Just how long does your door drop item linger in households?

Never before has the longevity of door drops in our households been measured so efficiently and effectively.

For years, the medium has claimed that door drops are commonly retained for long spells and some clients have always been able to confirm that is the case.

FMCG coupons always carry an expiry date for at least one month after the drop, commonly several months. Redemption levels often peak many weeks after distribution.

Charities completing legacy campaigns regularly confirm “long response tails” to their door drop, occasionally exceeding a year!

Client complaints of “late distribution” can be generated by consumers attempting to redeem a coupon or any other form of promotional offer after its expiry date, when tracking proves the distribution took place on time because of the immediate response pattern.

But as an industry, we have never been able to qualify retention, let alone compare door drop against direct mail.

And it’s important to make that clarification. The increasing clamour and use of the phrase “advertising mail” can, in my opinion, be misleading to many.

Door drop can be regarded as a standalone medium. It acts and performs differently to direct mail (addressed advertising) and importantly, has significantly different cost structures.

So what did Jicmail 2020 Q4 data teach us about door drop retention?

The very recent release of this data tracks studies as far back as Q2 2018. Then, door drop retention in the home was shown to be around 4.6 days. Fast forward to today and the score is 6.3, a 17% increase year on year.

Just to put that in context, that compares very favourably to direct mail year on year (advertising mail) at 8.1%. More than double in fact.

Of course some people will instantly dispose of some door drop items, but do they throw it all away? Jicmail scores on Boris’s letter in Spring 2020 prove that not to be the case.

There are many, many major users of the medium who over the years have tested anything and everything to maximise response. Their reward, allied to improved targeting and greater campaign insight – consistent levels of response, at the very least.

Door drop will never replace direct mail of course and the medium is simply not suited to every brand or service.

But many clients include both media in campaigns, quite possibly alongside broadcast media and many achieve great results. And dare I say it, alongside digital campaigns.

FMCG couponing activity we ran for clients in 2020 proved to be hugely successful when matched with TV, with the door drop starting several weeks into the broadcast campaigns. TV creates brand awareness, coupon (or product sample) distribution stimulates purchase.

And there are other, similar parallels that can be drawn when multi media campaigns are created.

Doubters may claim at this point, so door drops stay in the home for longer than ever before, but how do we know they work?

Watch this space.

Graham Dodd, Managing Director