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GDPR: A Resurgence of Direct Mail

Direct mail is the term that refers to printed and posted marketing communications from businesses to a targeted group of customers.

It is the sales lifeline for many, such as window and conservatory businesses to gyms and hair salons; we’ve all had their sales letters and leaflets through the door. It’s very much a key marketing method for encouraging customers to take a business up on offers and special promotions.

From bad reputation to good opportunity

Direct mail has had a bad reputation for years, despite its success for businesses as a marketing method, similarly to ‘cold-calling.’ As a result, many have steered away from it as a means of marketing their products or services as a matter of ‘bad taste.’

However, on 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, bringing with it stricter, enforceable rules for gaining, processing and holding the data of any EU citizen.

For an overview of GDPR, you can view our previous article here.

Arguing Legitimate Interest

The regulation, as specified by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), aims to gain some control over an increasingly digitalised world and the masses of data. Direct mail, being a more traditional method and less invasive in many ways, presents a revived opportunity for business to directly communicate with their customers.

Businesses and data processes can now argue a case of legitimate interest for sending marketing mail, if they see it as in the interest of individuals and organisations.

Key Facts for GDPR and using Direct Mail:

  • Names and addresses must be obtained fairly.
  • Must check names and addresses against the Mail Preference Service and never send mail to those who have opted-out of receiving unsolicited mail.
  • Individuals must be able to opt out easily of receiving future mail.
  • Postal or Direct Mail Marketing is still a matter of good practice; consent needs to be gained in the form of a general statement.
  • Legitimate Interest for Mail Communications can be argued for marketing campaigns that are consistent with previous actions in which consent was gained from individuals.
  • There are no restrictions for sending direct mail to businesses or organisations (corporate).
  • Individuals within a business or organisation should be able to opt-out.
  • More targeted campaigns can mean a better return on investment.

If you would like more information about postal marketing and how it can help boost your business in light of GDPR, get in touch with us. We offer a full range of direct mail design and marketing services.

ICO Website –

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