On average, people keep their post for 38 days. Yet 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds.

Source: How Does GDPR Affect Direct Mail? by David Amor, DMA. 9 October 2018

Gain ‘Legitimate’ interest’ before sending direct mail

Unlike marketing by email, direct mail can still be sent to customers without their explicit consent – provided that you have gained ‘legitimate interest’. To meet this legal standard you need to ensure that:

  • The use of data is valid
  • Direct mail has a minimal impact on privacy
  • It is expected by the recipient or they won’t be surprised to receive it

So, for example, if a customer has previously shopped with you online – or a prospective client has made an enquiry about your products or services – they have demonstrated a legitimate interest and wouldn’t be shocked if a direct mail piece arrived on their doormat.*

Note: Some businesses prefer to rely on consent rather than legitimate interest, by inviting customers to tick an opt-in box. However, this can have the effect of restricting your direct mail campaigns.*

Source: How Does GDPR Affect Direct Mail? by David Amor, DMA. 9 October 2018

Mail is 49% more memorable than email**

** Royal Mail MarketReach, Neuro-Insight, 2018

Secure an opt-in for text, email and telephone marketing

The rules on texts, emails and telephone calls are stricter than those on mail marketing and ‘legitimate interest’ is not a legal basis for electronic marketing. Under Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), organisations will need an individual’s consent before they can send marketing texts or emails, make calls to a number registered with the Telephone Preference Service, or make any automated marketing calls.

The Information Commissioner’s Office says:

…the clearest way of obtaining consent is to invite the customer to tick an opt-in box confirming that they wish to receive marketing messages via specific channels. This represents best practice and we would advise all organisations to adopt this approach.

Source: Information Commissioner’s Office, direct-marketing-guidance.pdf

Review use of electronic channels if unsure

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Remember that for consent to be valid for email, text and telephone marketing it must have been freely given, specific, informed and collected with a positive, affirmative action.

And with new PECR standards your existing data will need to be re-permissioned where:

  • You have no record of what someone consented to receive
  • You have no record of when someone gave consent
  • Consent was previously bundled with other terms and conditions
  • Language on sign-up forms and in privacy statements was not simple and transparent

Source: How Does GDPR Affect Direct Mail? by David Amor, DMA. 9 October 2018

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