Predictions that GDPR would ravage through the marketing industry like a plague of locusts have been blown out of the water, with the impact of opt-in being minimal and the image of direct mail on the up.
Three weeks in, and new data audit from W8Data reveals that the regulation has been positive for both consumers and organisations.
The investigation reveals that opt-in has had significantly less impact than predicted with 79% of re-permissions being successful.
As a result the amount of direct marketing waste has dropped, meaning that messages are only being sent to those who want to receive them. The number of marketing emails hitting inboxes has reduced by 25% from an average of 12.2 per day pre-GDPR to 9.1 post-GDPR, whilst the average number of direct mail packs through the letterbox has also fallen by 11%.
This now equates to an average of 6.8 mailpacks per household per week, compared to the 7.6 received on average prior to May 25. If this trend continues, this will mean a 1.1. billion reduction in mail volumes over the course of 12 months. However, research from Wilmington Millennium in 2016 showed that before GDPR 1.3 billion items of direct mail were thrown away unopened each year.
A perception tracker also shows that consumer attitudes towards direct mail have also shifted. Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers believe that direct mail it is a good way for organisations to contact them, an increase of 12% since the same time last year.
W8Data managing director Will Anthes said that the fact that consumer attitudes towards direct mail have already improved since the introduction of GDPR speaks volumes.
He added: “Consumers feel more in control and this is converting into positive feelings towards the medium. We all knew that the new regulation would result in a reduction in mail volumes, yet whilst it’s still too early to tell, there are strong signals that ROI for the medium will improve, meaning brands will get more bang for their buck.
“Moreover, it stands to reason that a large proportion of the 1.1 billion reduction in mailings will be from the 1.3 billion that were thrown away unopened, meaning that direct mail is going to be a much more targeted and personal medium. The key, moving forward, will be to ensure that customer data remains as fresh and healthy as it is now.”
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