GDPR – A win/win for direct mail

It seems a long time (and with the events of the last couple of years almost a lifetime!) since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. That, plus the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR) – which adds a further layer of rules to digital channels – succeeded in throwing corporations and particularly their marketing teams into a frenzy of panic. What would happen to their databases? How could they maintain contact with their customers and prospects? And what impact would it have on marketing, and marketing budgets?

Brexit and the rules

Questions swiftly followed regarding Brexit and the impact that that would have on the data regulations and, while the rules currently still apply, it’s been confirmed that Britain will attempt to overhaul these and apply its own. A new information commissioner, John Edwards (currently the privacy commissioner of New Zealand) has been named as the government’s preferred candidate to replace Elizabeth Denham on 31 October 2021.

But it’s proved to be good news for mail

As time has passed, and the dust has settled, some channels have witnessed a real impact. For example, those annoying cookie-popups on websites are something we’ve all become accustomed to. But, for those marketers using print and mail, the news is resoundingly good. Here’s why:

1. You may not need consent for direct mail

The law provides six legal bases for processing and, if you can meet the conditions for legitimate interest, then you won’t need consent for postal marketing.

2. Fewer regulations with mail

Printed direct mail does not fall within the scope of PECR which means fewer regulations when contacting customers by mail in comparison to the electronic channels.

3. Mail is trusted

MarketReach research found that mail can play a major role in helping win trust amongst consumers and stand out from competitors. 87% of customers find mail believable (compared to 48% who feel the same about email). Printed mail also scores highly for privacy levels as 79% of customers feel the contents of their mail remain secure.

4. A postal mail address is more reliable

While people are more likely to have multiple email addresses (and probably a number of ones that they do not check) people generally only have one residential address.

5. Targeting without personal data is possible

Door drops and Partially Addressed Mail are targeted ways to reach new customers without requiring their personal data. With door-drops it’s possible to reach almost 30 million households, across the UK and, with Partially Addressed Mail, you can reach highly targeted groups of around 15 households.

Using all the tools in your armoury, and all the channels available, is still the best way to generate maximum marketing ROI but where data is an issue, and consent is a problem, mail remains the clear winner!