The way that companies use and handle data will see a huge shake-up from May 25th this year when GDPR comes into force – so what exactly does that mean for direct mail marketing?
The ultimate aim of the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) is to give individuals greater control over their personal data and more specifically what organisations can do with that data.
The biggest cause for concern in marketing terms is the requirement of consent to store data and then to use that data to contact a potential customer.
Consent and GDPR
Under GDPR organisations will need to show explicit consent that a person has agreed to be contacted – and this needs to be proactive, such as ticking a box to opt in.
In addition to the need for consent, organisations needs to explain how they intend to use that data and in what form, such as email, text message etc.
There is, however, the option to use legitimate interest as a reason to make contact with an individual without having their express consent.
This works when a customer has already ordered something from a company and there is a legitimate reason to expect they may want to use the service again.
Direct mail marketing: A good alternative
When it comes to direct mail marketing that scope is wider, which will serve organisations aiming to reach a wider customer base well. The interpretation of GDPR in regards to direct mail marketing allows contact under legitimate interest – that is if a company can show evidence that the individuals contacted would have an interest in their product.
As with digital communication, individuals must still be given the option to opt out of receiving direct mail, but the method is generally seen as a less invasive and a more engaging manner of marketing.
When companies combine this with using best practice to match customers on the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) it provides a sound and ethical way to reach a solid customer base.
Door to door leaflets are also a great way to continue to engage new customers without running the risk of breaching GDPR as no personal details are required in a general mail drop.
The introduction of GDPR should give engaged, genuinely interesting marketing information a chance to be seen and heard.
Direct mail presents itself as an excellent solution to reach out to new customers without running the risk of breaching GDPR.