This is where we keep you informed about all the latest developments at Another Perfect Delivery Ltd.
The GDPR Opportunity with mail
Three days until D-day and many of us have just about heard enough about GDPR! Almost everyone in the UK must have received tens, or even hundreds of emails asking them to ‘stay in touch’ or ‘update their preferences’. Briefly, the reason for this is that Companies need your unequivocal consent to continue marketing to you using email, SMS or phone calls if they are to remain GDPR compliant. After 25th May, they will not be able to contact you again in this way without either your express consent, or by proving something called ‘legitimate interest’.
Even without an individual’s consent, a Company can still contact that person if they consider they have a ‘legitimate interest’. The basis for legitimate interest is complex but briefly (my favourite word when talking GDPR) a Company can contact an individual if they feel they are pursuing a legitimate interest, the chosen method of contact is necessary for that purpose and the individual’s interests do not override the Company’s (so they are not caused harm or distress by the contact and their rights and freedoms are not violated).
As you might imagine, Direct Mail is considered one of the least intrusive methods of marketing and the ICO has confirmed that it will be fine to contact individuals using this method as long as ‘legitimate interest’ exists. Add to this the fact that more marketing regulation is imminent to control electronic marketing (something called PECR and the proposed e-Privacy Regulation) and you can see how Direct Mail will continue to be the ‘go to’ form of communication for marketing campaigns.
Of course, Direct Mail must cease as soon as a recipient requests that it should. To be honest, all reputable Companies have been doing this for years and at APD we routinely collect ‘returned’ items for Clients and gather responses to ensure that those recipients who are not interested, do not receive further marketing. We can only hope that the tougher GDPR regulations will bring the less reputable Companies into line and we can all strive for relationships with prospects and customers that are based on transparency and trust. This is something UK consumers have been requesting for far too long. We all want marketing to be efficient, relevant, not too frequent, trusted and even welcomed. GDPR will help this happen and we hope that Direct Mail will continue to be an essential part of the ‘marketing mix’.
There is more information on this here...
The problem with plastic
As a Company primarily concerned with the distribution of printed matter to businesses and households, we use tonnes and tonnes of paper and polythene every year. At APD, we have always had one eye on the environment. All of the paper we use now is FSC-certified (so it has originated from responsibly managed, renewable forests) and we began using oxo-degradable polythene more than a decade ago, long before many other Companies felt compelled to. However, the disturbing images we have seen on programmes like The Blue Planet recently have meant that we have had to re-evaluate our position and we now face potentially huge changes with the way we source our polythene………….
Polythene is basically a product of oil. It’s a combination of Carbon and Hydrogen usually sourced from petrochemicals. Worldwide production each year is around 80 million tonnes – so disposal of it after use is a big problem. It will degrade over many decades, but by incorporating an additive within the normal polymers the degradation process can be accelerated to around 12-18 months under land-fill conditions. This is the type of polythene we currently use. However, more and more commercial competitors and trade associations are now claiming that complete biodegradation does not take place and at least 10% remains as small plastic fragments. Some countries are even considering banning this type of polythene.
Starch based or biobased (hydrodegradable) polythene
This type of polythene is made from corn (maize), potatoes or wheat. This form of biodegradable film will compost at least 90% in just 90 days although it should be noted that the heat, moisture and aeration in an industrial composting plant are required for this type of film to biodegrade, so it will not therefore readily degrade if littered in the environment. This is surely the long-term answer to our environmental problems; use starch-based polythene and teach the recipients to compost it or recycle it accordingly. Most areas of the UK now have household waste divided up between recycled waste, compostable waste and general waste so we are not a million miles away from this solution.
It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
Well no, not quite. At the moment starch-based polythene isn’t quite up to the job. You will know from your compostable food bags at home that it is not particularly strong, so we’re struggling to find a suitable product that will a) run through our machines properly and b) protect a potentially expensive magazine suitably while it’s in the post. We also need crystal-clear polythene if possible (another difficulty) and we find that starch-based polythene will degrade on the shelf after a few months, often before we have time to use it! At the moment, it is also very expensive to produce although we would expect this to reduce as manufacturing volumes increase.
