Annual door drops volume, spend and engagement rise

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and JICMAIL can reveal the latest insights into the door drop industry in the ‘Door Drop Report 2022’.

A new partnership with JICMAIL has merged the DMA’s industry data with the industry-standard audience measurement for the first time. The result is a new structure and even more insights, offering the most accurate and detailed picture of the UK door drop market available – with a greater understanding into contributing factors behind annual volumes.

According to the latest data, both spend on door drops and the volume sent increased following a pandemic impacted 2020. Spend increased by 15.5% year-on-year to £182m (£143.5m in 2020), while volumes increased by 14.3% to just over 3.5bn units (2.7bn last year).

Comparing door drops to other media channels, particularly Direct mail, Magazines and News, similar year-on-year growth can be seen (15-20%), returning them towards their 2019 levels – if not quite there yet. In the past year, there’s been an overall 34.4% increase in ad spend*.

“While there has been a healthy return to volume and ad spend growth in the market in 2021, lower than average ad spend growth means that door drops have lost share in overall media budgets. This may be down to a lag in media spend on door drops while many physical stores and premises were unable to fully re-open due to restrictions in the first half of 2020,” said Tim Bond, Director of Insight at the DMA. “However, this also presents a key opportunity for advertisers that are willing to seize it. Brands that move first to ramp up door drop activity while their competitors are less active in this space, these are the businesses that will enjoy a higher share of doormats and greater visibility in consumers’ homes. It’s these brands that will also benefit from the engagement and effectiveness the channel can offer both in the short and long-term too.”

With above average growth rates, door drop share of the total mail market has strengthened: up from 20% share in 2020 to 23% in 2021. Leaflets continued to be the majority of the door drops sent in 2021 (86.7%), with both envelopes and booklets reducing slightly year-on-year (to 7.3% and 6.0% respectively).

Door Drop Engagement Rises as Audience Shifts

As of Q4 2021, the average door drop was shared with 1.05 people per household (a metric referred to as Item Reach), reflecting an additional 5% audience reach on top of campaign volumes. In addition, the average UK based-person interacts with a door drop 3.1 times a month.

In terms of effectiveness, 4% of door drops resulted in some sort of purchase related outcome in 2021. Door drops generate effects throughout the customer journey and, once a broader range of effects are considered (such as digital traffic and brand discussions), an 11% effectiveness rate is evidenced. Door drops are a prime example of how offline media can drive online effects, with the proportion of door drops driving web visits growing 50% year-on-year.

Pre-conceptions around the types of audiences that are most engaged with door drops have been turned on their head over the course of the last few years. Upmarket ABC1 audiences now interact with the average door drop more than those the in C2DE social grade. Similarly, the under 35s now interact with door drops more than any other age group, opening up a world of new prospecting opportunities with the channel.

Neal Dodd, Chair of the Door Drop Hub of the DMA Print Council added: “One of the most interesting takeaways from this has been the changing audience of those receiving door drop items, with younger age ranges being targeted far more than in recent years. Some of this will be due to a reduced set of media options during Covid lockdowns, but with home working far more prevalent now and seemingly here to stay, perhaps brands are realising that they can reach these audiences effectively and efficiently with an engaging media option that will stand out from digital media.”

*According to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report figures for 2021

To find out more about the research, visit:

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