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GDPR and its impact on marketing

With the rise of digital, marketing took a huge turn. Companies are now able to connect with customers like never before, with email taking the lead as most businesses' brand awareness tool.

GDPR and its impact on marketing

"75 of people said they could recall a brand after reading direct mail from that company. "
Direct Letterbox Marketing

But is email marketing really worth it? And, after the implementation of GDPR, how will email marketing change?

In this article, we have teamed up with leaflet distribution service provider, Direct Letterbox Marketing, to investigate how you can continue with your brand awareness campaign while staying compliant with GDPR.

Quality over quantity?

Every year, 74 trillion emails are sent, and they only last an average of two seconds before being deleted. It's no wonder 70% of Brits reckon they receive "too many emails". With this knowledge, it might be time to rethink your email marketing strategies to ensure the best results possible from your campaign.

On the flip side, 13.8 billion letters are mailed out each year, over 12 million of which are direct mail. Where emails last on average two seconds, letters are kept an average of 17 days, despite taking up physical space. Does this mean that a delivered letter is more effective than something we have at our fingertips at all times?

Studies show that direct mail has a lasting impact; 75% of people said they could recall a brand after reading direct mail from that company. This is an astonishing figure when you look at the amount of people who could remember the brand after reading a digital advertisement — which was as low as 44%.

The same study shows how direct mail marketing is successful on all fronts when compared to email. 79% of consumers action direct mail straight away, while only 45% of people do so for email. This is probably down to the opening process — if you’re opening a physical letter, you have the intention to read it. Tapping a screen to access a new email in your inbox is effortless, and deleting it forever takes no real time either — this could be the reason why it is proving to be less effective.

Direct mail has a 4.4% response rate too. A response rate for an email is only 0.12%, showing that more people interact thoroughly with a physical object than with something that just appears in their online inbox and can be deleted instantly.

But, direct mail also generates more customers (34%) compared to email (24%). This is a shockingly low figure when 57% of all email addresses are abandoned because of too many emails.

For example, perhaps your firm has a mailing list of 1,000 members, but more than 50% of them don't respond. This does not make a good investment, especially when the cost per acquisition is higher for email at £42.55 in comparison to direct mail which is only £39.59.

It's worth noting that, according to the Royal Mail, 51% of people would like to see a combination of direct mail and email. However, 56% said that they felt valued when they received a letter in the post. It is beneficial to know that when both are used together, it can inevitably increase brand awareness, ROI and the overall customer experience.

The best use of print

Successful marketing addresses a customer's wants and needs, rather than what the business wants from them. They’re the focus, so don’t try and sell them your product — sell them an idea. Your customer doesn’t want new shoes, they want to look stylish.

A marketing piece with nothing on offer is a waste of space and time; consider your current audience and what they like. Play on their emotions, because once they become invested into your product, they will make the logical decision to convert.

Direct mail flourishes when customer want to know more, and you can do this by making the piece eye-catching and colourful. It’s important that you make your leaflet, brochure or poster stand out! Plus, consider the wording of your mail; make sure that your copy says what you want it to say, giving your potential customers a greater insight of what you want them to know. Be persuasive, be intriguing and don’t forget to accompany this with bold and beautiful lettering.

Be sure to proof-read and check over your design before sending it to the printers. A single mistake can make a whole batch of printing unusable, wasting money from the budget. Are you now thinking about changing your strategies?

GDPR: What you need to do

As of 25th May 2018, the European Parliament has enforced the General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR. As print marketing involved gathering customer data, you need to be sure you're compliant. Although we are set to leave the European Union after the Brexit vote, this legislation will be adopted by Britain and will replace the Data Protection Act of 1998 in hopes to unify and strengthen data across the continent.

GDPR states that "processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest", which links to the use of personal data.

How does this effect print marketing, in particularly, direct mailing? It means that you must seek consent to process the data required for mailing (names, addresses etc.) which could be achieved by an ‘opt in’ process. This may be problematic for companies that send out specifically addressed mail. Alternatively, sending out unaddressed mail to your target market is acceptable as it does not involve the handling of sensitive data — appropriate for marketing campaigns that select their demographic based on geography. 

In the case of cloud storage of off-site data holding, you still need to comply with GDPR or risk penalties of 4% of your business' yearly global turnover, or €20m (the largest sum is used). Familiarise yourself with GDPR before you continue any print marketing efforts, and make the appropriate changes to become compliant today.