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Direct mail

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.

  1. DIRECT MAIL DOESN’T REQUIRE OPT IN CONSENT

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.”

  1. YOU CAN USE LEGITIMATE INTEREST FOR MAIL

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.

  1. USE MAIL AS A WAY TO GAIN CONSENT

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.

  1. MAIL IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN EMAIL

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.

  1. UNADDRESSED MAIL DELIVERS

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!

  1. MAIL ENCOURAGES BRAND RECOGNITION

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 Dot.com 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 CMO.com, 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.