Is Direct Mail GDPR-Proof?

In the Internet age, direct mail can be seen as an old-fashioned form of marketing in comparison to social media and web promotion.

However direct mail offers a strong advantage in an oft-overlooked area: GDPR.

Digital media is increasingly subject to data privacy laws, with GDPR laws requiring that consumers give explicit consent for their data to be kept and used. However, direct mail marketing is subject to different laws – requiring only that campaigns can prove they are offering information of legitimate interest to those they are targeting.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) explains on its website, “You won’t need consent for postal marketing…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.”

Direct mail is surprisingly powerful. While email marketing giant MailChimp has revealed that email campaigns sent through them average an open rate of 20%, a Forbes report found that 66% of direct mail is opened.

Personalised mail goes a long way to making sure the campaign is opened, with Forbes finding that over 84% of consumers are more likely to open a piece of mail if it is personalised.

The success rate of direct mail may come as a surprise to some, given its reputation as old-fashioned in a digital world, but at Ebi, we’ve worked on many successful direct mail campaigns – and we’ve seen the power they can hold.