On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) comes into force.

The regulation aims to make it simpler for people to control how companies use their personal details such as their name, email address and phone number. Companies will not be allowed to collect and use personal information without the person’s consent. Amongst many other things, this will affect the way companies market to their customers and prospective customers.

We spend a lot of time designing leaflets and flyers for our clients, so we thought it would be useful to look at how GDPR will affect the way you use printed leaflets and direct mail. (But please bear in mind that we’re designers, not legal experts. We recommend carrying out your own research into GDPR – the Information Commissioner’s website is a good place to start.)

How will GDPR affect what you put on your leaflets?

The key to GDPR compliance is that you need to give your customers a fully informed choice about whether to share their data with you.

If you ask for personal details in any of your leaflets, here’s what you need to do:

• take away all pre-ticked boxes – people must opt IN to receive communications such as marketing messages from you.
• review the language you use and make it as simple as possible.
• explain exactly how people’s data will be used.
• make it easy for people to withdraw their consent for you to use their data.
• keep your consent box away from the other terms and conditions.
• keep a record of when and how you gain consent from individuals.

What opportunities does GDPR give to people who use direct mail?

GDPR will restrict email marketing to quite a big extent so it makes good sense to look at the opportunities direct mail (or snail mail) could give you. It’s also worth remembering that direct mail is a very effective form of marketing – a Royal Mail study found that 92% of people read direct mail that is sent to their home and 20% share it with other members of the household.

Under GDPR, companies can still contact people via post, as long as they can claim a legitimate interest in doing so. For example, this might be that the recipient has bought something from them or expressed an interest in their services before.

If you’d like to reach a wider audience than people who already know about you, you might be interested in Royal Mail’s targeting service. Royal Mail can build a target audience for you based on the data it holds. The audience can be based on demographics such as household type, age and affluence, as well as postcode and distance from your business. It then delivers your leaflet to the relevant households as part of their delivery service. Because the data is anonymous, it won’t breach GDPR.

What next?

Whether you need to update existing leaflets in light of the new regulations or create new ones as part of an updated marketing strategy, we can help. Give us a call today.