Print and GDPR

GDPR may seem like it is constraining companies’ marketing strategies. But the new data protection regulation could be a golden opportunity to improve your brand awareness and general marketing.

Printed marketing is not subject to the same scrutiny as online and phone marketing under the GDPR. In fact, the Information Commissioners Office [ICO] says:

“You won’t need consent for Postal Marketing”

This is not, of course, an excuse to start spamming customers and prospects with direct mail. But it does present an opportunity to get your message out there when other channels may be failing you. Also, there is no reason why you can’t combine direct mail with online marketing to make it even more effective.

In the days and weeks leading up to 25th May 2018 [now known as G-Day here at Formara], we received hundreds of emails from businesses asking for permission to stay in touch or with their updated Privacy Policy [how boring are they to read!]. Many of these companies we have no recollection of working with, signing up for their newsletter or even know who they and what they do – so why would we agree to receive more emails from them about services and products we don’t want or need?

How many letters did we receive about GDPR?
That’s easy to answer – NONE!

I believe this is due to businesses being either lazy or not understanding the options available to them – probably the latter. But like so many ‘email-only’ campaigns, these ‘GDPR’ emails are likely to have a negative impact on your database.

According to the DMA, direct mailing is still the most effective form of direct marketing, with a 4.4% response rate. Compared to email's average response rate of 0.12%, this is a clear indicator of the importance of printed marketing. This 4.4% response rate includes direct mail marketing campaigns both to B2B and B2C clients, meaning that, whatever your industry or sector, business owners can feel safe in the knowledge that their marketing messages will be reaching a wide range of their target market.

Based on these figures, if you customer data base contained 100 people who you asked for consent by post, you would now be able to send marketing to 4 people – 4 more than you would if you had sent an email!

Don’t let GDPR get in the way of your marketing efforts
Getting permission is a GOOD thing that GDPR has brought to the table. After all, why would a business continue to send marketing to an audience that doesn’t want to hear from them? So give them the opportunity to choose by adding a personalised preference centre to ALL your online and offline marketing. Remember also to give your customer the ability to unsubscribe from print in a similar way to email.

So, when you send out your company brochure or marketing materials in the post, include a personalised webpage for your Preference Centre. If you’re not sure how to do this, Formara can help!

16 The Candlemakers

Temple Farm Business Park




01702 613141