The deadline of 25th May this year for compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) is nearing, but there is no need to panic about how direct mail fits in. With the ‘fear’ of GDPR and common consumer distrust with email, it’s fair to ask ‘so what is the safest, most productive way to send communications?’ In a nutshell, that’s exactly what GDPR wants you to consider. It’s simply time to revaluate your current customer data protection systems and communication preferences, so we have compiled some key points on how direct mail will be impacted by GDPR and why it will still be going strong.
How will direct mail be impacted by GDPR?
There will need to be sufficient evidence that all the customer data held is relevant, located in a secure place and there must be a process in place to make the data accessible to handle information requests when required. To do this all you need to do is map your data movements throughout departments, so that you know where the data is held, where it came from, is it appropriate and who has access to the data. As well as being able to provide proof on collected customer data, in terms of how to use legitimate interest, which is regarded as perfectly valid by the ICO in direct mail campaigns, here are some key points to consider:
- Complete targeting, profiling and segmentation to identify your target audience
- Analyse your previous campaigns to find consumers with the highest engagements, use this as a proxy for interest
- Be clear and concise on the benefit of direct mail to the business
- Demonstrate the potential benefits to the end customer
- Make sure there is an easy, fool-proof way to opt-out of your direct mail
- Exclude those who have opted-out from your future campaigns – this is very important as they have expressed conclusive disinterest in your communications
You can opt-in with email, so why is direct mail better than email as a whole?
Although it may seem old-fashioned, the delivery of post through our postal system, is still the cleanest way to send letters, invoices and other post. We recently completed a customer survey at FP Mailing L&C and the results established that 8 out of 10 who sent invoices via email, received a drop in cashflow of up to 38%.
When an invoice is sent to a business by post the trail is much easier to track. It begins from the reception desk, who may open the post and stamp the date and time received, then it is passed through the relevant department for the ‘sign off’ process before being added to the appropriate payment run.
In comparison to direct mail, emailed invoices aren’t as easily trackable; they can slip into the spam box, become lost in a sea of unread emails, be ignored and deleted from an inbox, left unopened because the recipient is unavailable for example out of the office or off sick therefore the email may not be transferred to someone who can complete the required action as with a physical paper invoice. All this creates is a delay in payment and loss of communication, certainly not what any business needs.
Every email brings the reminder of potential viruses and sometimes a warning asking whether you ‘trust this source?’ Most of the time it is a precaution and the email doesn’t contain harmful programmes, however, the threats of account hacking, viruses and spam are present every day. A report from Royal Mail showed that 83% of people surveyed preferred to receive direct mail over email.
A whopping 70% of consumers feel that they receive too many emails, which leads many to unsubscribe or leave emails as unread. Direct mail has proven to have a more positive affect on the consumer, with recent research by the Direct Marketing Association revealing that 92% of all direct mail is opened and a further 48% of consumers claimed to take action as a result of direct mail.
Over the years email impressions have decreased to the average lifespan of just 2 seconds! Not only that, just 44% of consumers could recall the brand immediately after viewing a digital ad in comparison to 75% brand recall with direct mail.
Overall direct mail is the winner, so why not give it a try whilst complying with GDPR? We can help you find the right postage solution for your business so if you would like to update your current postage solutions, give our friendly team a call on 01925 820 638 or complete our contact form here.