The Pros and Cons of Buying GDPR Mailing Lists (and How to Get Around the Cons)

You’ve probably read a lot about GDPR and its impact on direct marketing. If you haven’t, then head over to our blog on the basics of GDPR postal marketing. Before GDPR was introduced, mailing lists were an effective way of building a database of contacts for your business. So, post-GDPR, are they still worth your time?

Pros of Buying GDPR Mailing Lists

Build a Database

Even brand-new startups will have a database of contacts after buying a mailing list. It can be difficult to grow your brand and raise awareness, but if you have access to a number of potential customers already, it can be a great start.

Short-term Lift

Mailing lists can usually result in a quick lift for your business, increasing sales and revenue in a short period of time. If your business is having a slow month or it’s a time of the year when sales are low, a mailing list can give you the boost you need.

Reach Your Audience

Mailing lists can target customers by their location, age, gender and their interests. This valuable information means that you aren’t just reaching out to unknowns. You can reach your target audience, increasing the chance of conversions and sales.

Quick and Effective

Growing your own mailing list can take a lot of time and effort. You’re too busy to cultivate leads so this is an effective alternative. Mailing lists are quick and easy, giving you more time to get on with other important tasks.

Direct Mail

Unlike with email mailing lists, direct mailing lists are more likely to be up to date. Whereas you might have three or four email addresses that you don’t check, you’re likely to only have one address where you collect post.

Cons of Buying GDPR Mailing Lists

“Obsolete Data”

Sometimes, the data you buy is up to date and approved. Sometimes, it isn’t. You’ll still need the seller to verify that those on the list gave their consent. If no explicit consent has been given, you aren’t able to contact them under GDPR rules.

“Difficult to Prove ROI”

With a direct mailing list, it’s a little harder to know whether or not you’ve been successful compared to, say, a PPC or email campaign. Unlike with an email, there’s no link to click or survey to take. You don’t know whether your newsletter or leaflet has been opened and read or just thrown in the bin.

“Unreliable Sellers”

There’s a chance of not knowing whether or not the company selling you the lists has gathered consent and adhered to GDPR rules. You’re taking a risk and there’s no guarantee you’ll get an up to date, usable list unless you conduct proper research or pay for guarantees.

“Print Marketing is Outdated”

With the rise of email marketing and social media advertising, you’re better off putting your budget into PPC or SEO. Print marketing and direct mail is a dying medium and there are far better and more effective ways of reaching your audience - so goes the common train of thought.

Getting Around These Cons

We understand your concerns regarding GDPR mailing lists but there are steps you can take to deal with the above negatives.

You can improve the likelihood of receiving a good quality list by contacting your broker before agreeing to any deal. Ask for a data sample and assurances that the rest of the list is formed in the same way.

If they’re unwilling to provide this request for due diligence, it’s likely that the lists are of poor quality and aren’t worth your time or money. You can also check Companies House to see if the seller is in any kind of financial difficulty. They could be looking for a quick win to help with insolvency.

Proving ROI is difficult with print marketing, but there are some steps you can take to measure success.

Send customers to a specific web page or encourage them to call a tracked phone number. It’s always best to include some kind of incentive to really give the customer the push they need to complete your goal. For example, including a tailored voucher or offer code to use on your website means you can track how many users use it and adapt your campaign accordingly.

An incentive can also prevent your brand reputation from being harmed. Customers are less likely to be angry they’ve received your newsletter or leaflet if you have something to offer them in return.

Direct mail isn’t a dying medium and can be an important branch of your marketing strategy. In fact, a Canadian study found that direct mail held the person’s attention for 118 percent longer than digital counterparts. There are all kinds of statistics that might surprise you when it comes to print vs digital.

Work in tandem with digital marketing techniques like social media and you can create a campaign that generates leads and revenue for your business. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Tips on Creating the Perfect Newsletter

Whether or not you decide to use bought mailing lists, you’ll still need to make sure your direct marketing materials are perfect. Creating a newsletter isn’t as straightforward as you might think and there’s all kinds of steps you need to remember, but it’s worth it. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a handy checklist that can help you to design the perfect newsletter.

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