GDPR: build trust with direct mail
It’s been a year since the implementation of GDPR, which gave EU citizens greater control over the use and storage of their personal data. And while most organisations are taking steps towards compliance, many still have a long way to go.
The regulations have undeniably made life a little more difficult from a marketing (and particularly a digital marketing) perspective, but on average “UK marketers consider their organisations to be just over 82% compliant with GDPR” – with a fifth even claiming 100% compliance.
But it’s not a consistent story across the board. On the retail side, GDPR is being met with some resistance due to the cost of compliance, and a fear of losing essential data. But it seems that a lack of understanding of the GDPR requirements, and how to effectively implement changes into processes to achieve compliance, may be to blame – causing some retailers to adopt a ‘heads in the sand’ approach.
This is incredibly risky, given that failure to comply with GDPR could see companies landed with huge fines. Not to mention the reputational damage that could arise from a company’s failure to comply with the new legislation.
With that at the forefront of their minds, charities (who hold sensitive information and cannot risk public distrust) are faring better, but a lack of confidence is still evident across the board.
How to ensure GDPR compliance
But what do you actually need to do to ensure your company is GDPR compliant?
“In the best organisations, the adoption of best practice has been cultural rather than procedural. They have taken the opportunities presented by compliance, not just to avoid financial penalties but to improve the relationship with customers and others in the data supply chain. Crucially, they also consider data governance and security at the start of every project and not just as an afterthought as it once was.”Philip Anthony, Coopsys
Creating a roadmap to compliance, gaining budgetary sign-off for maintaining compliance, and establishing processes for continuous improvement are all essential to operating within the confines of GDPR. Not to mention safeguarding professional reputation and upholding customer relations.
Companies must strive for transparency: be open about what personal data you’re collecting, and why; with a clear option for customers to opt out of targeted marketing campaigns.
Build trust with direct mail
The birth of GDPR gave rise to a greater understanding of the value of personal data, and how it can be misused. The greatest challenge for companies post-GDPR is the rebuilding of consumer trust, and the relationships that go with it.
“GDPR has exposed many unwitting individuals to the scope and nature of the data held about them, so looking forward organisations must demonstrate that they can be trusted to operate ethically and fairly with the information they process, and keep subjects informed.”Charity Digital News
Within the parameters of GDPR, marketers must reconsider the most effective marketing and communication channels. So how about revisiting the old, as new? Direct mail marketing isn’t impeded by as many restrictions as email (you don’t always need consent for postal marketing), and therefore offers a legitimate way to contact customers and prospects who are otherwise unreachable.
From a trust and relationship perspective, you can use post to direct customers online and encourage opt-in consent – placing the power very much in their hands, and reinforcing their position as a valued customer.
Furthermore, mail attains higher rates of engagement and conversion than emails, with 87% of direct mail recipients influenced to buy something online. And that’s not to the exclusion of digital marketing: a MarketReach study proved that mail primes other channels, meaning that emails and social media promotions may be better received – and remembered – if the recipient has received mail beforehand.
That’s not to the exclusion of digital marketing either: a MarketReach study proved that mail primes other channels, meaning that emails and social media promotions may be better received – and remembered – if the recipient has received mail beforehand.
A MarketReach study proved that mail primes other channels, meaning that emails and social media promotions may be better received – and remembered – if the recipient has received mail beforehand.Royal Mail MarketReach
There is still a long way to go for companies and their handling of personal data, but looking to the future, GDPR could teach businesses more about their customer base than previously imagined. Digital still has its place, but we’re seeing a very clear reason that postal marketing is still alive and kicking.
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