GDPR and direct mail will win the day

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
November 1 2017,
May 27 2020

I was reading a post from a very grumpy chap on my LinkedIn network. He was bemoaning the fact that countless consultants and “gurus”, promising guidance and reassurance around the imminent General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), are springing up all over the place.  He’s fed up with it and their scaremongering has made him see red…me too. 

But we’re determined to extract the positives from what is inevitably going to be a rough ride for many. We and others that know and understand the benefits of GDPR and direct mail are saying “GDPR…bring it on!” Here’s why:

Permissions not so onerous

With GDPR the only difference between “business to consumer” (B2C) and “business to business” (B2B) marketing will be regarding email and text marketing to employees of corporate organisations. Because, when it comes to dealing with sole traders or partnerships, the B2C rules will apply. That means that for email and text (SMS) marketing specific and affirmative opted-in consent will be mandatory. Compare that to direct mail (and telemarketing) where you only need to offer the opportunity to opt-out of receiving your messages.

 It puts the “e” back in e-marketing

When the email addresses in your database aren’t compliantly opted-in, how are you going to drive customers to your website? Personalised URLs, even QR codes, Near Field Communication (NFC) etc. create printed “bridges” to any online offering and opportunities to capture those all-important subscribers.

It’s a crucial piece of the jigsaw

No successful marketing campaign relies just on one channel and direct mail is a pivotal element of most. Programmatic direct mail, like its online counterparts, is a communication that’s generated and triggered by your customers actions. For example, cart abandonment, where the customer initiates but doesn’t complete the sale. A printed, highly-personalised nudge might be a great way to “push them over the line”!

It’s a trigger to purchase

Direct mail makes things happen. People respond to it and that’s on an upward trend. The proportion of respondents claiming to have bought something as a result of receiving mail in the past 12 months has risen from 26.7% in 2013 to 36.1% in 2017.

It has the sensory edge

With anything online the designer’s skill is constrained by screen size and attention span. But, when it comes to direct mail, textured materials, clever finishing and innovative inks unleash a world of design possibilities making for materials that aren’t simply viewed but, instead, experienced even enjoyed.

Printed messages remain more credible

MarketReach’s ongoing research into the value of mail revealed earlier this year that, while 87% of people consider printed mail believable, only 48% say the same for email.


So, come May 2018 the smart marketing money will be on direct mail. We’re relishing the idea of empty inboxes being replaced with bulging letterboxes – cleverly designed and highly personalised and relevant print. GDPR…we can’t wait!

We’ve compiled a campaign GDPR checklist which you might like to use for each element of your direct marketing campaigns. DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST


Get in touch and let’s get as much of your marketing data opted-in before GDPR’s deadline date, call Steve Johnson on 01623 499944 or email me at hello@primegroup.co.uk.


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