Insight: Door drop spend remains stable despite GDPR – DMA

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has revealed its latest insights into the door drop industry in its ‘Annual door drop report’. The figures reveal a steady year for the marketing channel, despite significant legislative change in 2018 and continued political uncertainty that has affected the wider data and marketing industry.

According to the data, the annual revenues spent on door drops in 2018 was around £260m, which marked a slight decline from 2017 (1.9%), but is higher than figures from 2015 (£247m). A degree of stability was also observed in the annual volume of total door drops, reducing from 5.7 billion to 5.4 billion year-on-year.

When 2018’s annual door drops spend is compared with other media channels, it further highlights that door drops continue to secure their proportion of the total marketing spend, while other traditional print-based media have seen marked declines over the last seven years. In fact, looking back over the last decade reveals an optimistic long-term trend for the channel, which looks likely to turn into positive gains in the coming years – especially in light of the GDPR coming into force.

Tim Bond, Head of Insight at the DMA, said: “The latest figures for 2018 were expected, by some commentators, to be the first signs of growth for the door drop industry after the implementation of the GDPR. While the impact of the new regulation does not appear to have made a significant impression on the DMA’s findings this year, there are some encouraging signs that may appease concerns of media owners and advertisers.”


Understanding engagement

The report also finds that, per household, the number of door drops in 2018 has reduced to less than four (3.78) per week for the first time since the DMA began this study – highlighting the increased level of targeting used with the channel. In addition, the total weight of door drop material sent fell by over 4,000 metrics tonnes year-on-year. Over the last five years, this represents an 8% reduction in the overall door drop weight.

Another milestone in 2018 was the launch of a new currency for mail – JICMAIL – helping marketers and planners to truly understand the benefits of mail, be that addressed mail or door drops. Recent figures from JICMAIL have shown that door drops have far greater impact than previously assumed. On average, an individual door drop is seen by 1.05 people in the home (giving door drop campaigns an additional reach of 5%), and is then interacted with 2.77 times over the course of a month. In addition, 64% of door drops are looked at immediately upon arrival and 15% are put aside to look at later, according the data from JICMAIL.

Bond continues: “Looking forward to the next 12 months, it will be interesting to see how the industry responds to ongoing regulatory and political uncertainty. With the ePrivacy Regulation pending, there could be an opportunity for door drops – and also direct mail – to increase its prominence within the marketing mix. Whatever way the industry responds, the key to successful customer engagement remains the same, put the needs of the customer first and at the heart of every decision made.”

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