3 ways GDPR is an opportunity for direct mail
It might feel like the business world has been huffing and puffing over GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) forever but since its roll out in May 2018 some interesting opportunities have been revealed — especially for direct mail.
Whilst many businesses have developed a GDPR-compliant process for email marketing, some are still floundering. As a result, they are having to explore and develop other marketing channels, particularly print mail. The benefits of print mail over other forms of communication have been well documented; it’s a tangible, reliable and versatile method of reaching your audience. Connecting with people in print is also a clever way around any GDPR confusion and, perhaps most excitingly, it provides a chance to re-engage with this powerful form of marketing. (see our previous post 'stop trying to scare me with GDPR' here)
In this post-GDPR era, print mail holds its own against email marketing in these 3 important ways:
1. IT MEANS MORE TO THE RECIPIENT
Emails can be sent to anyone, anywhere, in seconds and cost next to nothing. Which is great! Isn’t it? It can be, but the level of automation and scale that this can achieve means that the recipient is in danger of feeling undervalued and nameless (even if thanks to clever marketing tools their name is on the email). Print mail is a bit meatier in cost but can deliver a far more personal message, one that takes time and effort and connects with the customer in their own home or business. You can even personalise the packaging of your outgoing post with marketing messages that are specific to your customer. As with everything in business, it’s not just enough to look at costs but at what is actually being delivered, and in the post-GDPR world print mail delivers reassurance and trust.
2. IT’S GUARANTEED TO BE SEEN
When the GDPR emails began cluttering up customers’ inboxes, there was a surge of confusion and annoyance. It was tempting for many to just hit delete and run away. Most of us have got multiple email address; work ones, personal ones, security ones, no-longer-used ones, and it’s difficult to keep track of what’s going where. Add to this an increased awareness of who has got our data (and why), it’s no wonder that people end up just deleting important information and promotions, whether it’s by accident, fear or frustration. You’re far more likely to make a meaningful connection with a customer using print mail than if you’re battling for their attention amongst a sea of emails, which are read whilst on the phone, eating lunch and sending a text message — or in some cases all three at once. Print mail arrives in front of a prospect or customer and is held in their hand, at the very least, before it is either acted upon or trashed.
3. IT’S CREDIBLE & TRUSTWORTHY
We live in a post-GDPR world where customers are not just cautious of links, online forms and strange pop ups but also of data misuse. What a relief for them to receive a letter, with their (correct) name on it, from a verified company, with a return address and in some cases return postage automatically paid. Today’s increased public awareness of who has their data and why, makes print mail a safer option. But a word of warning: using direct mail doesn’t mean you don’t have to adhere to the lessons we have all learnt (and are still learning) in this GDPR world, such as including contact methods for opting out, records of what is done with customers’ data for audit purposes and legitimate reasons for contacting that customer. Unwelcome mail is a turn off, whether it’s via email or print.
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