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Creative effectiveness in door drop - examples from 2019


Written by Neal Dodd, Director of The Letterbox Consultancy and member of the Door Drop Hub and Print Council.

For this latest review I’m going to look at several different items, all from the same sector.

I receive door drop items from local estate agents most weeks and the items themselves differ greatly.

Consider for a moment, the likely impact of door drops for a local estate agent:

  1. Direct response – the immediate action from residents contacting their local branch to book a valuation etc.
  2. Brand awareness – harder to measure, but the recognition of an estate agent’s presence in the local market so that when the time comes, a resident will seek out the agent’s contact details.

Now consider how the leaflet / booklet / postcard / letter that you distribute will affect these measures of success.

It seems to me that some of the items presented here are more focused on point 1 – using headlines and copy to drive an immediate response from residents, and I would be concerned at how that impacts on point 2.

Let’s take Roberto & Co Estate Agents as an example:


Similar properties urgently required!

One sided A4, colour print with a low-resolution image and most likely put together within the local branch.

The speed of turnaround for printing this item and getting it through doors is very quick and I’m quite confident that the item gets attention and prompts response.

The bigger question for me is whether the item does more harm than good in the long term.

The company position themselves as professional, with high service levels. Knowing the area and often walking past, their branch has a smart design – clean cut and modern.

Does their door drop item deliver on that brand image? I don’t think so.

Let’s look at some other items in this selection.

Shepherds, Paul Wallace, Lanes – glossy, high quality A5 cards. The nature of the creative and the print quality mean that these are most likely planned with more notice than the Roberto & Co. item above.

Do they generate a similar immediate response? Only the estate agents would be able to confirm, and it could be argued that the glossy card items are more forgettable, less focused on an instant call to action and too similar.

But the key point for me is that these items have been created with the brand in mind, and they exude a feel of quality.

If I am likely to be in the market for selling my property in the near future then arguably I’m more inclined to keep these items but more importantly, what is the subconcious effect of those high quality items when I am considering which estate agent would best represent my property?

Direct response and brand awareness - can’t you have both?

Print technology is continuing to develop and evolve, and high quality, personalised items can be turned around within a few days – so surely the answer is yes.

If you are positioning your business as a high-end estate agency, then I think all marketing communications should link back to this.

Door drops offer a fantastic opportunity to achieve short term results in addition to developing brand awareness across targeted areas of the UK.

Chasing those short term, easy to measure results should not come at the expense of your overall marketing strategy and whilst it maybe tough to measure, the long-term impact of door drops shouldn’t be forgotten.

We know from JICMAIL that door drop items can be kept in the home for several weeks, and when you compare these items, I’d argue that the high quality, glossy items are more inclined to be retained by residents than the simple A4 print outs, having a more positive influence on their perception of the brand in the long term.

And finally, remember that the DMA Awards are now open for entries, if you've worked on an outstanding door drop campaign over the past year then you can enter it into the Best Use of Unaddressed Print category.

Hear more from the DMA

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