Letterbox marketing in Europe: Over Euro 3.8Bn for leaflets distribution


European Letterbox Marketing Association (ELMA) published the results of the 1st pan-European door drop census (distribution of leaflets or other ad materials in mailboxes), that covers 20 countries: Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Ireland and Romania.

The census estimates the size of letterbox marketing to be of 108 billion items worth Euro 3.8bn.

The research found that the market volume had increased by 0.5% compared to 2010 and by 1.5% 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 (31.5M), France (19M), Netherlands (11.68M), Italy (8.1M) and UK (7.9M). Romania, from volumes point of view, ranked 20th, with 803M leaflets.

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.

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.

 Mark Davies

ELMA President & Managing Director of TNT Post door drop business UK


Founded in October 1990, ELMA is pan-European market leader in door drop (brochures, flyers, free newspapers and product samples) and its aim is to insure a high quality standard in European letterbox marketing.

In Romania, Inbox Marketing, company member of ELMA alliance, posted in 2011 an increase of turnover from Euro 1.9M to Euro 3.8M, with over 90% of income coming from flyers distribution in mailboxes.

Inbox Marketing has 600 hired couriers and covers 190 towns and 430 rural settlements. Besides mailbox distribution, Inbox Marketing is active in samples distribution and geomarketing services.

Geographical data is extremely important to insure a high quality in door drop, that is why our group made important investments during last 2 years in collecting, processing and enriching detailed and precise geographical data. Moreover, these are the main material for geomarketing studies, extremely appreciated by our clients

Marian Seitan

General Manager Inbox Marketing

Inbox Marketing is part of Mediapost Hit Mail group(Euro 7.5M turnover in 2011), owned by French Poste (Euro 20Bn in 2011) and is ELMA member since 2005.