What Is Door to Door Leaflet Distribution?

Leaflet Distribution

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Table of Contents

Nowadays, marketers are spoilt for choice when it comes to the different options for advertising brands and their products, and many choose to do so through digital methods such as PPC (Pay Per Click) adverts. While these can be effective in some circumstances, it’s not always suitable for others who would benefit much more from offline marketing and, in this article, we’re answering the question of what door-to-door leaflet distribution is.

What is door-to-door leaflet distribution?

Door-to-door leaflet distribution is an effective form of direct marketing, where leaflets are posted directly through potential customer’s front doors.

Leaflet Distribution, also known as Leaflet delivery, Flyer Distribution, Flyer Delivery, Letterbox Marketing or Door Drop Marketing, has become an effective medium to promote businesses, charities, political parties and events around the UK.

Since the 15th century, printed leaflets have been used to communicate messages to large numbers of people and, over the centuries, leaflets have been used for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • Advertising products and services
  • Advertising events such as concerts, fairs and fetes
  • Religious teachings
  • War propaganda
  • Human rights campaigning

In fact, leaflets have been such an important part of history that they are even credited with improving literacy levels. In the 1500s, 90% of men and 98% of women were illiterate. However, as organisations began to pin leaflets to the doors of churches and other public buildings, more people began to learn to read so they could understand the messages on these leaflets.

These days, billions of leaflets are printed daily, and, in many cases, these are used by businesses to advertise their products and services. Printing is inexpensive and super fast, allowing for huge numbers of high-quality leaflets to be printed in minutes.

What’s the deal with door to door leaflet distribution?

Top businesses and government departments extensively use leaflet distribution companies to increase brand awareness and generate sales enquiries for local businesses or promote local events. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 80% of top advertisers in the UK use Leaflet Distribution to advertise their businesses. The DMA also reports that leaflet distribution has grown rapidly since 1994. Despite the growth of the internet and online, door to door is a very important and effective method of local communications and promotion.

The market in the UK is now worth over £1 billion.

Leaflet delivery is probably the simplest form of direct marketing, which produces the highest ROI for companies looking for a return on their investment. We have been in the industry for over 30 years and have developed an extremely effective system for a reliable door-to-door marketing service.

The Methods of Door to Door Leaflet Distribution

Not only are leaflets much more sophisticated these days, but so are the methods of getting them into customers’ hands. At DOR-2-DOR, we offer a comprehensive leaflet distribution service, including help and advice on the size, shape and design of your leaflets. To carry out the leaflet drops, we offer a number of different distribution methods, which we’ll run through in this section:

Shared distribution

Extremely popular with our clients, shared distribution is our most cost-effective option and can produce some fantastic results. This shared distribution service is when your leaflets are delivered with other, non-competing leaflets in areas of your choice, meaning the price for distribution is cheaper than on a solus leaflet drop.

Shared campaign dates may be less flexible due to other leaflets going out, so although it’s cheaper, you may have to be flexible on the timing of your leaflet distribution.

Solus distribution

Although slightly more expensive, this option helps to laser focus the customer’s attention. With solus distribution, we deliver only one leaflet through each door during a leaflet drop.

Whilst Solus is more expensive than shared leaflet drops, a solus leaflet drop will ensure you get maximum visibility in front of your target customer by being the only leaflet put through their door. A solus drop also enables you to pick and choose when you want it delivered and also the item that’s put through the letterbox. You’ll have no constraints on what you can or can’t do with a solus leaflet drop.

Business-to-business distribution

Business-to-business (B2B) leaflet distribution involves targeted delivery of promotional materials, such as brochures or flyers, directly to other businesses. This strategy is often utilised in industries where products or services are specifically tailored for business use only, aiming to increase brand visibility, generate leads, and ultimately drive sales.

The Logistics Of Delivery – Finding the delivery point

With door-to-door distribution, the first thing to remember is that we are delivering unaddressed material, and we cannot guarantee to find or get to every single letterbox.

Some properties do not have letterboxes, and some have letterboxes in unusual places. Also, sometimes we cannot get into flats too.

If the deliverer is unfamiliar with the area they are delivering to, it is very unlikely they will find all the relevant properties and all the letterboxes.

We aim to deliver to every letterbox in the drop area; however, achieving 100% penetration with unaddressed material is not usually possible.

At DOR-2-DOR, we generally achieve better than 95% coverage; therefore, on a run of 10,000 households (a typical drop), 500 households may not get one.

There is no unaddressed leaflet distribution service (including the Royal Mail that guarantees 100% coverage.

Unadresses Items – Who is the recipient

With door to door distribution, we are delivering unaddressed material and not to any particular person or individual at the address, and your material may be being delivered with other leaflets.

We cannot guarantee that the resident who picks up the leaflets will pass the leaflets to other or all members of the household. In fact, many leaflets are consigned to the dustbin immediately.

Research (by the Direct Marketing Association – DMA) has shown that the average response to a door drop from door to door distribution across a wide range of product areas and geographical locations is 0.9%.

Our experience is that Pizza Parlours can get as much as 10%, whilst window installation companies (usually with a high individual sale value) may only get .05%. It is still a highly effective form of advertising.

Managed Deliverers (Post-People)

DOR-2-DOR Post People often do not live in the area they deliver to. Due to non-familiarity with the area, the odd house – on a corner, tucked away in a cul-de-sac, two households that look like one, or a property with a ferocious dog warning – may not be delivered to.

At DOR-2-DOR, we carefully train our deliverers on how to put the leaflets through the letterboxes for maximum impact on the doormat. We give the deliverer a detailed map of the area they are delivering to with the streets shown. This is based on the very latest information, but it should be remembered that maps can often be out of date the day they are published.

New properties and housing estates (both large and small) are being built constantly. However, DOR-2-DOR deliverers are given a report sheet on which they are required to state exactly how many properties they have delivered to and any building etc that they could not gain access to.


At DOR-2-DOR, we give the deliverer one of our own leaflets to accompany the customer’s leaflets. Our leaflets advertise our services and our requirements for Post-People.

We also have a leaflet called Are We Delivering? which asks the householder to tell us if we are doing our job properly, e.g. did we push the leaflets right through the letterbox? And did we shut the gate? Householders are also asked to become Secret Shoppers and can be asked if DOR-2-DOR has delivered to them.

Surprisingly, perhaps a useful number of people are prepared to do this for us, and this system has proved effective over a number of years.

It has been proven by The Front Door Ltd (the premier door to door research company and member of the Direct Marketing Association) that, on average, 50% of householders do not remember receiving the material that comes through the letterbox from door to door distribution.

When backchecking is undertaken, it must be carried out scientifically to be anywhere near effective. This means that the canvasser must not only ask the householder if they have received a particular leaflet in question, but they must also ask the householder if they remember seeing any other leaflets that were delivered with it.

The individual leaflet in question must be shown to the householder, and if they don’t remember receiving that leaflet, all the other leaflets, in turn, must be shown to the householder. Doorstep or other face-to-face backchecking using any other techniques will produce inaccurate information.

A Tried and Tested Solution

Businesses often have a mountain to climb as they battle fierce competition and rising costs of rents and materials – and getting ahead can be extremely challenging.

Leaflet distribution is a tried, tested and proven way of getting your message across to your potential customers – with door to door distribution, 78% of people say that they glance at a leaflet which lands on their doormat, and 23% say that they read it correctly. Many of these people will then either take action or keep hold of the leaflet for future reference.

Download Our Free Guide

The Essential Guide to successful door drop marketing includes information on how to carry out leaflet drops effectively