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Do leaflet drops work?

Every business in a competitive environment has to make sure that each pound spent on advertising is working as hard as it can.

This means that we should use only the most effective and efficient marketing techniques.

Leaflet drops are a big part of the marketing efforts of many businesses in the UK. But do leaflet drops work? Are they worth spending money on?

The short answer is yes. They do. But only when we approach them a certain way. If one does not respect the fundamental principles of how leaflet drops work, the result will be a failure..

Now let’s elaborate on this a little bit. What do we mean by a leaflet drop? There are many ways you can get your leaflets to people. First let’s talk about the various forms the deliveries can take.

Do leaflet drops work?

Hand to hand

One way to get your leaflets to people is by handing them out around strategic locations at busy times. These could be train stations, tube stations, events or even shopping centres.

A team of distributors arrives at the location with a stock of leaflets and for approximately 4-5 hours proceeds to hand the leaflets out to people passing by.

This method of getting your flyers out there used to be very popular and is still commonly used in the industry.

We at The Private Postman however do not generally recommend this technique to our clients. There are various reasons for this.

Do leaflet drops work?

How much do Hand to Hand flyer deliveries cost?

The best price you will get for a 4 hour shift of handing out leaflets will be £120+VAT per worker.

Each worker can hand out at most 400 leaflets in this time. As such the cost of Hand to Hand flyer deliveries tends to be considerably higher compared to the conventional Door to Door approach that we will discuss below.

The cost of Hand to Hand flyer deliveries comes up at around 400% higher compared to other techniques that we recommend.

On top of this many of the advantages that leaflet drops can bring like careful targeting, developing mind-share in given areas, repeated deliveries or accurate tracking are not possible with Hand to Hand campaigns.

Do leaflet drops work?

Summary of Hand to Hand leaflet drop costs

– 4 hour shift will cost at least £120+VAT per worker
– Each worker can hand out 400 leaflets at most in this time
– The cost is 400% higher than the alternative
– Tracking of deliveries is not possible
– Careful targeting is not possible

Do leaflet drops work?

Door to door campaigns

At the Private Postman we focus mostly on Door to Door deliveries targeted at privately owned residential households.

We do this because Door to Door flyer drops work!

This way of delivering leaflets brings some interesting advantages into the equation that tilt us towards a very cost effective and efficient system of getting your flyers out there.

1) Targeting

We gain the ability to target specific demographics when delivering to households.
This goes way beyond just approximate levels of affluence ie.”… wealthy people live in this postcode because of the high cost of real estate”

A good mapping system will consider other demographic factors like age, whether the homes in a given area are likely to have a high level of families with children and more.

This is absolutely possible to do but the individual building such a system has to be someone with a high level of experience in a given area. Strictly using government numbers and real estate prices will not get you there.

As such you should be working with an established company that can show you their system and explain how it is put together.

2) Tracking

We can also track our Door to Door deliveries quite easily. At The Private Postman we use a variety of tracking systems that inform our clients about when their deliveries are taking place.

On top of this we can track each delivery and check how well we executed it. This is something that is absolutely not possible when using a Hand to Hand system.

For the traditional system targeting residential households we can use a combination of GPS devices, on the ground checking and live tracking to create the ultimate tracking system.

When you use a system like this you will know that your distributor has delivered all your leaflets the way they should have.

3) Door to Door campaign cost

What makes Door to Door campaigns work is the fact that they are cost efficient. We can get the prices of these campaigns to 80% lower per delivery compared to Hand to Hand.

The cost of Door to Door deliveries starts at £40/1000 +VAT. This means that you will be paying £40+VAT for every 1000 leaflets delivered.

In general the minimum size of a campaign will be in the realm of 5000 leaflets but it is not uncommon for campaigns to go up to hundreds of thousands of deliveries.

4) Repeated drops

Another important element that makes these campaigns work is the fact that you can run your deliveries to the same households repeatedly.

You can do this at strategic times throughout the year or multiple times in a row in order to develop mind share in your area.

We can approach this very sensitively in order to not develop exposure fatigue on the part of the residents of the area you are targeting.

There are various techniques that allow for this but ultimately – repeated leaflet drops work!

Do leaflet drops work?

Local authority housing and B to B

So far we’ve discussed drops to privately owned residential homes only. We can also deliver leaflets to other addresses like businesses or local authority housing.

Both of these can bring some great results but you should approach them separately from your larger scale campaigns.

The costs for leaflet drops to businesses and local authority housing will be different and the techniques will also vary.

If you’d like to do B to B leaflet drops or target local authority housing we recommend you discuss how you can do this with your leafleting company of choice.

There are many reasons for this. Drops to businesses are more difficult as businesses are spread out and every time we drop your leaflets some level of interaction with staff is necessary.

Doing leaflet drops to local authority housing can be a challenge as these estates tend to often be locked and gated. Thus no one looking to do a leaflet drop in these households can gain easy access.

We have ways of dealing with all of these challenges but this added layer of complexity needs to be discussed before we start each drop.

Like we said, Door Drops are the ultimate way of making leaflet drops work. But there are also ways we can approach these more efficiently.

Let’s discuss the difference between shared and solus deliveries.

Do leaflet drops work?

Solus deliveries

The basis of Solus leaflet drops is the idea that the distributor is delivering only a single leaflet at a time.

This is in contrast to shared deliveries where the distributor is delivering multiple leaflets together.

As you can imagine, solus deliveries are more expensive than shared.

But is the extra cost worth it? Can we gain anything by delivering only a single leaflet at a time?

It depends. The argument in favour of solus deliveries is that when only a single leaflet is delivered it will not be covered by other companies flyers and will therefore bring better results.

This does not prove to be true in practice. We are not the only company delivering mail and leaflets through each door on a given day.

Other leafleting companies are delivering leaflets and the Royal Mail is dropping mail and other materials through the door as well. This means that no matter how many leaflets we deliver at a time your flyer will be found on the doormat together with others.

Do leaflet drops work?

Shared deliveries

In order to keep shared deliveries effective we deliver only up to three leaflets of high quality non-competing companies at a time.

When we do this the response rates remain exactly the same as solus deliveries but the cost drops to £40/1000+VAT in most areas.

This is a more than a 30% reduction in cost compared to solus deliveries but we retain the results.

When your leaflet distribution approaches shared deliveries correctly there is pretty much no argument for running solus leaflet deliveries.

Unless you are looking for a very unusual delivery schedule or unless you want to drop to areas that are not commonly targeted you should always opt for shared delivery.

Do leaflet drops work?


So, the question in the beginning was – Do leaflet drops work?

The answer is yes. If you focus your efforts on targeting privately owned residences, with shared delivery campaigns, use proper tracking and repeat your drops where appropriate.

To do this we recommend you work with a professional flyer distribution company that fits your needs and can demonstrate a high level of local knowledge.

The logistical challenges of running these effective campaigns across different areas are beyond what you should be trying to deal with unless you are a company that specializes in leaflet drops.

If you have any questions about any of the ideas we shared in this blog feel free to contact us here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes we do. It’s 5,000 leaflets per postcode. If you have less than 5,000, you will be charged for 5,000 anyway – it’s the minimum job rate. We can print 5,000 leaflets from around £90.