From May 25th new data protection laws will come into force, radically changing how marketers can communicate with their customers. Yet, our centuries old discipline will not be buffeted by the GDPR legislation to the same extent as our digital marketing counterparts.
In fact, the ICO website, states that “You won’t need consent for postal marketing… you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.”
This means that as long as direct mail campaigns are minimally intrusive and relevant to their recipients, legitimate interest can be used in place of consent.
So, for marketers wondering what they can do in a post GDPR world, we’ve outlined eight reasons why direct mail will continue to withstand the test of time, and help you stand out in this technologically advanced world.
- There are fewer regulations: Direct mail is subject to fewer regulations than electronic communications and, unlike electronic channels, it will not have to comply with the proposed ePrivacy Regulation either. According to the ICO website it states that, “You won’t need consent for postal marketing but you will need consent for some calls and for texts and emails under PECR.” This means it will be easier for many brands to use direct mail to communicate with their customers during the GDPR transitionary period than other methods.
- You don’t need permission: As long as what you’re sending customers by mail is of ‘legitimate interest’ to them i.e. in the same context in which the information was provided to you and concerns a similar product, service or ideal, you don’t have to go out and get their permission to do it. But be aware that if someone has specifically asked to be removed from all marketing communications you will need to seek re-permission before mailing them.
- Use direct mail to gain consent: Many people have opted out of email communication, but not out of being contacted by direct mail. Therefore, the DMA recommends that marketers use direct mail to gain re-permission from those who have withdrawn their consent.
- Door-drops can re-engage customers: If your customers have opted out of direct mail marketing and email communications you can still use unaddressed mailers to re-engage with them without using their personal data. Research has found that unaddressed door dropped items are effective because they stay in the home for an average of 38 days and are frequently revisited.
- Easier to contact people directly: It is well known that people have multiple email addresses for their work and personal communications, and many have ghost addresses that they do not use or rarely check. Yet, in general people only have one main residential postal address, and recent research from the DMA found people that 66% people who receive direct mail in their home commonly keep it if they find it useful, and this figure goes up to 72% if the direct mail is from the financial and tourism sectors.
- Builds trust with your customer: Data-driven direct mail campaigns, which have highly targeted and relevant messaging, are welcomed by consumers. Research has shown that people who receive personalised direct mail believe that the companies who have sent them recognise and value them as customers. This form of communication helps to build a deeper level of trust between the consumer and the brand sending the mailer.
- It enhances the multi-channel approach. According to the Royal Mail’s recent Private Life of Mail neurological study, it found that direct mail ‘primes’ other media. In other words, email and other electronic communication is better recognised and received if the recipient has been mailed in the weeks before.
- It provides a good ROI: Direct mail provides a 3% higher ROI than electronic communication, and for every pound spent, it provides a return of £3.22. These figures are even greater if marketers use clean data.
At a glance GDPR check list:
- Screen the names and addresses you hold on your customers against the Mail Preference Service.
- Check that the individuals on your list have at least given a general statement that they are happy to receive marketing from you.
- If individuals haven’t given specific consent, make sure your marketing is consistent with the context in which the information was provided to you and concerns a similar product, service or ideal.
- Always offer customers the opportunity to opt out of marketing mail.
- Be completely transparent about how you intend to use your customers’ information and who you plan to share it with.
Contact us to find out how we can help you to enhance your direct mail campaign and become GDPR ready. Speak to one of our experts by telephone: 01322 414 000 or by completing our contact form by clicking here.