When is a door drop not direct mail?

by Graham Dodd on 05/06/2020

Okay, I’ll be honest from the start, this is going to be a bit of a rant.

I’d classify myself as a pretty mild mannered individual, who rarely loses it professionally or privately.

Yes I get irritated like the next person and Covid media coverage over the last couple of months would be a good example of that, but I don’t get angry and switch off, or over to another channel in a rage.

But my blood has pretty regularly boiled ever since Boris sent 30 million UK households his letter.

It was an A4 folded letter, with an A5 leaflet, inserted into a C5 envelope.

On the front of the C5 envelope at the top were the words UK Government with an image of a crest.

At the bottom on the envelope it said – This is a vital update from the Government about Coronavirus.

The inserted leaflet provided a range of useful information about the virus and how the public should react.

The letter pretty much paraphrased Boris’s message in his initial TV broadcast.

But, the letter is neither personalised or addressed in any way, the envelope is not addressed and there is no postage indicia.


Frankly I’ve been staggered at how and why so many corporate and personal LinkedIn posts in recent weeks have “claimed” Boris’s letter as direct mail, commonly sitting alongside articles promoting Royal Mail’s raft of direct mail discount opportunities.

Most posts seem to emanate from sources which offer direct mail as a service and I appreciate we are all navigating difficult times, but honestly?

It’s the door drop industry that should shouting from the rooftops about Boris’s letter, not direct mail providers.

Direct mail is an immensely powerful direct marketing technique and always has been, but it is a postal addressed medium.

Its works extremely well for a wide range of clients and has done so for many years and for those users and people in that industry I hope that continues in the years to come.

But Boris and his team chose door drop through Royal Mail D2D as an intrusive, cost effective means of communicating with the general public across the entire UK, over a 5 day period and you will not see a better example of the depth of coverage for some while I’ll wager (and hope).

Mind you, I did recently have a conversation with a new client about Royal Mail door drops and one of their key attributes, depth of coverage, but their comeback was they did not receive Boris’s letter!

When questioned, it transpired that they have opted out of receiving unaddressed door drops (part of the very small number of UK households that do).

The client did not however consider Boris’s letter to be “junk” and thought he should have received one, which necessitated a conversation about the scheme which is all or nothing and you cannot be selective in what flutters on to your doormat.

So if you don’t wish to be excluded from hearing from Boris or knowing when your local leisure centre/waste dump/swimming pool etc., may re-open – opt back in!

Might just be worth putting up with what you may in the client’s words consider “junk”, which itself is most likely welcomed by many, many others, which is why multiple clients from such a varied background use the door drop medium and not direct mail!

And by the way, Royal Mail are also providing a raft of discount opportunities for door drop users, so its a good time to undertake a door drop as the world re-awakens!

This article was written by...

– who has written 82 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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