The European Letterbox Marketing Association (ELMA) has published the first pan-European census of door drop media covering 20 markets. The research found that the door drop market in Europe was estimated at 108 billion items in 2010 worth an estimated €3.8bn of media spend.

The research found that, where comparative data exists, the market volume had increased by 0.5 per cent and spend by 1.5 per cent compared to 2009.  In the previous year there was an overall decline in volume as a result of the start of the recession but the sector quickly rebounded as a result of the predominately Eastern European countries.  Other countries experiencing significant growth from 2009-2010 were Austria, Norway, Germany and Switzerland. The biggest declines in volume were in Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. 

The largest volumes by country in 2010 were Germany (31,500,000 million), France (19,000,000,000 million), Netherlands (11,684,000,000) Italy (8,100,000,000 million) and the UK (7,905,000,000 million).

In terms of the average number of items received by households in Europe there is a significant difference between the highest and lowest country.  Households in The Netherlands receive on average 37 items a week compared to Ireland and Romania who receive two.  The average number of items received by households across Europe is 12.

Commenting on the research findings, ELMA President and Managing Director of TNT Post’s door drop business in the UK, Mark Davies, said:

“The census reinforces the enduring cost effectiveness of the door drop medium in Europe in a digital age, with its flexibility in responding to Marketer’s needs being a key element of its continued success.  Our findings show that the channel stabilised and started to rebound pretty quickly at the start of the recession, with the Eastern European countries showing sustained growth over recent years. 

“With an average weekly volume of 12 items, it reinforces that door drop remains a significant marketing channel in Europe and provides employment for over 132,000 people and we look for further growth in the sector.”

ELMA represents the leading Pan-European distributors of print media, such as leaflets, flyers, catalogues, brochures, free newspapers and product samples. Over 132,000 people work for the companies within ELMA of which the vast majority are distributors. The aim of the association is to guarantee quality standards of member operations and promote the door drop channel.