service looking to drop just a few thousand leaflets, a retailer with multiple shops or a national advertiser, Royal Mail offer a weekly distribution service to accommodate your needs.

Royal Mail’s service is viewed as the UK’s most reliable and efficient service, with the greatest depth of coverage whether in rural or urban areas.

The service

Royal Mail door to door is the distribution of unaddressed promotional material (leaflets, brochures, envelopes) alongside addressed mail.

The service delivers to more than 29 million households in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Distribution is planned and completed at postal sector level – EN8 9 – and there are 9,360 postal sectors across the UK, an average of 3,099. Postal sector volumes range from 1 to 14,029.

Within postal sectors, distribution is planned at postal walk level, units of “hundreds” of households. Individual postal workers, full time employees of Royal Mail, distribute the unaddressed material alongside addressed mail, though some households may only receive the door drop items.

Sharing items

Royal Mail door to door will carry a maximum of 7 items in each postal sector, though the average is nearer to 2-3.

Royal Mail door to door do provide a business/service exclusivity clause, but you are advised to consult your service provider about restrictions in some business areas.

Distribution period

Royal Mail door to door operates in one-week cycles, 52 weeks of the year.

Any volume up to 29 million can be distributed in one week, or distribution can be staggered over a maximum of 13 weeks.

Distribution will normally take place over a 6-day period, Monday – Saturday.

Booking lead time

Royal Mail door to door’s standard booking period is 3 weeks in advance of the required distribution start date.

But equally, you can book up to 13 months in advance to guarantee postal sector availability.

Some service providers will be able to reduce the advance period.

Bulk delivery of leaflets

Royal Mail door to door operate from 5 regional depots: Rochester (Kent), Swindon, Warrington, Perth, and Belfast.

The location of depots is sometimes perceived as an issue for local clients with small volumes, but the use of couriers or parcel companies can easily overcome this issue.

Leaflets will need to be packed into cardboard cartons and labelled for delivery to the depots a minimum of 6 working days in advance of the agreed Monday start date.

Fortnightly consignments will be accepted.

Reliability

But Royal Mail have a legal responsibility to deliver addressed mail to all UK households and employ full time postal staff who are fully trained in delivery.

Royal Mail door to door is widely regarded as the most efficient and reliable distribution service in the UK, based upon historical research and client response patterns.

Royal Mail door to door offer the greatest depth of coverage in all UK sectors.

Charges

Royal Mail door to door has a rate card driven by a combination of distribution volume and the weight of the distribution item.

There are also a wide range of financial incentives such as new user rates, seasonal incentives and annual volume agreements and your service provider should be able to provide guidance to the most appropriate scheme.

Cancellation/postponement

Royal Mail door to door’s Terms & Conditions will confirm their cancellation/postponement policy, but your service provider should be able to provide more guidance.

Under certain conditions, charges may be waived, but you are advised to seek guidance before confirming your contract.

A word of caution

If you arrange the printing of your leaflets before booking your distribution and then require the drop asap, Royal Mail may not be the service for you because of lead times.

Your service provider should be able to provide alternative, more local door drop options which will be more suitable and can start a drop earlier.

 

 

Do Royal Mail deliver leaflets?

Yes. Royal Mail’s door to door service has for years been the UK’s largest final mile provider and is used by companies of all sizes across the UK. The service is viewed as the UK’s most reliable and efficient service, with the greatest depth of coverage whether in rural or urban areas.

The service

Royal Mail door to door is the distribution of unaddressed promotional material (leaflets, brochures, envelopes) alongside addressed mail.

The service delivers to more than 29 million households in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Distribution is planned and completed at postal sector level – EN8 9 – and there are 9,360 postal sectors across the UK, an average of 3,099. Postal sector volumes range from 1 to 14,029.

Within postal sectors, distribution is planned at postal walk level, units of “hundreds” of households. Individual postal workers, full time employees of Royal Mail, distribute the unaddressed material alongside addressed mail, though some households may only receive the door drop items.

Sharing items

Royal Mail door to door will carry a maximum of 7 items in each postal sector, though the average is nearer to 2-3.

Royal Mail door to door do provide a business/service exclusivity clause, but you are advised to consult your service provider about restrictions in some business areas.

Distribution Period

Royal Mail door to door operates in one-week cycles, 52 weeks of the year.

Any volume up to 29 million can be distributed in one week, or distribution can be staggered over a maximum of 13 weeks.

Distribution will normally take place over a 6-day period, Monday – Saturday.

Booking Lead Time

Royal Mail door to door’s standard booking period is 3 weeks in advance of the required distribution start date.

