While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been around for a while now, the dust has not completely settled for many businesses who are still unsure of the effects this has on their business.
For those businesses who have used or continue to use direct mailing as part of their marketing strategy, you might still feel a bit confused about where GDPR leaves you even now.
While GDPR may have been formulated to mostly apply to online advertising, it still has some effect over direct mailing and the personal data used.
What is GDPR for?
GDPR, in a nutshell, is a way to get companies to get formal permission from a potential customer to use their data. After years of companies acquiring data in underhanded ways and with customers handing over data without knowing the full implications or risks, GDPR now means personal data is better protected.
It also meant that some businesses had to make some pretty drastic changes around their marketing strategies.
What is Direct Mailing?
Direct mailing is a marketing strategy that has been around for years. When the internet took off and everyone started to rely on email, many businesses abandoned direct mailing.
However, the tables have turned in recent years. In fact, you’re more likely to stand out with a direct mailing marketing campaign than you are popping one of hundreds of emails into a customer’s inbox.
Direct mailing takes printed marketing materials and delivers them to a customer’s door. Direct mailing can come in many forms, from flyers and postcards to catalogues and brochures.
PSC Systems specialise in delivering quality printed marketing materials for all your direct mailing needs.
A common question we have been asked over the past couple of years is how does GDPR affect direct mailing? Can you still do it? Do you need written permission from every household you contact? In this post, we will address this question and answer it as best as we can.
What Effect Does GDPR Have on Direct Mailing?
The good news is, GDPR direct mailing concerns aren’t as worrying as other forms of advertising. If you use direct mailing, you won’t come across as many difficulties as those using only online advertising will.
Interestingly enough, direct mailing doesn’t require consent to use personal data. If you have data you wish to use in direct mailing, you are not required to record consent from the recipient.
Mail Marketing Regulations
While you may not need direct, written consent from customers to send them direct mail campaigns, that doesn’t mean there are no regulations at all.
You will still need to make sure your mail marketing campaigns are conducted on a lawful basis to ensure minimal privacy impact. This is to help combat mass amounts of spam in postal marketing.
What you do need to do is ensure that you are sending the material due to legitimate interest. You will need to make sure that any use of personal data is valid, that the recipient won’t be surprised to receive it and that privacy is still protected for recipients.
What Does Legitimate Interest Mean and How Does it Work?
Legitimate interest simply means you are sending post marketing material to those who may already be interested in your products or services.
The most obvious example of legitimate interest is from a customer who has previously used your business before and signed up to a mailing list.
For example, if a customer buys something from your website and enters personal details to sign up or save their postal address, this shows legitimate interest in your business. If you choose to send them a physical newsletter or marketing letter, this is fine. The customer won’t be surprised to see mail from you because they have already opted in to receive marketing emails.
Other ways to show legitimate interest could be through contact with partner companies or through taking details at trade fairs or promotional events.
All businesses should take some time to think carefully about the impact of GDPR and privacy on all areas of their business and marketing interests.
Clearly Ask for Permission to Use Data
Make sure you are clearly asking for permission from data subjects to rely on consent when collecting and processing personal data. Whether this is through email newsletter signup forms or order processing, the fact that you’re using the data for marketing purposes should be made clear and kept consistent everywhere on your website and company policy.
Establishing How You Use Data
Giving Customers Control Over Their Data
Besides collecting permission from users and customers, you must also give them the opportunity and right to remove their data including name, address or email addresses from your records to avoid being contacted again. This must be clearly outlined in any marketing materials that you send out to customers.
Outsource GDPR Direct Mailing Services
If handling direct mailing and the regulations surrounding it are something you would rather avoid, PSC Systems can help. We provide card manufacturing and direct mailing services which are GDPR compliant.
Direct mailing is making a come back as more and more businesses rely on email marketing which clogs up customers’ inboxes. Choosing to go into direct marketing is a growing marketing trend again, providing a more personal touch that grabs a customer’s attention.
If you are interested in learning about our direct mailing services or our wide ranging list of printed material services, you can get a quote or more information through our contact form or give us a call on 0151 668 0764.
Posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 at 5:19 pm in Latest News.