We are commonly asked about many details of how we make our deliveries.
One of the most discussed topics is the difference between delivering one leaflet at a time (Solo or Solus Distribution) and delivering multiple leaflets through each door (Shared Distribution).
This has always been a hot topic in our industry and it is an issue that we have very strong opinions on.
In this article we are only going to be discussing door to door deliveries targeting residential households. You can find more details about this technique in general on our page devoted to this topic.
Door to door deliveries are the majority of deliveries we make and we distribute most of our B2C flyers this way. We discuss other methods like Hand to hand deliveries in different blog articles like this one.
What is Solus distribution
Solus distribution describes a form of delivery where the distributor delivers only your flyer through each letterbox..
This means that your leaflets are the only thing being delivered by each distributor working on your campaign.
What is Shared distribution
In a Shared distribution campaign the distributors are delivering your flyers together with one or two other leaflets.
This means that in a shared campaign we are putting two or three different flyers through each letterbox.
We make sure to never include potentially competing clients on any Shared delivery.
There will never be two food companies, two estate agents or gyms on the same delivery.
A big part of making Shared distribution work is the careful selection of clients that compliment each other and do not compete.
Advantages of Solus deliveries
The great advantage of Solus deliveries is the flexibility that comes with being the only client on a delivery round.
You can go into any area you want anytime you want on a Solus basis. This is especially helpful if you are looking to target unusual or hard to reach areas and you want to do these deliveries quickly.
As the logistics of solo campaigns are somewhat simpler we can often finish them a little faster than shared campaigns.
The cost of Solus distribution
This of course comes with a cost. Solus distribution starts at £85/1000+VAT.
This is considerably more than any Shared campaign.
The advantages of Shared deliveries
Shared deliveries make up the majority of campaigns we run.
The great advantage of Shared distribution is the fact that three companies are sharing the cost of a single delivery.
As such you can deliver a much higher number of leaflets for the same cost as a smaller Solus campaign.
You can run repeat deliveries to the same areas or expand your territory. As leaflets also get considerably cheaper to print in higher numbers all of your costs per flyer go down with larger Shared campaigns.
The cost of Shared distribution
Shared distribution starts at £48/1000+VAT.
What is best?
We are big proponents of Shared Distribution..
When a leaflet is delivered as a part of a Solus Distribution it still lands on the doormat together with other leaflets and letters that have accumulated there from the rest of the day.
Some busy postcodes that are often targeted by marketing materials might have up to ten deliveries in a day from distribution companies, individuals and the Royal Mail.
It is impossible to discern whether your leaflet has been delivered together with one or two other companies or on its own.
When the home-owner comes home from work the number of leaflets on the doormat will make the delivery method a non-issue.
How many is too many?
This of course doesn't mean that putting any number of leaflets through the door is a good idea. We have run extensive tests and found out that the response rates do not change with up to three leaflets being delivered at the same time.
You can find out more about other flyer delivery statistics on our page devoted to this topic or have a look at our response rates page.
There is literally no difference in response whether your leaflet is delivered on its own or with two other high quality non-competing local companies.
Any more than three leaflets being delivered at a time however starts creating problems and is not advisable.
The reason why many leaflet distribution companies prefer solus distribution is because the logistics of putting multiple leaflets together and creating multi-layered campaigns can pose a real challenge.
Charging the client more money and delivering only one leaflet at a time is a considerably easier way to operate for many companies.
We however believe that the savings we can pass on to our clients via our Shared System will allow them to run larger campaigns with more leaflets and better response at the same price.
A shared distribution will always be significantly cheaper for the client compared to a solo campaign. We try to run shared deliveries wherever possible.
The postcodes we run shared distribution most often in are as follows.
North – N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N10, N11, N12, N13, N16, N19, N22
North-West – NW1, NW2, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW8, NW10, NW11
West, Central – WC1, WC2, W1, W2, W3, W4, W5, W6, W7, W8, W9, W10, W11, W12, W14
South-West, Central – SW1, SW2, SW3, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW9, SW10
These postcodes might occasionally change but these areas are reliably shared areas for us. For more information on postcodes and numbers of households have a look at our page focused on this topic.
The London postcodes not listed here might be available for shared campaigns only at certain times of the year
In general the more central and populous a postcode is the more likely it is to be available for Shared campaigns.
More remote postcodes in East London, South and South West London often rely on Solus deliveries.
If you are interested in running distribution in a postcode not mentioned above please feel free to get in touch and our sales department will either tell you the dates when shared distribution might be running in your area or will help you arrange the best solo-distribution option we can offer you.
B2B or B2C
So far we have spoken exclusively about B2C deliveries to residential homes.
However Shared deliveries might also be available for B2B campaigns. B2B campaigns are considerably smaller, more expensive and take longer compared to B2C deliveries.
As such you want to make sure to get in touch and speak to us directly if you are planning a B2B campaign.
We might have shares available for you but these kinds of campaigns are approached differently every time. Please give us a call and we’ll help you plan your B2B efforts.
Example of costs between Shared and Solus campaigns
Let’s say that you have a budget of £2100 for your campaign and you are deciding between booking a Shared or a Solus distribution campaign.
We can examine exactly the number of flyers you can produce and have delivered while staying within your budget.
Solus campaign for a £2100 budget
You can print 20,000 leaflets for approximately £340. On top of this you can add your Solus distribution costs.
Delivering 20,000 leaflets would cost you £1700+VAT. (20 x £85+VAT).
The total cost of this campaign including printing would be £2040.
Shared campaign for a £2100 budget
On the other hand if you run Shared distribution you can print 30,000 flyers for the cost of £520.
The delivery of 30,000 leaflets on a Shared basis would cost you £1440 +VAT (30 x £48+VAT).
Including the printing of your leaflets this kind of campaign would cost £1960.
As you can see while staying within your £2100 budget you would be able to print and deliver 50% more leaflets if you decide to go for Shared distribution and still save £80.
When you are running larger Shared campaigns you benefit both from the lower delivery price as well as the lower per-unit print costs due to the fact that you are printing higher numbers.
One of the print companies we work with is SoloPress.
We hope that this short blog has given you the information you were looking for regarding Solus and Shared deliveries.
Depending on your goals and situation you can use both of these techniques to a great effect.
If you have any more questions please feel free to get in touch with us at on our contact page here.