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Annual door drop spend remains stable despite industry uncertainty

09 July 2018 – New research from the DMA’s ‘Annual door drop report’ reveals that annual net spend remains unaffected by political uncertainty and legislative changes caused by GDPR, Brexit and 2017’s snap general election. Today, they reveal that over a four-year period, the annual net spend by UK businesses has remained stable totalling £263m in 2017, compared to £260m back in 2013.

Annual volumes of direct mail have fallen considerably over the same period from 6.6 billion in 2013, to 5.7 billion in 2017. Just in the past 12 months alone the total weight of door drop material reduced by 3650 tonnes. The research paints a picture of an industry continuing to attract spend but becoming more environmentally aware.

“Traditional print media provides consumers with a personal experience – something tangible they can interact with, take with them and go back to at their own leisure. Its unique nature makes it a robust advertising medium and the figures over the past few years reflect this,” stated Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the DMA. “Whilst industry volumes have declined over a four-year period, this will in part be a result of improved campaign planning, printing and targeting techniques, which are beneficial to the reputation of the medium.”

While the extent of GDPR’s impact on advertising mediums will likely be revealed over the coming years, it is unlikely that it will have a negative impact on door drops.

Aldighieri added: “Unlike many other marketing channels, door drops are GDPR compliant from the off because they do not require any personally identifiable information. We’re already noticing a new wave of interest in the channel from client organisations and we are confident that this will continue.”

When compared with last year’s findings, there have been reductions in annual volume and spend, with both metric’s totals down -0.5% and -1.3% respectively. However, this should not signify a wider decline for door drops. The medium was hit by the snap General Election, which disrupted planning and spend halfway through the year. Larger regional and national door drops underperformed against expectations in May and June (when the election took place). 2017 effectively became an 11-month year for many, which is reflected in the latest annual figures. Meanwhile, Brexit continues to fuel the anxiety that is hindering planning and growth in many areas of marketing. Brexit continues to hit advertisers’ ability to plan and forecast.

JICMAIL’s (Joint Industry Committee for Mail) first annual report, released earlier this year, found that for every 100 unaddressed door drops received, ten are passed on and shared, and each piece is revisited three times. On average, 51% of all mail is read immediately – whether addressed or door drop – with a further 19% followed up on later. It also found that 21% of all addressed mail and door drop items go on to create commercial actions, for example prompting a purchase, visiting a website or going to a physical store. The reach, high levels of consumer engagement and longevity in the home that door drops offer all result in successful commercial outcomes, which is the primary reason for brands seeking to include them in media schedules.

“Looking forward, 2018 should be a fascinating year for door drops and one that will give us greater insight into its importance in the overall marketing mix. JICMAIL, the industry’s flagship measurement system, launched at the beginning of the year. It gives mail a level playing field for the first time, enabling door drops to be accurately compared with other channels,” summarised Aldighieri.

To find out more about the research, visit: https://dma.org.uk/research/annual-door-drop-report-20

For further information contact the DMA Press Office:
James Davis
Group PR Manager
020 7291 3375
james.davis@dma.org.uk
Tim Bond
Head of PR & Insight
020 7291 3328
tim.bond@dma.org.uk
Door drop industry report
The report estimates the volume and value of the UK door drop market in 2017. It also looks at trend data across several years, gathered from advertisers that, directly or indirectly, buy unaddressed mail.
The DMA’s annual report is the only comprehensive analysis of the performance of door drops in the UK.
Hear more from the DMA