In the new GDPR era, the landscape of communicating with your customer base and prospects will significantly change. Simply allowing customers to ‘opt out’ of your email and other digital campaigns will no longer be sufficient to comply with the new regulations, with the onus now being on ‘explicit consent’ for all communications. An interesting twist however on the GDPR story so far is the recent confirmation from the Information Commissioners Office that companies WILL be able to use ‘legitimate interests’ (and not have to gain explicit consent) to contact consumers by post.
Whilst this had long been the suggestion from many industry experts, the recent clarification from the ICO is a real boost for many businesses concerned about the future of their marketing efforts and how a new GDPR world might affect them. The confirmation came in the form of a new FAQ section on their website focused specifically on charities, with the passage in question stating:
“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.”
What does this mean for you and your marketing strategies? In short, your digital efforts will need to be scrutinised to ensure you have explicit consent prior to any communications. Whilst this may seem laborious to some, it’s actually a great opportunity to look at your data practices and marketing activities and ensure you are absolutely putting the recipient’s interests first and giving them the freedom of choice not to be contacted. In the long run, you’ll end up with a far more engaged and receptive audience to whom you can promote your products and services, hopefully with far greater success than before. As for Direct Mail; well it’s pretty much business as usual, providing you offer recipients a clear ‘opt out’ option.
Whilst there are still many aspects of GDPR that remain somewhat unclear, the ICO’s clarification on the use of Direct Mail at least is great news for many businesses who were unsure of how they could continue to talk to their customer base, but also prospect for new business. We’ve spoken in previous articles on the fantastic ROI value Direct Mail offers (£3.22 for every £1 spent) but aside from this, in a post GDPR landscape it’s not unlikely that it will return to it’s position as the primary communication channel for businesses.
To summarise, if you’re not already using Direct Mail as a significant component of your marketing strategy, you probably should be.
If you have databases that require updating, we’re more than happy to assist with a free data ‘health check’ that will include de-duplication and running through our MPS (Mail Preference Software) to ensure your lists are as Direct Mail ready as they can be. You can find out more info on that here:
We also advise on and facilitate Direct Mail campaigns for a number of businesses across the Charity, Retail, Property, Finance, Healthcare, Financial Services and Public Sectors, amongst others. If you would like to talk to us about your direct mail campaigns, or would simply like some advice on how to use Direct Mail to target and engage with your audience, we’d be more than happy to help. You can read up on some of our Direct Mail services here:
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece on Direct Mail and GDPR. If you need any further info, feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888 or email us at: enquiries:@heraldchase.com