We’re answering your Direct Mail and GDPR FAQs

Although GDPR came into play back in May 2018, there are still many questions surrounding the topic of direct mail and GDPR.

Marketers want the answers to questions like…

“Can I send direct mail without consent post-GDPR?”

“Should I introduce direct mail into my marketing plans?

”How do I prove it’s legitimate interest?”

We’re here to answer all those niggling questions you might have.

Grab yourself a cuppa, and five minutes to read our direct mail and GDPR FAQs.

How does GDPR affect direct mail marketing?

Unlike digital channels such as email, direct mail marketing doesn’t require consent in a GDPR world.

That means you can still post out to your database without them having to tick an opt-in box first. What it does require is that the mailing meets the criteria for legitimate interest.

How do I prove my mailing ticks the legitimate interest box?

As long as you can prove that your campaign is of legitimate interest to the recipient, you don’t need to obtain consent first.

Companies planning on sending direct mail can do so on the basis of Legitimate interest.

But what does legitimate interest mean, you ask?

Well, it’s a term coined by the Information Commissioner’s Office and an option which offers greater flexibility for customer data processing.

As long as you meet the following criteria, you will meet legitimate interest:

  • The direct mail is of relevance and interest to the recipient
  • The use of data is valid
  • The mailing has a minimal impact on data privacy

Here’s a good example for you. If a customer has previously purchased a product or service from your business and you’d like to send them information about other products or services that might be beneficial, that would definitely meet legitimate interest.

Can direct mail marketing help me with my marketing efforts?

A big fat yes!

Firstly, there’s no need to jump through so many GDPR hoops as you do for digital marketing channels.

Secondly, direct mail can in fact be used as a tool to encourage opt-ins for your other marketing channels such as phone and email.

And thirdly, it’s a really effective marketing channel. The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) has reported a 43% increase in customer responses to direct mail.*

Is direct mail marketing not a minefield like everything else with GDPR?


There are a lot less unknowns with direct mail as it’s not part of the scope of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR). As long as you can evidence legitimate interest as a basis for sending, you will be covered.

Want to know a bit more on the subject of GDPR? Here are 5 things you might wrongly believe about GDPR and mail.

Talk to us

At RNB Group all our staff are fully skilled in the nuances of GDPR and will be more than happy to offer further advice on how to make sure your next direct mail campaign is fully compliant.

Get in touch


*Source: https://dma.org.uk/article/how-does-gdpr-affect-direct-mail

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