Probably my most popular blog in recent years, but has the situation changed and if so, how?

In the original blog, I set out to explain that in my opinion, you could not buy solus door drops at £40.00 per 1,000 – or even less – and expect them to really work.

It’s still a cost that exists in the marketplace, so perhaps not a lot has changed?

Well, Minimum Wage levels have and the statistics make even more compelling reading now.

General industry advice is still that an individual distributor, subject to the demographic nature of the area they are covering, should be able to distribute between 700 – 1,000 leaflets in a 7-hour working day.

I still personally think the number may be nearer to 700-800, but for sake of the mathematics, let’s agree 1,000 leaflets in 7 hours (maximum volume/shortest time).

Minimum Wage for adults in 2017 was increased to £7.50 per hour (for people 25 and over) – 7 x £7.50 = £52.50 per 1,000 – i.e. just the direct cost of labour.

If it takes 8 hours to distribute 1,000 leaflets, the cost per 1,000 rises to £60.00 per 1,000.

If the distributor only delivers 800 leaflets in 7 hours, the cost per 1,000 rises to £65.62 per 1,000.

So how does the company charging you £40.00 per 1,000 (or less) exist financially?

Presumably out of the £40.00 per 1,000 charged to you, they also pay for some form of management control and/or verification AND hope to make a profit?

So just how much are they paying their distributors?

Certainly not the Minimum Wage.

And you’re trusting your solus door drops to these people!

There are still some small, local operators who are pretty much employer and employee, and they can make those sorts of rates work, but trust me, they are very much in the minority and operate in quite small areas.

So how does a client navigate this maze?

Clarify the distribution company’s definition of solus distribution is the same as yours – i.e. your leaflet goes through the letterbox on its own, not shared with anything else.

Some distribution companies offer a service called “solus by type”, “solus by nature” or something similar.

This will mean that your item will be distributed alongside other items; in other words your solus door drop is in reality a shared distribution.

Some companies may limit the number of items they carry in any “shared” operation and some may also offer brand/service exclusivity, but you need to be asking the right questions before committing your precious budget to these people.

The more responsible companies will explain this service to you, but others may not.

So don’t confuse “shared” quotations with genuine solus quotations.

One final tip.

If your proposed supplier identifies that the c. £40.00 per 1,000 rate is for shared distribution, ask them what their solus rate is?

But alternatively, as ever, you can always talk to us for an honest assessment of what’s best to achieve your objectives. You never know, we might even change your way of thinking!