Royal Mail tests new GDPR swerving direct mail scheme

mailRoyal Mail has launched trials of a new direct mail scheme, which enables brand owners to tap into established targeting techniques but swerves GDPR data requirements by not addressing customers by their names.
According to a report in Print Week, “Partially Addressed Mail” is a GDPR-compliant, standard addressed direct mail product with new customer targeting options.
Danny Clarke, managing director of Kent-based direct mail specialist Howard Hunt, which is one of a handful of partners collaborating with Royal Mail to trial the initiative, told trade title: “Partially Addressed Mail is an innovative, more targeted way to use door drops in compliance with GDPR.
“The initiative allows acquisition mail to continue using strictly non-personalised data, geo-demographics, or models according to fully consented individuals. Mail will be addressed through substitutes for the recipient’s name such as ‘Occupier’ or ‘Valued Customer’.
“We believe that this initiative has the potential to be a fantastic acquisition channel for our clients, especially as it is GDPR-compliant.”
Partially Addressed Mail has three levels. Under the so-called “Boost” model, if a postcode contains a high proportion of existing customers, the remainder of the postcode can be topped up with a prospect variant. Targeting is based on brands’ existing customers rather than using any third-party information.
With “Acquisition via Postcode” brands can target whole postcode areas, similar to a micro door-drop at postcode level but is delivered using advertising mail. Targeting is based on existing segmentation that is already aggregated.
Under the “Household” model, acquisition mail is replicated as closely as possible by using publicly available and household level data or using modelled consented information.
Firms are being encouraged to embrace all three.
Clarke added: “The industry is hoping this product can be rolled out as soon as possible but it is down to Royal Mail getting approval to officially launch it.”

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