Why should Royal Mail stop delivering promotional leaflets?

by Graham Dodd on 03/04/2020

Earlier in the week, Decision Marketing published a news article about Royal Mail door to door working practices in these difficult times.

Yesterday (April 2nd) they published a second article claiming Royal Mail had agreed to limit the distribution of unaddressed leaflets to households only receiving addressed mail (different to the suggestion in their first post!).


TLC can assure you that any future door drop activity that you have or may book in the imminent future will be distributed to all households, on every postal walk across the UK, every week (except those which have opted out).

If that situation changes at any time (which is not on the agenda), TLC will advise you.

The original article reported suggestions that the postal workforce could be seen and act as a fourth emergency service, that postal deliveries could be restricted to 3 days a week and that “non-essential” unaddressed leaflets should no longer be dropped.

Now I applaud the CWU’s thinking that the postal workforce can assume the mantle of another emergency service, but is that driven by some well documented actions of individual postal workers across the UK going above and beyond when completing their walks?

Absolutely no doubt these people should receive the utmost praise from us all and that they are a fine example not only to the entire Royal Mail workforce, but all of us.

If operationally, Royal Mail can maintain their postal service levels over a 3 day working week allowing the workforce to “volunteer” on the other three days of their working week, I for one see no reason not to.

I would suggest if practical, the postal service/volunteering combination is implemented on consecutive days throughout the week, rather than two blocks of 3 days. This in theory may only “delay” addressed post by a day, quite possibly not at all and the volunteering is equally spread throughout any working week rather than being lumped together.

The CWU rightly called for certain unaddressed items to still be distributed under such an umbrella such as Covid 19 communications, but if postal workers are going to every household on their walks at least once a week to deliver those items, why not carry other promotional material? Standard working practices already ensure all households are covered whether they receive addressed mail or not each week.

The revenue those items contribute does after all help fund postal workers’ salaries and helps to maintain the structure Royal Mail works from.

The CWU should perhaps also consider that in these difficult times with charities fearing huge losses in fundraising, a door drop will generate vital income.

Or that the hospitality sector as just one other example, badly hit by this crisis, has in many instances re-invented themselves by introducing delivery or collection services to a public being instructed by central Government to stay indoors. But these new opportunities need to be advertised and promoted.

Not only are they serving the public, they are keeping their businesses alive.

Speaking personally, I cannot wait for the day when I can again walk into a pub for a pint, book a table at a local restaurant (ordered a delivery from one last night who previously has not offered a delivery service!), have a coffee when I’m out and about etc., but that assumes these businesses are still in existence when that day arrives.

And there are other business sector examples where door drop is providing an important link to UK households.

And yes, there will be people who regard door drops as junk mail, but in these dark days, there has to be a possibility that some of those views may mellow by a simple leaflet fluttering through their letterboxes providing a service, product or brand they require, but cannot access physically?

Perhaps the named individuals at the CWU have personal issues with what they have labelled as junk mail and see this as an opportunity of taking another swipe at the industry in these dark days – bad taste if it is.

I might just research their email addresses and send them a link to the JICMail website!

There they can discover how households engage with door drop items; how long the leaflets remain in the household, how many adults interact with them and how many commercial actions are taken because of it!

Not junk mail!

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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