Direct Mail, Door to door Distribution, Marketing

Why leaflet distribution works – perception vs reality

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This updated blog dismisses any myths about leaflet distribution. It gives you concrete facts about the incredible response rates you can achieve through door drop marketing. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for the research. It is all freely available on the DMA (Data & Marketing Association) website to all DMA members. However, I believe its relevance will directly benefit you when deciding how to market your business. Since the original version of this blog back in 2016, in 2022, the effectiveness of leaflet distribution has increased - especially with the younger generation!

DMA Research

Perception: "Door drops don't have any impact on campaign effectiveness."

Reality: "90% of campaigns that included door drops saw an increase in new customers, compared to 59% of those without ." MarketReach

Perception: "Door drop marketing material has very low response rates."

Reality: "4% of door drops resulted in some sort of purchase related outcome in 2021. Door drops generate effects throughout the customer journey however...(creating) an 11% effectiveness rate." DMA

Perception: "Door drop marketing doesn't work."

Reality: "89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing - more than any other marketing channel. And it has a powerful place in people's lives, with 45% keeping leaflets on a pinboard or in the kitchen drawer." DMA

"A record 96% of all mail was engaged with during lockdown." MarketReach

"Mail is generally remembered by customers with research showing it has 35% better recall than social media advertising and 49% more than email."

Perception: "Door drop marketing doesn't work as well as direct mail, TV or press."

Reality: "Unaddressed door drops are rated higher for ROI than online, press, TV and radio with 34% saying the medium is very effective." DMA

"The research shows that when people consume mail, the parts of their brain associated with laying down long-term memories were over 70% more active than when consuming TV and 40% more active than for email." DMA

Perception: "The younger generation don't respond to flyer distribution marketing".

Reality: "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." DMA

"The younger generation are engaging with door drops because it's a novelty to get a physical item." MarketReach

Perception: "People throw leaflets away as soon as they receive them".

Reality: "89% of consumers remember receiving a door drop mailing - more than any other marketing channel. And it has a powerful place in people's lives, with 45% keeping leaflets on a pinboard or in the kitchen drawer." DMA

"The average door drop is interacted with 3.1 times a month." DMA

"The average time door drops are kept in the house is 38 days, and 23% of all mail gets shared around the household." MarketReach

"73% of door drops are opened, read, filed or set aside for later." MarketReach

Perception: "Leaflets and flyers don't contribute to increased website traffic."

Reality: "The proportion of door drops driving web visits is growing 50% year-on-year." DMA

"As a direct result of receiving mail:

  • 92% have been driven to online or digital activity

  • 87% have been influenced to make online purchases

  • 86% have connected with a business online

  • 54% have engaged in social media

  • 43% have downloaded something." DMA

Additional research

Though now quite old, this data is still very relevant for the benefit of the blog. It is from the Data Talk study for ITV Sept 2009, taken from 3,000 UK adults.

  • Door drop is the most received communication channel in terms of recall – 88% compared to DM (60%), TV (59%) and Internet ads (36%).

  • Door drops are as acceptable as direct mail for successful campaign engagement.

  • Leaflet distribution drives 50% more response than online advertising and similar levels of response to DM (13%) vs door drop (12%).

  • 12% of young adults, 15-24 are likely to respond to door drops in the future compared to 13% who are likely to respond to the internet.

  • Regarding the types of marketing people are most responsive to, leaflet distribution through doors is top, followed by TV, newspaper/magazine ads and the internet.

What else can we learn from the DMA about leaflet distribution?

  • Door drops offer a unique opportunity to deliver a hard-hitting message and call to action; this can be incredibly impactful as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Leaflet distribution can be easily coordinated to run alongside complimentary advertising campaigns on radio, television, in print or on social media. Door drops can also be used as a follow-up mechanism to reinforce or build on a single campaign message across multiple media to achieve high levels of consumer recall and response.

  • Leaflet distribution can be matched to fit within radio, television or social media catchment areas, sales regions, or an organization's retail territory.

  • Unlike some other media, marketing material delivered via a leaflet distribution can benefit from being delivered directly into the home. In specific comparison to other media, the following is observed:

  • Leaflet distribution puts you directly in control of the targeting

  • There is sometimes a set circulation figure, whereas you can select the quantity you wish to distribute with door drops

  • The potential opportunity of a leaflet to be created in a colourful and impactful manner places a message on the householders' doormat, which can easily be seen and acted upon.

If you are still in any doubt as to whether leaflet distribution would be ideal for building your business, please contact us today on 01484 598555 to arrange a free business-building consultation.