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Direct Marketing After GDPR – Postal Marketing to the Rescue

Direct Mailing
If you're worried that the introduction of GDPR on 25th May is going to spell the end for your direct marketing efforts, then we've got some good news - because postal marketing is coming to your rescue.

GDPR. Everyone in business is talking about it and even though it doesn’t come into force until 25th May, chances are you’re already sick of it.

It’s wide-ranging and potentially has a knock-on effect for all departments of your organisation. In particular, many marketing managers are hastily trying to find ways to get their current database to give them that all-important “explicit consent” for ongoing marketing. Although this is still required for emails and phone calls under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), this does not affect direct postal mail.

The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has released a statement confirming that postal marketing will still be allowed without the “explicit permission” required for email and digital marketing.

This statement posted on an FAQ section of the ICO website, states that “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.”

Article 6(1)(f) in the GDPR gives legitimate interests as a lawful basis of processing where: “Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.”

The ICO Guide to GDPR adds: “A wide range of interests may be legitimate interests. They can be your own interests or the interests of third parties, and commercial interests as well as wider societal benefits. They may be compelling or trivial, but trivial interests may be more easily overridden in the balancing test.”

As the DMA observes: “Marketers must consider whether their marketing would be reasonably expected by an individual. If the answer is no then this adds weight against the case for using legitimate interest as a the most appropriate legal ground.

“For example, an IT software company could argue that IT Directors would reasonably expect to receive marketing emails relating IT software products. They are responsible for purchasing software products for their company and therefore have in interest in receiving offers about products that might create efficiencies, for example.”

With our own mailing and fulfilment department, not only can we print your promotional materials, we can also facilitate your direct mailing all under one roof. We are able to personalise with secure mail merges and advise on the best ways to save on the cost of your postage.

If you’d like to chat more about ways we can assist, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line on either or 01726 624900.

Please note that this article is not intended to construe legal advice. We always recommend seeking advice from your own legal team before making any decisions.


Sources and useful articles

DMA – The ICO have published their long-awaited legitimate interest guidance”

Royal Mail’s Guide to GDPR

The ICO – When can we rely on legitimate interests?

Print Business – Print gets green light under GDPR rules

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