But equally, you can book up to 13 months in advance to guarantee postal sector availability.

Some service providers will be able to reduce the advance period.

Bulk Delivery of Leaflets

Royal Mail door to door operate from 5 regional depots: Rochester (Kent), Swindon, Warrington, Perth, and Belfast.

The location of depots is sometimes perceived as an issue for local clients with small volumes, but the use of couriers or parcel companies can easily overcome this issue.

Leaflets will need to be packed into cardboard cartons and labelled for delivery to the depots a minimum of 6 working days in advance of the agreed Monday start date.

Fortnightly consignments will be accepted.

Charges

Royal Mail door to door has a rate card driven by a combination of distribution volume and the weight of the distribution item.

There are also a wide range of financial incentives such as new user rates, seasonal incentives and annual volume agreements and your service provider should be able to provide guidance to the most appropriate scheme.

Cancellation/Postponement

Royal Mail door to door’s Terms & Conditions will confirm their cancellation/postponement policy, but your service provider should be able to provide more guidance.

Under certain conditions, charges may be waived, but you are advised to seek guidance before confirming your contract.

Booking Process

Clients can book through approved resellers such as The Letterbox Consultancy, where they will receive a full planning and targeting service in addition to managing the booking process with Royal Mail on your behalf. TLC will also advise on any financial offers the client may be entitled to.

Or you can book directly with Royal Mail.

 

 

 

 

Just consider for a moment, the regularity of promotional leaflets you receive through your own letterbox.

Think about major pizza delivery companies, the installation of window blinds in your home, major furniture groups, utility companies, local and regional councils etc., would all these organisations complete widespread, regular delivery if the process did not work well for them?

The effectiveness of door drops will be measured in different ways, partly dependent upon the type of client using the medium.

From the outset, a client needs to have clear and precise methods of determining effectiveness and your door drop provider should help you understand what measurements are possible.

Some measures may include:

Direct Response – the number of customers or transactions directly attributable to the door drop activity. This may be because of a coupon that the customer has used, a URL they have visited or a request for confirming about where the customer heard about their business.

Incremental spend – charities, furniture stores and other types of client will often consider the resulting income that a door drop has generated to determine whether the campaign has been a success.

Sales uplift – people’s behaviour is not always predictable, and it is often true that a leaflet may contribute to a sale but it is not possible to track it. In these instances, considering the overall sales uplift in distribution areas compared with non distribution may help you understand the true impact of the leaflet drop.

Other considerations should be the longer term, brand awareness that leaflet drops will help you build. Estate agents, for example, may drop ten leaflets per year to ensure that you remember their name for when the time comes that you do need an estate agent.

Web site visitors and in store football may be opportunities to understand how effective the leaflet drop has been in directing potential customers to your business.

JICMail - https://www.jicmail.org.uk/ - is a recent innovation measuring the success of door drops and direct mail.

The site will contain useful information on door drops revealing the length of time some items are retained in the household, the number interactions it generates in that time and then critically, the number of commercial actions taken as a result of the door drop.

This is helpful when considering the overall effect of your distribution – from both an immediate response and a longer term perspective.

Such clients will commonly allocate significant amounts of budget to online advertising and their algorithm for allocating response to the correct channels is of vital importance.

If a consumer receives a door drop leaflet from a company they have never heard of, but they may be in the market for the type of service or product the leaflet promotes, will their first action be to Google the client’s name?

If their second action is to then click through to the company’s website, that action should be attributed to the door drop, but commonly is not. It is a simple process to align campaign response to postal sectors on the door drop plan, within an agreed period after the distribution completion.

Your door drop supplier may have experience of working with your business sector and whilst unable to share specific client data, may as an example be able to share detail such as “achieving three time the forecast income and 37% higher levels of forecast response”.

Door drop success is not simply determined by the quality of the distribution service/s.

Creative content, the targeting and timing of the activity and the offer or incentive will all play vital roles.

Leaflet drops are regularly completed by companies of all types across the UK.

Some clients only distribute once a year to promote a key event, others will plan phased activity during the year, sometimes distributing to the same areas on every drop or different areas on each drop.

There is no right or wrong way to complete the process, so test the process.

The effectiveness of door drops will be measured in different ways, partly dependent upon the type of client using the medium.

From the outset, a client needs to have clear and precise methods of determining effectiveness and your door drop provider should help you understand what measurements are possible.

Some measures may include:

Direct response – the number of customers or transactions directly attributable to the door drop activity. This may be because of a coupon that the customer has used, a URL they have visited or a request for confirming about where the customer heard about their business.

