The GDPR countdown has started...

With only a month to go, there's no need to panic. You can still stay in touch with your customers with GDPR...

With only a month to go before the deadline for GDPR implementation, are you ready?

There's no denying GDPR is going to have a major shake on how we connect with our customers but it's not all bad news. The purpose of these regulatory changes is to give us all, as individuals, better protection on how our personal data is collected, stored and used. But on business level, it really does present new opportunities for us to create more honest and transparent relationships with our customers and prospects.

What's most interesting to us is how mail, in particular, could be pivotal in ensuring organisations use GDPR to their advantage.

Here are 10 reasons why...

1. You won't 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.” This means that brands may have some customers they can only reach by mail because mail is still subject to fewer regulations than electronic communications.

2. Brands will have fewer regulatory unknowns

  • Brands will have fewer regulatory unknowns when contacting by mail than by electronic channels. Mail is not materially impacted by the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, whereas electronic channels are. The ePrivacy Regulation was scheduled to come into effect in May 2018 but given there is no timetable for finalising the draft, this deadline is looking increasingly unrealistic leaving a number of questions unanswered.

3. Mail is recommended by the DMA as the channel to get consent

  • Mail is recommended as the channel to use to get consent by the DMA. Some brands will choose to repermission some customer segments, and mail is well suited to this. Brands have been fined for contacting customers by email who had previously opted out of email communication. Repermissioning communications are seen as marketing activity, and so mail of this nature can attract advertising mail discounts.

4. Mail offers higher response rates than email

  • In a world where trust and frequency of communication are increasingly important to manage, mail is welcomed by recipients and offers higher response rates than email.* Consumers recognise that mail takes more effort than email. So when it is used, it reassures them that companies recognise and value them – they cared enough to send mail.

5. No fines yet for using mail for marketing

  • No one has been fined by the ICO for using mail for marketing. According to the ICO website, seventeen penalties were issued in 2017 for other channels, such as text, phone calls and email.

6. It's easy to stay in touch via mail

  • While people are more likely to have multiple email addresses, including ghost ones they do not check, people generally only have one residential postal address, and our home-mover data services make it possible to stay in touch if your customer moves.

7. First impressions count

  • Let’s face it, emails can be dull, even when designed to a template (which then all look the same). With mail there’s more flexibility to ensure the piece is compelling and eye catching. The choice of format, paper and design, allow items to be individual to reflect a brand, tone and message, as well as whether you choose to mail in polywrap, envelopes, or send a postcard or self mailer.

8. Mail primes other media

  • Royal Mail's Private Life of Mail neurological study proved the way that mail primes other media. So you may expect email and other electronic communication to be better recognised and received (and perhaps unsubscribe rates to be lower) if the recipient has been mailed in the weeks before.

9. Mail has evolved

  • It may be 500 years old, but mail continues to evolve. In recent years programmatic mail and barcodes have been introduced on mail to enable message sequencing, and in 2018 JICMAIL will launch to provide reach and frequency data to the market.

10. We can help you keep your data clean

  • Article 5 of the GDPR means that businesses will be held accountable for the accuracy of their customer data.At KJS We are Direct Mail, we use the latest industry update and suppression files which are fully GDPR ready. Accurate data will help you improve the return on investment of your mail campaigns. If you need help in cleaning up your database, just give us a call.

So, let's embrace the new regulation. Let's work together to show change is good on all levels.
* US Data & Marketing Association Response Rate Report 2017