There are still some companies around (some of them of considerable size) that still believe that leaflet distribution is all about the total number of leaflets in distribution.
As the saying goes quantity has a quality of it's own but the days of 'spraying and praying' are long gone in the business of leaflet distribution.
Your potential customers in a city like London are constantly targeted by a huge variety of marketing materials. When they look at their phone they see ads running on their social media apps, when they search for something on google they see ads, when they look at the bus or underground train that is taking them to work it's covered with ads. Entering such a busy environment with a large number of leaflets delivered in a non-sophisticated manned will only be a waste of time. People will simply tune you out.
They way leaflet distribution works now is with clever targeting, good design and pre-planned repeated drops.
Any good leaflet distribution company will have London broken down both geographically and based on demographics. If you are trying to advertise your services as a physio that charges £70/hr there are specific parts of London you will want to deliver your leaflets and parts where you certainly don't. It is also not only about the costs of your services.
There are places in London where families tend to live. Do you know where 'Nappy Valley' is? Whether you do or don't if you are a violin teacher, run music classes or excercise classes that would be interesting to young mothers you want to have your leaflets delivered there. On the other hand WC1 is probably not going to be the first postcode you should be targeting given the kinds of customers you are after.
Design is another important aspect in all of this. There are specific techniques to designing leaflets that even great graphic designers might not intuitively understand. That's why we at The Private Postman offer free design consultations to all our clients. We have a look at your design before going to print and offer inputs on what changes if any we believe should be made to the design to make it an effective leaflet. We might just recommend that your logo should be larger on the front page or offer a complete rework of the message you are trying to deliver. You are obviously not obliged to follow our advice but the service is there for anyone that would like to take advantage of it.
Well executed repeated drops are the most important part of modern leaflet distribution. Building brand recognition by carefully selecting a specific part of London that will be receptive to the services you are offering and repeating the delivery of a well designed leaflet three times with four weeks in-between each drop is a hugely powerful tool.
This is the main technique that allows us to help small business in London take over their local areas and reclaim them back.