Predictions that the direct mail market would benefit from GDPR have yet to come to fruition but consumers at least now believe the mailings they receive from brands are far more relevant since the regulation came into force.
With Royal Mail issuing yet another warning in January over a further decline in business letter volumes, a new study by Wilmington Millennium could bring some much needed cheer to the sector.
The retail industry is the best performing sector with over half (52%) of consumers saying that offers and information through the letterbox from retail brands are relevant or very relevant to them.
The utility industry, (on 51%), was the next, followed by financial services, including banks and credit cards (49%), and insurance (48%) and travel (47%) scoring highly, with restaurants and bars (42%) automotive (37%) and charities (37%) next in line.
Young people, 18- to 24-year-olds, were the most likely to find the direct mail they receive very relevant to them, while the over 55s tended to score most highly in the “not at all relevant” category for each of the sectors surveyed.
The research also shows that only one in seven people (16%) think that the mail they receive from retail brands is not at all relevant. This compares to almost a third (29%) of people that find automotive mailings irrelevant.
On average just over a fifth (21%) of consumers believe direct mail is irrelevant, which is significantly lower than the 44% of people who say social media advertising is irrelevant or the 86% of consumers who find TV advertising not relevant.
Wilmington Millennium product director Karen Pritchard said: “It is heartening to see that consumers are finding direct mail more applicable to them following the introduction of GDPR. The channel, has in the recent past, had something of a perception problem among consumers, many of whom term everything that comes through the letterbox from brands as junk.
“One of the key aims of GDPR was to give control back to customers over the marketing that they receive. A byproduct of this has been increased relevance in what is being sent out. While volumes might have declined, mail remains a legitimate part of the marketing mix, and as relevance continues to increase so will the positive perception of the medium by consumers, which can only be a good thing for the industry.”
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