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Annual Door Drop Industry Report


The DMA’s annual door drop industry report for 2021 makes for interesting reading but lacks wider market context. When you’re reading through it, don’t fall into the trap of taking the “data” at face value without the glorious technicolour that is the “insight” which doesn’t come out overly well in this report, its certainly not a report to be taken at face value, especially if using this report to guide your decision-making process from a channel investment perspective.

So what are my key takes outs from the report with the additional ‘insight’ that is missing?

- We all know what happened over the last 18 months, started with a ‘C’ and ended with ‘19’. We’ve been in and out of lockdown, working from home and had to deal with Brexit to name a few things 2020 threw at us. If you then add that there have been significant changes to the methodology used to assess the data, we need to accept that the data is very hard to access against other years, because it was a year like no other.

- It was the governments channel of choice to communicate to every household in the UK, why? Because it gives you the scale to communicate as such, prints physical nature provides that additional level of importance where the message is opened and read.

- We live in a world where we are bombarded by messages across all media, from TV, e-mail and social media, the latter two are showing the signs of creaking slightly, according to's 2020 report shows e-mail engagement was down showing signs of fatigue in the medium, open rates on mobile dropped from 63% to 54% in 2020 suggesting that we were spending less time on devices, all of this whilst ongoing question marks around transparency in reporting in programmatic, new platforms in social like TikTok coming to the forefront, not to mention the whole cookieless future with third party cookies on their way out mean digital marketing could become a lot harder. So, what does this mean for door drop, well overall volume maybe down, but the upside to that, is that the opportunity to cut through is much greater and is being shown in clients performance data with response rates better than ever in some cases.

- The power of letterbox media has been recognised by brands across all vertical sectors to drive growth in a COVID hit year, within Edit, we’ve welcomed 6 new brands who have tested door drop for the first time in 2020, all of which have seen great success in driving new customers and all booking repeat campaigns. In addition to that we’ve seen another 11 brands testing a variety of other print media channels. There is no doubt that the circumstances of the last year have led to some brands dipping their toe because they had to because of some channels being unavailable rather than through choice, however the results they have seen from the tests have more than justified the slight risk that was taken.

- If you’ve attended any of the webinars run by the team at JICMail, you’ll be aware the data points to the success Door Drop and other mail channels have seen from an effectiveness perspective across multiple vertical sectors and across the entire customer journey. If you haven’t, then please do visit their website where you can catch-up on the sessions.

- Given the sustainability has risen to the top of many brands agendas over the last year as they look towards more green ways of communicating with customers, I wasn’t surprised to see a decrease in the volumes and increase in average weight of an item. Most brands have transitioned to prioritising longer term relationships with consumers, meaning insight and audience strategy have had greater emphasis placed as part of the planning process, in addition to this, we’re working much more closely with brands and they creative teams / partners on how we maximise the effectiveness of the creative to drive response, rather than as it has so often been as a forgotten part of the process. As with many other brands and agencies, Edit have partnered with and as part of our commitment towards the planet and becoming a greener business.

- Brands and agencies have a unique opportunity to innovate and capitalise on some of the changes that have happened in consumer behaviour over the past 12-18 months; Door Drops is extremely well placed to capture consumers attention through delivery into the home, the depth of targeting data available also gives brands the opportunities to demonstrate to consumers that they understand how and when they should target them in this new post-covid era.

- Looking slightly further forward to the start of this year 2021, according to the latest data from WARC, ad spend across all media grew by 0.8%, the most notable shifts in search, online and BVOD, which saw double digit shifts in ad spend growth. Is the market looking to capitalise on digital ad spend before the cookie is removed from the digital media cookie jar?

- Door Drop & Letterbox media is arguably ahead of the media such curve in terms of becoming addressable through its buying and targeting methods, don’t just use a media because it says ‘addressable’, make sure you sharpen your targeting pencil and assess all media removing the ‘shiny’ factor before embarking on your campaign.

I'd love to hear your opinions on the report as well.

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