Why direct mail printing is making a comeback due to GDPR

Direct mail is often viewed as the antiquated forerunner to zippy email marketing. However following huge data breaches, a decrease in trust in the way companies handle our information, and complex GDPR regulations, direct mail printing is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, supported by some very compelling reasons for dusting off those envelopes.

Return to sender: how can companies benefit from direct mail?

In an online article ‘How to build a business case for Direct Mail’, the Royal Mail estimates that direct mail will deliver an average of £3.22 for every £1 spent, compared to £3.12 for email.

This is good, but doesn’t sound like all that much more, until you learn more about the context: that more than 92% of direct mail is opened. This is compared to an open rate for emails that averages somewhere around 25%, according to this Mailchimp report. That’s a sizeable difference in itself – and becomes even more impressive when you read that nearly half of UK adults take action after receiving direct mail. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) puts that figure at 79%.

Also, a 2018 study found the average time that advertising mail is kept in the home is 17 days. Direct mail sticks around, with more chance of getting its offers into a householder’s head than emails that can be deleted with a key-stroke or screen-touch, and forgotten almost immediately.

Sealed with a loving kiss: why is direct mail so popular?

So what’s direct mail got that email doesn’t? The answer is: a lot.

It’s personal: People are all too familiar with an email that can be easily created and sent to a predetermined list. Direct mail printing however requires a little more thought around design, and its physical nature makes it more tactile and exciting to open. According to the DMA, direct mail generates 10% more customers than email.

It’s trustworthy: One of the main factors for the success of direct mail may be that recipients are more likely to trust it. The GDPR has been rolled out to tackle issues of privacy and security – things that we expect as standard, yet are being constantly compromised online. And as for credibility, a whopping 87% of consumers think messages delivered by mail are believable, compared to 48% for email.

It’s easy: According to the ICO, you don’t need consent for non-named postal marketing, but you do for calls, texts and emails. In terms of regulations, then, it’s much less of a headache to send out something via post than to get knee-deep in consent issues.

It’s quieter: There’s a lot of noise with online marketing. We are deluged by emails and can find it difficult to keep up. In fact more than half of email accounts are abandoned because of too many emails. When we receive direct mail however, we usually take time to look at it properly. Conversely about half of emails are deleted within about two seconds.

It’s memorable: according to this infographic, only 44% of people recall a brand directly after seeing a digital advert, compared to 75% after receiving direct mail.

What you need to remember

If we’ve convinced you that it’s time to revive your direct mail printing, you should be sure to do the following.

Have a legitimate interest: The GDPR states that direct mail marketing does not require the same consent as digital marketing. Your company should however be able to prove that your campaign is of legitimate interest to those you are targeting.

Respect the opt-out: Even though you might not need consent for direct marketing, your mail should include a way of contacting you, through which recipients can opt out of receiving your mail in future.

Have a clear process: Make sure that you record everything you do that requires the use of an individual’s personal data. If you ever need your data audited, you’ll be glad of it.

A love for direct mail and the environment
It’s time to rekindle your love for direct mail printing. And KMS Litho can help you by creating beautiful and engaging pieces that will help your company to really stand out.

Our direct mail printing covers everything from brochures, newsletters, leaflets, stationery, posters and more. We’ll spend time with you and advise you on the best methods, paper types and costs. Plus, as an environmentally friendly printing company we ensure that all our activities are conducted in accordance with sound environmental practices. We are members of Two Sides, an organisation that promotes the sustainability of print and paper spanning the graphic communications supply chain across five continents.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can design, print and deliver outstanding direct mail.