Direct Mail can be used under the basis of Legitimate Interest under GDPR (or put another way, does not require Consent).
Yes you can! We’ve had it from the only authority that counts in the UK – The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) – who recently provided some much needed clarity on the use of Legitimate Interest for marketing, confirming on their website that states “you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.” Great to have some clear guidance and a green light for responsible, consumer centric direct mailing.
Using Legitimate Interest in practice requires the application of a good dose of…common sense!
OK so the ICO call it a Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) – but essentially what they are looking for is the application of the main principles of the GDPR – openness, honesty and transparency – supported by evidence that you have carefully considered the impact on an individual and made an informed and fair judgement that your interests and the interests of the individual are balanced.
Executed well, Direct mail is proven to be an incredibly effective channel for response rates and engagement.
Put simply – it works! Great Direct Mail will deliver great results. It can grab more attention, engage and help to create closer relationships and generate more responses.
Recent research by Brand Science confirmed “when mail was included in the marketing mix, campaigns had 12% bigger ROI than those without mail.” Impressive!
Anecdotally, one of our clients recently reported a consistently high ROI and an average of 1000+ new customers/month from Direct Mail.
AND consumers like it! And we’ve got some stats to prove it….
Respondents to MarketReach research confirmed that mail is more believable (87%), makes them feel more valued (70%) and creates a better impression of a company (70%).
Choosing the right partner will make all the difference!
Choose a partner you can trust. At REaD Group we have been helping businesses of all shapes and sizes get great results from Direct Mail for more years than we care to remember – and with the advent of GDPR our services have become even more important and relevant to our clients (from optimising data selections and data quality to campaign reporting and analysis). We’re a safe pair of hands.
Sounds good, right? So what to do next?
Contact our knowledgeable and friendly team who can talk you through how we can best support your marketing strategy and help you thrive through GDPR and beyond.
By Mark Roy, Chairman and Founder of REaD Group
So, at last a bit of welcome news from the ICO. In black and white in new guidance for the charity sector. Consent is NOT required if you are using direct mail and relying on Legitimate Interest. Considering the amount of utter nonsense being spouted by SO many ‘overnight experts’ this is an extraordinarily timely piece of clear-cut advice from the ICO to marketers.
That said, it was rather curiously tucked away in the FAQ’s of the advice specifically designed for the charity sector. That very same sector that has spent the last 24 months, since the Etherington review, paralysed with fear of potential repercussions of using data incorrectly. Ironic really, when the mainstay of British fundraising had always been direct mail, that it is now that very same channel that will no doubt bring about the resurgence in charitable marketing.
ICO: You won’t need consent for postal marketing …If you don’t need consent under PECR you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to charities, it applies to any organisation that has a legitimate interest to process data, no matter what sector. It is very important to realise that when, late in the day, the EU added those 18 words to clause 47 of GDPR – namely “The processing of personal data for Direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for legitimate purposes” – they meant Direct Mail!
Today, direct mail is regarded very differently from a decade ago.
70% of respondents said that mail makes them feel more valued (up from 57% in 2013). Source: Royal Mail Market Reach: The Value of mail in uncertain times, August 2017
It turns out that compared to email, SMS or voice calls it is perceptibly a comparative saint. It is remarkably unobtrusive and has the tactility to create real connections with the recipient and relay real brand value.
The ICO should be applauded for this much needed definitive advice, much more of the same is required… please! Hopefully then, and I suspect only then, will we see an end to the ridiculous scaremongering and be able to get on with running our businesses whilst continuing to protect the consumer interest.
There has never been a better time to plan your next Direct Mail campaign. We might know a thing or two about that…get in touch to explore the huge opportunity this clarity presents.