Insights into the future of door drops

Insights into the future of door drop


Door drops have had a critical role to play in engaging and informing individuals during these unprecedented times, with the UK Government[1] and NHS just two notable employers of the traditional strategy during prolonged periods of lockdown and isolation. Nick Barbeary, Client Development Director at Paragon Customer Communications, discusses the future of door drops as a powerful marketing medium.

The Coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had a profound impact on every aspect of our daily lives, from how we work, to the ways we socialise and even how we shop. As a result, many leading brands and organisations have had to pivot their marketing strategies in order to continue to maintain relationships with customers in creative new ways.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, during this age of uncertainty, door drops – a medium renowned for engaging new customers or nurturing loyalty in existing ones – have once again proven their worth for brands faced with strained budgets, a largely insulated audience and a need for maximum Return on Investment (ROI).  

Indeed, new official figures from JICMAIL have showcased the effectiveness of direct mail and door drops since the outbreak of Covid-19. During lockdown, the number of times a piece of direct mail was interacted with grew to 4.58 times – an 11% year-on-year increase and a record high since JICMAIL began tracking mail activity in Q2 2017[2].

While the average door drop now reaches 1.05 people per household – meaning for every 100 items sent 105 people are actually reached. Similarly, frequency showed clear improvements, with each door drop interacted with almost three times per item (2.80) according to latest figures[3].


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What does the future of door drop look like?

A look at the last decade’s worth of data suggest it has been a particularly challenging period for door drop, though the medium is certainly not alone in this regard, with significant downward revisions across many traditional and digital media channels. This year in the UK, total media advertising spending is expected to be £21.03 billion ($26.84 billion), down 7.5% from 2019[4].

Despite these stark figures, there remains room for optimism for door drop. Figures for the traditional channel’s revenues and volumes suggest a positive long-term trend and a significant opportunity for the medium beyond the difficulties of 2020.

The latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report figures[5] revealed spend was up 7.1% to just under £25.4 billion in 2019. At the same time, door drops have continued to secure their proportion of marketing spend over the last five years (down 0.4%) – a marked contrast to the negative decline experienced by other traditional channels such as direct mail (down 6.4%) and magazines/news brands (down 8.8%)[6].


A new approach

Although the future of door drop faces somewhat of an indeterminate outlook, what has become certain is in a new market landscape the approach to door drop strategies will be evidently different from those seen before.

Whether that takes the form of ‘Partially Addressed Mail’ – an approach that has proven increasingly popular due to its improved targeting, without the personal data requirements of fully addressed mail – or environmentally conscious strategies underpinned by reduced volumes of waste paper, is yet to be determined.


Nick Barbeary


Nick Barbeary
Director – Consumer & Commercial Brands


An experienced and knowledgeable partner like Paragon Customer Communications can help shape effective door drop strategies for the ‘new normal’.To find out more, contact us: