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Direct mail

How to target your direct mail campaign

By KPM Group

Running a successful direct mail campaign requires a considered planning, creative and evaluation.  But targeting remains crucial – success will depend on getting your message in front of the right audience.

Direct mail remains a great way to achieve this – it continues to deliver in today’s digital, post-GDPR world. You can safely use mail as a lead generator and to direct people online. Direct mail is not subject to the same data restrictions as email, so it is easier to implement and stands out from crowded inboxes.

Define your strategy

The most successful campaigns span multiple channels, reaching customers across a variety of touchpoints.

Your campaign will achieve more if it has a clear goal. Perhaps you’d like to reactivate lapsed customers, or promote a retention or loyalty initiative?  Maybe you have a coupon or offer code? Talk to your print provider at the start about what you want to accomplish. They can help to define a strategy that best utilises mail at key points in your customer journey. 

Develop buyer personas

A key step in identifying your audience is to develop buyer personas. It is worth spending considerable time and thought on these to establish a few different potential buyers. 

They should be based on your own customer data, and include demographics such as age, income, occupation, location, gender etc. A good persona will go beyond demographics and also include behavioural insight:

  • What are the customer’s goals and challenges?
  • How can your business help them to achieve or overcome these?
  • What common objections or barriers there are to purchase?

Your marketing message should address these points. Whether your company is targeting senior business executives, fitness enthusiasts or charity donors, the important point is to determine how the ideal customer feels, what they need, and how you can help.   

Ensure good data management

Direct mail offers a huge opportunity to reach your audience, providing that your campaign is well-targeted. Forbes reports that 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more, so it’s important that your data is accurate.

Remember too that unlike email, you can send direct mail to customers without their explicit consent. Direct mail gives you more freedom to connect and engage with customers, and then to direct people to digital.

Of course, personal data is subject to the data protection terms of the GDPR, so you will need to prove a legitimate interest

Segment for improved results

You can target your mailing more accurately by segmenting your data, depending on the profiles and buying behaviour of your buyer personas. Messaging can then be tailored to very specific groups about their needs; helping you to achieve the goal of ‘right message, right audience, right time’.

Personalisation can also be utilised here. It is possible to tailor messages with dynamic content including images, offers and formats that will better resonate with them personally – increasing your chance of a higher response rate and return.

Segmentation will help you to send relevant, useful direct mail to each recipient, rather than wasting vital resources and money.

In summary

It is essential to target your message at the people most likely to respond to avoid wastage and increase response rates. These may be existing customers, but even then there are various profiles from repeat, regular purchasers to infrequent spenders that you may wish to target separately. For new business, you need to identify people who match the profile of your existing customers.

The most effective direct mail campaigns are created using considered planning, fuelled by data insight. We can help your message to reach the right people, and ensure an integrated approach across platforms – making the most of your marketing budget.

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This article is abridged from KPM Group’s blog How to target your direct mail campaign. Read the full version here

Build trust with direct mail

By KPM Group

The introduction of GDPR has undeniably made life a little more difficult from a marketing (and particularly a digital marketing) perspective. And while most organisations are taking steps towards compliance, many still have a long way to go.

It’s not a consistent story; on average“UK marketers consider their organisations to be just over 82% compliant with GDPR” – with a fifth even claiming 100% compliance.

However on the retail side, GDPR is being met with some resistance due to the cost of compliance, and a fear of losing essential data. Meanwhile charities (who hold sensitive information and cannot risk public distrust) are faring better, but a lack of confidence is still evident across the board.

Get GDPR confident

The birth of GDPR gave rise to a greater understanding of the value of personal data, and how it can be misused. The greatest challenge for companies post-GDPR is the rebuilding of consumer trust, and the relationships that go with it.

GDPR has exposed many unwitting individuals to the scope and nature of the data held about them, so looking forward organisations must demonstrate that they can be trusted to operate ethically and fairly with the information they process, and keep subjects informed.”

Within the parameters of GDPR, marketers must reconsider the most effective marketing and communication channels. So how about revisiting the old, as new?

Using direct mail to build trust

Direct mail marketing isn’t impeded by as many restrictions as email (you don’t always need consent for postal marketing), and therefore offers a legitimate way to contact customers and prospects who are otherwise unreachable.

From a trust and relationship perspective, you can use post to direct customers online and encourage opt-in consent – placing the power literally in their hands, and reinforcing their position as a valued customer.

Furthermore, mail achieves higher rates of engagement and conversion than emails, with 87% of direct mail recipients influenced to buy something online. And that’s not to the exclusion of digital marketing: a MarketReach study proved that mail primes other channels, meaning that emails and social media promotions may be better received – and remembered – if the recipient has received mail beforehand.

There is still a long way to go for companies and their handling of personal data, but looking to the future, GDPR could potentially teach businesses a great deal more about their customer base. Digital still has its place, but we’re seeing a very clear reason that postal marketing is still alive and kicking.