Incremental spend – charities, furniture stores and other types of client will often consider the resulting income that a door drop has generated to determine whether the campaign has been a success.

Sales uplift – people’s behaviour is not always predictable, and it is often true that a leaflet may contribute to a sale but it is not possible to track it. In these instances, considering the overall sales uplift in distribution areas compared with non distribution may help you understand the true impact of the leaflet drop.

Other considerations should be the longer term, brand awareness that leaflet drops will help you build. Estate agents, for example, may drop ten leaflets per year to ensure that you remember their name for when the time comes that you do need an estate agent.

Web site visitors and in store football may be opportunities to understand how effective the leaflet drop has been in directing potential customers to your business.

JICMail - is a recent innovation measuring the success of door drops and direct mail.

The site will contain useful information on door drops revealing the length of time some items are retained in the household, the number interactions it generates in that time and then critically, the number of commercial actions taken as a result of the door drop.

This is helpful when considering the overall effect of your distribution – from both an immediate response and a longer term perspective.

Such clients will commonly allocate significant amounts of budget to online advertising and their algorithm for allocating response to the correct channels is of vital importance.

If a consumer receives a door drop leaflet from a company they have never heard of, but they may be in the market for the type of service or product the leaflet promotes, will their first action be to Google the client’s name?

If their second action is to then click through to the company’s website, that action should be attributed to the door drop, but commonly is not. It is a simple process to align campaign response to postal sectors on the door drop plan, within an agreed period after the distribution completion.

Your door drop supplier may have experience of working with your business sector and whilst unable to share specific client data, may as an example be able to share detail such as “achieving three time the forecast income and 37% higher levels of forecast response”.

Door drop success is not simply determined by the quality of the distribution service/s.

Creative content, the targeting and timing of the activity and the offer or incentive will all play vital roles.

There is a no set charge for leaflet drops.

The door drop industry offers a range of distribution options and each supplier will charge based upon the different services provided.

Royal Mail Door to Door

Standard Rate Card

Royal Mail door to door rate card is driven by a combination of volume and the weight of the item.

For volumes up to 200,000 items in set bands, charges per thousand are fixed.

For volumes more than 200,000 items and up to 10 million items, charges are based upon individual postal sector financial values, by volume and financial bands.

For more than 200,000 items without postal sector details, only guide charges can be provided.

The charge is also determined by the weight of the door drop item and there are five weight bands on the standard rate card starting at up to 20 grammes and finishing at 80–100 grammes.

Royal Mail will distribute “heavyweight” items from a separate rate card, which has weight bands between 100 and 200 grammes.

Charges can start around £70.00 per 1,000 for smaller volumes to less than £50.00 per 1,000 for large volumes.

Any client who has not used the Royal Mail service in the 18 months preceding the distribution start date, will be eligible for a new user rate.

This rate card is governed by the same volume and weight bands as the standard rate card and new user eligibility has a 6-month lifespan from the date of the first distribution.

New user charges start around £63.00 per 1,000 for smaller volumes to £47.00 per 1,000 for large volumes.

In addition, there are a wide range of further incentives, such as seasonal incentives, volume-based incentive schemes, some of which focus on lapsed and returning clients, test and learn schemes or tactical users.

Navigating Royal Mail door to door’s rate card and plethora of incentive schemes can be a daunting process, particularly to new or lapsed users. As an approved Royal Mail door to door reseller, TLC has decades of experience in handling Royal Mail door to door bookings, for national clients, so are perfectly placed to help you through this maze.

Team – Solus & Shared

Solus charges – your door drop item is delivered on its own – are based upon a combination of the National Minimum Wage and estimated daily output rates.

Output rates will vary from urban to rural areas, with the latter more expensive to cover.

Output rates will also be affected by the size and weight of the distribution item. A single distributor will not be able to carry as many A4 32-page brochures as they would an A4 single sheet and will as a result distribute fewer items in a day.

Some distribution companies will charge a levy for tracking systems to be applied to the drop.

As a result, solus charges should always be more than £70.00 per 1,000, but that will be dependent upon the conditions above.

Shared charges – where your door drop item is delivered alongside other leaflets.

Once again urban or rural areas will be a consideration, but the size and weight of the door drop item will be a key factor.

As a result, shared charges may range from £40 - £55.00 per 1,000 but will be dependent upon the conditions above.

Free Newspaper Insert Costs

Whilst only a few areas still offer free newspaper distribution, as detailed above, the size and weight of the distribution item will be a crucial element of costing.

Charges will start around £20.00 per 1,000.

All door drop charges will be subject to VAT.

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