Direct Mail - Friend or Foe?
Direct Mail. Is your business a fan of this traditional marketing ploy? If not, then you may want to jump on the bandwagon, because despite the dominance of the digital age, direct mail still remains the most popular form of marketing. Did you know that the household response rate for direct mail is 5.1%? That’s the highest response rate ever recorded by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and is in comparison to 0.6% for email and 0.4% for social media. Direct marketing 1, digital marketing 0. Proof that in today’s digital world we still like to have something tangible land on our doorstep as long as it is relevant and timely.
Direct mail is great for attracting new prospects who may legitimately be interested in your products, as well as maintaining relationships with your current clients. Just think, in less than 2 months time many businesses will be sending out their Christmas direct marketing filled with little trinkets of wine, chocolate, and other festive delights. Why not try something like this? At the end of the day, your organisation will be remembered for making a kind, personal gesture that emphasises how much of an effort you’re willing to make with your customers.
Take a look at one of Hopewiser’s direct mail pieces, for example. In the lead up to Halloween 2017, we linked the event to our GDPR campaign that promoted Data Cleansing, which emphasised the importance of keeping your company’s data accurate. A selection of Halloween sweets were attached to an information card that was titled “Don’t be Scared of GDPR it’s an Opportunity”, and contained further details regarding the GDPR deadline and what businesses need to do next. The packages were then sent out to around 200 prospective clients.
Not only did the anxiety and fear that many organisations felt before the regulations came into force match the genre of Halloween, but it also emphasised how Hopewiser is there to help businesses with their data needs. The sweets were a personalised, light-hearted touch. This resulted in our highest inbound leads that year!
Whilst marketing to your customers in this way is all very well and good, there are stipulations that you must adhere to when incorporating direct mail and telemarketing into your business operations. What are they, you ask? Preference services! *Insert dramatic sound effect*.
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS), Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) are free registers that limit the amount of direct mail and telemarketing a person receives. Anyone can register for these services, whether you’re a business or a consumer. The MPS will prevent the receipt of unsolicited direct marketing from members of the DMA, and the service also strives to prevent unsolicited mailings from non-DMA members as well. Whilst it will take up to 4 months for the service to take full effect, you should notice a difference during this time frame.
Additionally, the TPS and CTPS are opt-out registers that individuals and businesses can sign to prevent any unsolicited marketing and sales phone calls. It is a legal requirement that businesses do not make phone calls to those who are registered with the TPS/CTPS, unless they have specifically consented to the call. Any companies who are found to have made nuisance calls to those registered with the service will be in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Recently, Manchester based firm, Oaklands Assist UK Ltd, were fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for making 63,724 nuisance calls to people who were registered with the TPS. This occurred over a 2 month period between May and July 2017 and was in breach of PECR.
“Oh, crumbs!” This is probably your sentiments right now, correct? “How on earth are we going to market our products when we don’t know if our customers are registered with preference services?” Fear not, fellow businesses, for Hopewiser has come to the rescue.
Our online Address Cleanse solution gives you access to the latest MPS, TPS, & CTPS files, meaning you’ll be able to see which of your customers in your database have registered with either or both of the services. Simply upload your files to our secure online portal. You can check your data to find out how many there are before paying for the final data cleanse & report. You can choose to check how many duplicates, deceased, and goneaway files too! Prices start from £35 to receive your data flagged with all the information.
Because data naturally decays over time, and people can register their preferences at any given time for free, we advise that you clean your data frequently with Address Cleanse so that you can avoid marketing to people that you shouldn’t. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up £150,000 out of pocket like Oaklands Assist UK Ltd, would you?
Another way in which Hopewiser can help you with your direct marketing is through our Bulk Mailing service. Hopewiser has been writing mail sortation software since 1992 and is a Royal Mail accredited supplier.
Working alongside companies such as Whistl and Swiss Post, Hopewiser’s software, “AtlasSort” is currently sorting millions of letters each year and providing maximum postal discounts. We offer Bulk Mailing as either an installed solution or through our Bureau Service, meaning we can process your files in-house for free to check how much discount you’re eligible for, and you just pay for the files you need.
For example, a client chose to use Royal Mail’s Advertising Mail standard for their database of 115,000 records. They wanted to send mailings on a regular basis so requested that Hopewiser sort the data for maximum Royal Mail discounts. The average weight of each letter was 100g and the cost per individual item was 51p. The total savings after sortation totalled to £7,107. Think about what your business could do with the money you save with Bulk Mailing. The list is endless.
We hope by now that you have realised the opportunities that direct mail poses, but more importantly the legislation that you must consider in order to achieve those opportunities. Luckily for you, Hopewiser is on hand to ensure your marketing campaigns are compliant by keeping your data accurate and suppressed, as well as sorting your mail for maximum Royal Mail discounts. With over 36 years of experience in the address validation and cleansing industry, it’s safe to say you can rely on us to give you good, clean, and compliant data. Get in touch for more information today!