Find out more
Need a bit more guidance? Talk to us, make the most of mail, and get GDPR confident.

This article is abridged from KPM Group’s report, GDPR: Build Trust With Direct Mail. Read the full version here.

6 ways direct mail delivers, post-GDPR

By Nigel Copp, CEO at KPM Group

With GDPR in full effect, marketers are reconsidering the most effective channels to reach prospects and customers. Direct mail marketing is subject to fewer restrictions than email, and therefore offers a way to contact customers who are otherwise unreachable.

Combining direct mail with digital activity leverages the strengths of both; for a truly successful multichannel approach. Here are 6 benefits of using mail as part of your strategy post-GDPR.


You don’t always need consent for postal marketing. Quoting from the ICO website, “You won’t need consent for postal marketing but you will need consent for some calls and for texts and emails under PECR.”


Legitimate interest can be used for direct mail if you show that; how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.


The DMA recommend postal marketing as an effective and compliant way to gain online consent. If you can no longer contact customer segments by email use mail to encourage re-permission. Advertising mail discounts can also apply.


Mail stands out. Mail gains higher rates of engagement and conversion than emails, with 87% of direct mail recipients influenced to buy something online. It builds trust and demonstrates that the recipient is a valued customer.


Create targeted mailings without using personal data. Door drops are delivered with addressed mail, enabling you to re-engage audiences that you can’t otherwise reach. Increasing in innovation and popularity, door drops stay in the home for an average of 38 days!


A MarketReach study proved that mail primes other channels. This means that emails and social media promotions may be better received – and remembered – if the recipient has received mail beforehand.

And there’s more

Read KPM Group’s blog 10 Ways Direct Mail Delivers Post GDPR for even more benefits of using mail.

Industry Spotlight: Direct mail is now stronger than ever…

Direct mail is widely-viewed as one of the original forms of marketing. For over sixty years, marketers have enjoyed huge success with this simple, yet effective form of communication. However, the rise of digital technology has heralded an array of new methods, leading some people to question how much longer direct mail will form part of the mix.

So why, in this day and age of digitally-innovative forms of promotion, should direct mail still be taken seriously?

Carpet bombing and the bubble

The use of direct mail for marketing purposes was groundbreaking, enabling companies to communicate with their customers beyond the confines of an office or store. However, the extremely high volume of direct mail marketing in the 90s earned it the negative terms ‘carpet bombing’ and ‘junk mail’. People would return from holiday and struggle to open their front doors due to the sheer volume of promotional collateral piled up in their hallways.

Whilst direct mail has learnt from its mistakes and grown to become a medium that is much more refined, the problem of excessive volume is now plaguing the digital marketing industry. Regardless of how sophisticated digital communication methods have become, content inevitably becomes ineffective if it is not targeted at the appropriate recipients. According to, 75 per cent of consumers get frustrated when offers, ads and promotions have nothing to do with their interests. Given that people are increasingly setting up ad-blockers and ignoring promotional emails, it has never been more important to carefully personalise content and only target individuals most likely to be interested in your proposition. Direct mail certainly leads the way in terms of its ability to deliver relevant, timely, and highly personal content to consumers.

The capabilities of direct mail

The success of direct mail marketing has exceeded most people’s expectations. The latest Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report states that direct mail is still one of the largest ad channels in the UK and continues to bring in well above £1bn annually. Direct mail marketing is just as effective as it ever was, if not more so thanks to more sophisticated forms of customer data analysis, enabling brands to target customers more effectively.

Direct mail has stood the test of time because it engenders trust; it feels more thoughtful, personal, non-intrusive and authentic. For older generations, direct mail is a reassuringly tangible form of communication. On the other hand, direct mail for younger people is something of a novelty; they rarely receive post, making them more likely to pay attention to it. According to a Royal Mail MarketReach report, young people are 18 per cent more likely than the general population to welcome direct mail, and 32 per cent more likely to find it memorable.

Direct mail can also be used to bridge offline and online marketing methods in order to provide a diverse communications strategy and cater to a modern, digitally-savvy audience. For example, marketers can ensure that direct mail contains information such as QR codes that draw customers back to company websites.

Intelligent data

Data is key to the long-term success of a company’s marketing strategy. Neither online nor offline marketing methods would be nearly as successful if businesses did not analyse customer data and use it to understand those they are targeting. The shrewd use of data has revolutionised direct mail in the last two decades by enabling businesses to deliver content with the right message, at the right time, to the right individual. It is this that has made it one of the most enduringly successful forms of marketing to date. And with the increasing volumes of data available today, the capabilities of direct mail will only get stronger and more effective.


Mark Roy is founder and Chairman of REaD Group, the UK’s largest independent data group. Over the course of his career, Mark has transformed the marketing industry by pioneering data suppression and data cleanliness, as well as introducing industry-defining products including The Gone Away Suppression File (GAS), The Bereavement Register, Qinetic and The Oracle.