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‘Defunct’, ‘archaic’ and ‘junk’ - Should Door Drops Be Dropped?

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Written by Freddie Constable

‘Defunct’, ‘junk’ and ‘outdated’ are just some of the terms used to describe door drops in industry press, in agency meetings and by consumers in recent years. But how justified is it?

Across industry and mainstream press alike, the rhetoric of door drops is extremely negative; last year the Telegraph warned readers in the wake of GDPR “homeowners are set to receive more junk mail after the Royal Mail urged businesses to exploit a loophole in new data protection laws”¹, across industry press you read “they remain a scatter-gun approach to marketing”² or even “If some mischievous magazine were to dream up an award for the least sexy UK advertising medium, it’s a fair bet that the door drop category would figure among the entries”³. It can often feel that door drops are in fact an afterthought to a wider media plan – but is this really right?

The latest Nielson data shows that door drop spends over the last 5 years have been pretty stable rather than decreasing as you might expect from a so called archaic medium.

In fact door drop spend last year actually increased by 8%; pretty steep in a year where many offline channels decreased and the likes of TV and Radio only saw a 1% increase…so they are obviously doing something for someone. Are the rest missing a trick? We think so.

At M.i. Media we have the results to show that door drops can absolutely have their place on an effective media plan:

Among popular door drops myths stopping advertisers using them are that they only work for the older market and targeting is limited.

Yes, the older generation is a key segment for a channel, but don’t rule out the younger generation. Student and young adults living in shared accommodation will frequently stick relevant advertising or discount leaflets on the fridge (24% more likely to share/display it) and as a group they are 75% more likely to respond to a door drop than the average adult according to Royal Mail Research⁴.

As to limited targeting, the data you can overlay at a postcode sector level is seemingly endless from standard TGI to Experian, DVLA and even Mastercard. Add to this its longevity – door drop media is kept in a household on average for 38 days⁵ - and the channel should be a force to be reckoned with versus an ad viewed for the length of a swipe.

If you are in need of more encouragement Royal Mail have a number of incentives at any given time to encourage new users to the channel, and existing users to grow; such as the incentive for growth giving you a reduced rate for volumes over a base line, which will get you more bang for your buck. Furthermore to give an added helping hand, a little over a year ago JICMail launched to provide a way to compare measurement of the likes of direct mail and door drops to channels such as TV and OOH, giving comparisons on metrics such as reach and frequency for your planning.

At M.i. Media we are truly media neutral. Whilst we are well able to navigate the intricate and trendy digital world, we are sensible enough not to ignore the tried and tested in favour of the new and shiny.