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Questions about the terms ‘door drop’ and ‘canvassing’ come up relatively often when speaking to our clients. Are these the same thing? How do they relate to pamphlet delivery and leaflets?
The simple answer is that they are all the same. In the UK canvassing means the same thing as pamphlet delivery or door drops. There are some nuances in how people use these terms and how this has changed over time.
As a result of this we’ll try to answer the most common questions about canvassing and door drops for everyone below.
- 1. What is a door drop?
- 2. Who uses door drops?
- 3. How does a door drop work?
- 4. What kind of companies use door drops?
- 5. Why target residential addresses only with door drops?
- 6. How do you track door drops?
- 7. How much does a door drop cost?
- 8. What is canvassing?
- 9. Is there a difference between canvassing and leaflet delivery?
- 10. Can canvassing increase sales?
- 11. Can you canvas council properties?
- 12. Can you target businesses with canvassing?
- 13. How often should I run a canvassing campaign?
- 14. How to do canvassing on a budget?
What is a door drop?
A door drop is a name for an advertising technique that relies on deliveries of pamphlets through people’s letterboxes.
In the UK the words door drop mostly refer to deliveries to privately owned residential households. It might sometimes include council housing and local authority housing as well.
We can deliver leaflets to other addresses like businesses or offices but these services would fall under the more general term ‘leaflet delivery’.
Who uses door drops?
Door drops are commonly used by businesses of all sizes. This includes large multinational corporations, medium sized enterprises, small local companies as well as self employed people.
In the UK door drops have a long history and many local churches, councils and schools use them regularly as well.
How does a door drop work?
Door drop services guarantee deliveries of flyers to the homes of potential customers. Door drops can be used for driving sales, building a customer base or brand awareness.
What kind of companies use door drops?
Examples of groups that use door drops most often are
- estate agents
- veterinary clinics
- food delivery apps
- fast food chains
- local councils
- personal trainers
- and more...
Why target residential addresses only with door drops?
Residential addresses are the easiest to target consistently. We can organise them based on demographics and we can guarantee each delivery.
In the UK Businesses, industrial areas and offices take up to 30x longer to deliver and no one can guarantee that each delivery will happen. There simply are too many external influences in deliveries of this kind. (Locked buildings, uncooperative doormen, etc..)
Delivering to residential addresses is easier as the leaflets can simply be put through the letterbox and deliveries can be tracked with GPS and other tracking methods.
How do you track door drops?
In the UK, GPS tracking has been a standard in door drops and leaflet delivery for some time now.
At the end of each delivery round we download each distributor’s GPS files, examine them and share them with you. When doing this, we superimpose the data from these files over a high resolution UK map. We do this so you can easily see a record of each delivery.
At The Private Postman we also offer a live tracking system that informs you about your deliveries during the day. This gives you the ability to come see your door drop happening without having to give any notice.
On top of this we have backcheckers on scooters checking deliveries as they are being done. We do this to identify any irregularities or quality control issues.
How much does a door drop cost?
Shared door drop prices start at £45/1000+VAT and solus door drops at £75/1000+VAT.
The area you are looking to target with your drop will have an influence on the price as well. Prices for orders of over 100,000 pamphlets are open to negotiations.
In order to keep your costs as low as possible aim at using a simple single page A5 format for your pamphlet.
What is canvassing?
Canvassing often refers to in-person political campaigning but in the UK it is also used as a synonym for leaflet delivery or door drops.
Is there a difference between canvassing and leaflet delivery?
In this context there is no difference between canvassing and leaflet delivery.
Can canvassing increase sales?
If your campaign is well planned and professionally executed canvassing can absolutely increase sales.
It is also a very efficient way of building brand awareness in your local area. Delivering your leaflets to households near your business regularly is one of the best ways of doing this.
Can you canvas council properties?
You can focus your canvassing efforts on council properties as well as privately owned residences.
Your distributor will however need to run council deliveries on a separate system. This is due to the very different way deliveries to council properties work.
Most local authority estates have gates that one can access only with the right key. This needs to be negotiated with the council ahead of time. As such council deliveries run on a different schedule.
The pricing of council deliveries is also different to the standard residential door drops.
Can you target businesses with canvassing?
B2B canvassing is a service that is commonly offered by most flyer companies.
It is generally quite a bit more expensive when compared to residential deliveries. This is because delivering to businesses is considerably slower and business addresses are found in smaller pockets around the high streets.
As such canvassing to businesses takes longer and is more labour intensive. As there is more in-person contact during business canvassing the distributor might need to introduce the kinds of pamphlets he or she is delivering.
How often should I run a canvassing campaign?
Some businesses run a canvassing campaign targeting the same households once a year, some twice and some every three months.
The ideal frequency of repeated drops will depend on your area and the type of business you are running.
For example a newly opened restaurant might want to canvas its delivery area every 3 months for at least a year since the opening.
The main goal here is to develop mind share in its customer base and making sure that everyone that can order food from said restaurant is aware of its existence.
On the other hand a well established local school might need only a single drop every year.
When you are repeatedly canvassing the same households you want to make sure to keep a healthy rest period between drops and to vary your designs. Repeated exposure is a good thing but keeping your designs varied will help reduce the potential of exposure fatigue.
How to do canvassing on a budget?
You can take multiple steps to keep the budget of your canvassing campaigns low.
Make sure to target only the areas that are truly relevant to your business. Do not get distracted by other larger areas that don’t fit your target profile perfectly.
Keep the format of your pamphlet simple. Single paged A5 flyers are the way to go.
Run your canvassing on shared delivery only. Shared delivery is considerably cheaper than solus. Discuss which areas are available for shared distribution and target only these.
Even smaller canvassing campaigns of 5,000 - 10,000 flyers can get you great results if you make sure that your designs are well done and that you are targeting the right areas.