Royal Mail's New Marketing Marvel

Royal Mail van


Are you worried about whether your company data is GDPR compliant? Are you concerned about marketing to consumers who potentially haven’t opted-in to your mailing list? Do you feel as though these distressing times are preventing you from conducting a thorough outreach to prospects? I should imagine the likely answer to those three questions is...YES. Correct? Don’t worry, Hopewiser understands and so do Royal Mail apparently as they are currently in the process of trialling a new post-GDPR targeting method. If this sounds like something that your business or marketing department needs then carry on reading.


Royal Mail are testing a new marketing mechanism that will allow acquisition mail to continue after the new GDPR came into force on 25 May. According to Print Week, Partially Addressed Mail is a standard addressed advertising mail product that is completely compliant with data legislation and provides options for companies to target new customers without fearing that they’ve broken the rules.


Danny Clarke is the managing director of direct mail specialist, Howard Hunt, Kent, which is just one of the many companies collaborating with Royal Mail to trial this new product. He claims that future direct mail will use non-personalised data, geo-demographics, or even models according to fully consented individuals, in order to be GDPR compliant.


Whilst the new rules and regulations apply mostly to e-marketing, it is important to bear in mind the terms and conditions of sending direct mail to named persons who have not opted-in to receive your marketing ploys. Albeit consent is not required for postal marketing, your business will only be allowed to rely on “legitimate interest” if you can show you intend to use consumers’ data proportionately and if it has little impact on their privacy. Additionally, they must not object to receiving mail and have a mechanism to opt out.


Stack of mail


For example, a clothing retailer sending direct marketing to the address of a named person who has never purchased from the company before may not be justifiable as legitimate interest if the consumer objects to receiving mail or if it impacts upon their privacy. Subsequently, this would not be GDPR compliant. For more information on assessing legitimate interest sign up for your free guide to the GDPR today!


I can tell what you’re thinking, “how am I supposed to know if my prospects will object to direct mail?”. Well, this is where Royal Mail’s new targeting method takes the stage. According to Danny Clarke, postal marketing will be addressed to generalised recipients of a given address. For example, titles such as “Occupier” or “Valued Customer” will be used in substitute of customers’ names. This form of marketing will be GDPR compliant. Companies will be able to conduct their outreach using demographic profiling and non-personalised addressing data and market to them using legitimate interest as a justification for targeting new customers.


Sounds simple enough, right? The only thing that organisations would need to be wary of is running the risk of mailing to deceased persons as this could upset bereaved relatives. Additionally, if your demographic profiling has not taken into consideration “movers” then your marketing may not be going to the right target audience.


That said, Royal Mail update the Postcode Address File (PAF) daily, therefore, if this trial product is successful then it is highly unlikely that clients will mistakenly send marketing to the wrong address.


In the event that the Royal Mail trial doesn’t go to plan or if your business simply wishes to use another organisation to help with your direct marketing then look no further than Hopewiser. As a value-added reseller of Royal Mail PAF we have over 36 years experience in Address Validation and Cleansing services.


If you choose our Data Cleansing service not only will your company records be de-duped, verified, and enhanced, but you will also have access to a number of highly accurate suppression files. These include the MPS Mail Preference Service as well as the NDR National Deceased Register. Once your data is in the hands of Hopewiser you needn’t worry about the accuracy nor the validity of your data again.



Data Cleanse example from



Data Cleansing is imperative when it comes to running a business and conducting your marketing campaigns, especially in the post-GDPR world that we find ourselves operating in. Don’t risk getting hit with a hefty fine for not complying with the regulations, get in touch with Hopewiser today for more information and for your free trial!