Door drops show mettle as industry rides out the storm

door dropAnnual expenditure on door drops has held firm year-on-year, with both spend and volume resisting budget cuts, despite a largely unpredictable year for businesses across the UK.

The Door Drop Report 2023, complied by the DMA and Jicmail can reveal that spend reached £181.2m, compared to £182.3m in 2021, with volumes at 3.53 billion compared to 3.54 billion in 2021.

The DMA’s partnership with Jicmail has merged the trade body’s industry data with the industry-standard audience measurement, resulting in what is claimed to be the most accurate and detailed picture of the UK door-drop market available – with a greater understanding into contributing factors behind annual volumes and spends.

DMA director of insight Ian Gibbs said: “2022 was a year of two halves for door drop and the wider advertising industry. After a positive start in the first quarter, where it was performing at a three-year high, the ongoing challenges of high inflation, rising cost of living, and multi-sector strike action are likely to have had noteworthy impacts.

“Overall, our latest data suggests that the channel has held up well in a difficult advertising market. Volumes and value were virtually the same year-on-year, and mainly hampered by unprecedented issues such paper availability and rising production costs following the energy crisis. It is positive to see these issues easing off now in 2023.”

A key thing to note is that door drop as a channel in 2022 was not just resilient – it continues to display improved levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

As of Q4 2022, 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 person in the UK interacts with each door drop 3.1 times a month.

Door drops cover a broad range of target audiences and sectors, with younger audiences continuing to present additional targeting opportunities for advertisers in the mail channel.

While all age groups measured have seen their door drop engagement increase since 2018, the under 35 category has overtaken the other two age cohorts and – despite those aged 55+ narrowing the gap during 2022 – they remain the most engaged age group overall.

Roughly the same amount of sectors have seen volumes increase this year compared to last year, with some larger sectors experiencing modest double-digit growth (eg supermarkets were around +10%) and others with smaller increases, but plenty of opportunity to grow volumes (such as local and national tradespeople).

The growing use of the door drop channel among multiple, diverse sectors is indicative of it offering flexibility and effectiveness – even in an era dominated by digital advertising.

Gibbs added: “The days of major companies distributing hundreds of millions of door drops every year may be gone, but the client base using the medium is now much bigger and more widespread. The supermarket, retail, trade, and charity sectors have particularly sustained volumes in 2022.”

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