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A series of unfortunate GDPR events Part 3 – Death to Direct Marketing

A Series Of Unfortunate GDPR Events Part 3

Death to Direct Marketing

Well not exactly, this has been one of the biggest shake-ups to the marketing industry in a very long time. Previously there has been a notion that you can add anyone and everyone you meet to your mailing list and then spam them to death in the hope that they purchase a product or service from you, this is no longer true. While direct marketing is changing in a big way it is not the end altogether.

GDPR is based on consent, consent and more consent. So in order for you to legitimately contact a person for marketing purposes, they have to opt-in to receive mail from you. The use of pre-ticked boxes that say you will be added to our mailing list is no longer allowed, the person has to choose which method of contact they are happy with. As with the previous regulation (DPA), the invite to be contacted must be clear, concise and adequately explain what you will be doing. This also goes for every person currently on your mailing list, you must obtain the proper permission again before the 25th May 2018.

The rules for marketing business to business are also different again.

If your company currently purchases marketing data to contact potential customers, you will need to ensure that the data has been screened for those that have opted out of contact via the usual channels. This responsibility is being clearly placed on the organisation doing the marketing instead of those providing the data. There has previously been a bit of a grey area on the responsibility for this.

If your company uses telephone marketing, once the data has been adequately screened, the caller must clearly identify the business and the reason for the call, making sure that the call is within the express wishes of the recipient at all times. This also applies to electronic or email marketing.

If you are using postal mailing you must only send marketing mail to a named person who has not objected to receiving mailings, blanket mailings to the occupier will no longer be allowed.

Here is a table that simply explains the differences


You can happily contact them if they are existing clients – this does not mean that they are on your mailing list this means they are a client and you work with them and have a record of completed or ongoing works – consent is not required for these as it is classed as already expressed – ICO is not trying to stop you contacting your customers, but its always nice to be asked for the line of communication to be continued – its also a way to regain contact with lost customers.

Direct mail will be a perfect way to get your message across as you can happily send to both consumer and corporate without hassle as long as you have obtained their details fairly and you show that there is a possible benefit to the customer by sending them this – such as an offer that would suit them.

And a final note – make sure you don’t accidentally send marketing to someone who has specifically requested they don’t receive that information from you – should you slip up, be aware of how it happened – apologise and explain how you will make sure it doesn’t happen again.

So it’s not the death of direct marketing more of it being shaken awake making sure you change with the times rather than burying your head in the sand.

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