Most of the distribution work we do is to residential households, but we sometimes get asked about dropping leaflets to businesses on a b2b basis. While on the face of it this should be a simple task the logistics of actually delivering to businesses are completely different.
With residential door drops, we have fully mapped the areas we deliver to. We take a postcode district i.e. AL5 orCW3 and then using our sophisticated Geoanlyser Tactician software and the bespoke software that they wrote for us to subdivide the postcode district into DOR-2-DOR Distribution Zones. Typically a Post Code District will have 10,000 delivery points we break this down into delivery rounds of 750 (average), this will usually take a D2D Post Person about 4 – 5 hours to deliver. However, with a business door drop the logistics change.
Firstly different companies have different target audiences. For example, some businesses will want to target offices, some will want to target shops, and some will want to target businesses on trading or industrial estates. The most popular targets are offices and companies trading estates, and the least popular are shops. Some businesses would want to target small businesses operated from home – many franchises are operated in this way.
Obviously, a business drop cannot target residential properties – or can it? So the first task with a business drop is to find the locations to deliver the material. We have found a website that has free maps of business estates in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshirewww.mitre.net this is a very useful site, but so far we have been unable to find a similar mapping for other areas either by town or county. Shops are easier to find because they are visible and in areas that if you have a little local knowledge you will know where they are or you will be able to find them. Offices are probably the most difficult to find because they can be anywhere. We now have office estates like industrial estates, but you have to know where they are they are not simply listed on a convenient website.
The next logistic to resolve is getting into the premises to deliver the material. Many offices don’t have simply a letterbox where you can post the item(s). The individual needs to be fairly persistent and determined to get into the location. Office buildings quite often have many different businesses occupying them, and the Post Person should certainly try to find everyone to post the item(s). This may be a door to walk in or a reception area or a receptionist it may not be as simple as placing an item in a letterbox. If the Post Person is delivering to shops this can be done when the stores are closed (in the evening or on a Sunday) – most shops have a letterbox (some do have shutters that will restrict access) this is the quickest way to carry out delivery – the business owner or one of his staff will arrive in the morning a find your leaflet on their doormat. Alternatively, the door drop can be done to shops when they are open – best to pick a day when they are least busy – say a Monday or Wednesday. A more confident Post Person will hand the item(s) to a member of staff rather than leaving them on the counter or even worse on the floor. If you hand the items to a member of staff it’s best to say could you please give these to the owner or Manager. They may get asked what they are about and again an appropriately trained Post Person (delivering to businesses) will know what to say and how to deal with it. Remember though that they are deliverers not making sales calls. The job is to get the ground covered not spend all day talking to people.
To find all the business locations in a postcode, it is possible to purchase a list from such websites as www.b2bprospector.co.uk. The list (usually an Excel file) can then be sorted by address or postcode so it is easy to see where all the businesses are located. This list will then need to be edited because it will contain anything up to 25% businesses operated from residential addresses. This list will then need to be given to an appropriately trained Post Person who will be shown how to gain access to a maximum number of addresses. It should be remembered though that unlike a residential drop where most letterboxes are freely available for us to post into business addresses are somewhat less accessible.
A factor that should also be considered is that you can always be sure if the right person picks up the delivered item. Ideally, you want the decision maker, but you might get another member of staff who doesn’t know who to give the items(s) to. Compare this to a residential door drop where the leaflet is most likely to be picked up from the doormat by the householder who has a high percentage of being the decision maker. With residential drops we guarantee to get to 95% of properties in the drop area, however, with a business drop, there could be no guaranteed percentage, and in practical terms, it is likely to be less than 75%. At DOR-2-DOR we charge £90 per day (10 am – 4 pm) for a deliverer to walk office estates, industrial estates and shopping streets previously identified as target areas (there is a cost attached to finding the targeted areas). As a guestimate in a 6 hour period, we could roughly deliver to 250-350 businesses, taking into consideration that the item does not need to be stamped, enveloped or addressed. This can be a cost-effective solution compared to a maildrop using the Royal Mail. A report following the 1, 2 or 3-day activity is supplied showing the businesses we have gained access to.
Finally, it’s worth saying that business owners live in houses somewhere and they are a much softer target at home than they are in their place of work – where it is often too hectic to read a leaflet that has just been presented to them. A business drop will probably cost 25p per item to have delivered (based on costings above) whereas a residential drop targeted to business owners (headline – Calling All Business Owners) will cost from 4.5p to deliver.
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