Direct Mail the antidote to GDPR

GDPR put you in a spin? Direct Mail will help

Direct mail… Ironically, the legislation designed to remove a lot of unwanted email communication has created a lot of unwanted email communication. Many of those GDPR emails you will have received since the beginning of 2018 were actually completely unnecessary. That is providing a company or organisation had collected your data correctly in the first place. If that had been the case they would have already had the necessary permissions to email you accordingly!

However, there is a refreshingly old-school antidote: Direct Mail.

What’s so good about Direct Mail?

Your customers still value opening post. Digital media is ideal for flash sales and time-sensitive discounts and the like, but print media is kept, read, and often  re-read. If you really want your message to be absorbed, put it on paper. How old school is that?

Marketing professionals might have turned to email as the easy route to their audience, but it’s easy to overwhelm consumers with information. This is especially true when the majority are carrying always-on smart devices that bombard them constantly. In 2013, Royal Mail Market Research recorded 70% complaining that:

“I feel I receive too many emails”.

Hitting delete is often the only way to stay sane, often without reading the email first –

51% of emails are deleted within two seconds of receipt

(Litmus Email Analytics, 2013).

Direct Mail, on the other hand, is seen as being more personal

It makes your potential customer feel valued, strange huh, but true? Then add in the tactile appeal of high-quality print and paper, and you’ve already broken the two-second barrier. We still keep a direct mail example from Whole Foods in the office to remind us how it’s done! Even the envelope is attractive. They start well and the direct mail is classy!

Combining the two for maximum effect

Postal mailings work on a different level to email. They grab the attention in a different way. Emails interrupt, snail mail will wait for you to come back to it as many times as you need and also when you are ready.

Direct mail also works in tandem with your online marketing efforts

A glossy catalogue will send your customers online to order rather than going retro and sending in a paper order form like it’s 1994. In addition, discount codes and flash sale notifications are too ephemeral to be sent through the post – they need to be in digital form so that your customer can click through and place an order immediately.

86% of consumers make contact with organisations as a direct result of receiving something in the post (Royal Mail Market Research).

Social media interactions and access to mobile devices make online actions in relation to physical marketing even more likely. One unexpected and welcome side-effect of your new season catalogue is likely to be a sizeable uptick in new social media likes and online engagement. You see, direct mail DOES still have a place.

Hurrah – a cure for email overload!

Well, not quite, but there’s a good chance that GDPR will change how companies market and how consumers receive marketing. Additionally, those most likely to respond online to direct mail are those that are more reliant on their mobile devices. Direct mail gives you – and your customers – choice.

The initial outlay for a print run might make your budgeting manager wring their hands in despair, but the end result is a new responsive audience for your product or service.  This is without having to click “Yes” on anything.

How do you set up a direct mail campaign?

The recipe is quite simple:

Firstly, decide they WHY of your communication. You have an opportunity so don’t blow it with a generic or boring mailshot. Make it count. Plan carefully so you know the exact reason for your direct mail campaign.

Secondly hire a brilliant copywriting who can sprinkle some fairy dust onto your copy. This will make it engaging and grab attention as a great starting point.

Thirdly, discuss what type of direct mail format you have in mind. Popular types of direct mail include:

  • letters
  • self mailers
  • postcards
  • CD mailers
  • Shock and awe mailers

What’s next?

When you’ve decided on format and copy you need a discussion about cost. There are some great people to discuss this with. At VKN Digital we always use who have a fabulous reputation and know EVERYTHING about direct mail and will advise regarding design, costs and just what is likely to work for your industry, offer, promotion or message.

When your direct mail is designed and sent that really isn’t the end of the process.  Evaluating your direct mail campaign is important. Ask yourself: has it achieved its aims? Can it be improved in any way? Do we have some opinion from the people it went out to? How can we adjust our messaging for even more success? Sometimes it’s the follow up campaign that clinches the deal so don’t do one and forget about this technique. It has learned much from digital and now it really is the time for direct mail to come into its own.

If you need any help when it comes to the hustle and bustle of direct mail,  we’ll do all that we can to make sure you and your company leave satisfied! If you want to see more about the kind of comprehensive marketing services we offer then click here.

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