Yeah, but if it saves the environment…
If it takes off in any meaningful way, starch-based polythene will be produced on a massive scale. The raw materials, be they potatoes, maize or wheat will need acres and acres in which to grow. They will directly compete with food production for space and they will only add to the huge pressure to clear natural forests.
The way forward
We think the way forward is to provide choice. Choice between paper-based envelopes, oxo-degradable poly-wrap and starch-based polythene. We are already being asked by Clients for starch-based alternatives and we can do this on a small scale already. However, there is a cost implication and businesses will need to decide how strongly they feel about the environment. It’s amazing how good ‘green’ intentions can fly out of the window when the increased costs are presented. All Companies need to control costs and make a profit but we do also need to protect this earth of ours for future generations.
An interesting article on Direct Mail……….. https://www.marketingweek.com/
From 25th May, the existing rules governing the use of data, under the Data Protection Act 1998, will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulations (or GDPR for short).
Anyone that keeps data on their customers or uses data for marketing, needs to be familiar with the new set of rules and we recommend contacting the Information Commissioners Office (the ICO) for
further guidance. https://ico.org.uk/for-
When we undertake Direct Mail campaigns on behalf of our Clients (who supply and own the data) they are called the ‘data controller’ we are now acting as a ‘data processor’ for GDPR purposes. The new legislation requires updated contracts to be drawn up between the data processor and data controller. We will therefore be contacting Clients over the next few days with our suggested contract. Many of our Clients may already be working on their own contracts and we will be happy to complete and return these when required. However, we would urge any Clients who are not yet at this stage to complete and return the contract that we send to them so that we are all compliant before the deadline. The clock is ticking!
Attention all Fulham fans; Season Ticket renewals are on their way! Several thousand were posted out on 15th and we’re aiming to complete the campaign by19th . The pack has some stunning photographs of the ground, players and fans as well as some words of wisdom from Slavisa.
With the way Fulham are performing at the moment, I’d expect demand for Season Tickets next year to be very high.
Come on you Whites! #Fulforce
The recent snow storms have played havoc with the roads around Swindon and many local businesses took the decision to close2nd , or even from lunchtime in some cases.
The roads around our warehouse had up to a foot of untreated snow in many areas and driving conditions were hazardous. We spoke with Royal Mail and DPD and neither could guarantee a collection so we decided to only have a bare minimum of staff in. A big thank you to all the production team who took sufficient work home with them evening to keep them out of mischief . Big thanks also to Karen, Graham, Viv and Dave who manned the office and warehouse during a very cold .
All looks back to normal now and we need to get cracking on a considerable backlog. Just a few days of snow has delayed paper deliveries, mail collections and couriers so it’s all hands to the pump from.
Royal Mail ‘Special Stamps’ planned for 2018
Stamps marking the 50th Anniversary of Dad’s Army and the centenary of the RAF are among special issues planned for 2018.
The ‘Special Stamps programme’ for 2018 include a set of 10 in March marking the centenary of the RAF (featuring different aircraft) and an issue in April that includes butterflies and ospreys to recognise reintroduced species. Classic BBC TV comedy series Dad’s Army will feature on eight stamps in June and the centenary of the end of the First World War will be marked in September.
ICO confirms that Direct Mail can continue without the explicit permissions needed for email and digital marketing.
Direct mail agencies and printers have received a huge boost with a statement from the Information Commissioner’s Office that postal marketing will be the preferred form of communication after the forthcoming GDPR deadline on 25 May.
In a FAQ section of the website dedicated to the impact of GDPR in charities, the question of whether consent is always needed for marketing was posed. The ICO have answered: “No. You won’t need consent for postal marketing but you will need consent for some calls and for texts and emails… you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.”
The industry continues to wait for a formal statement of guidance on what constitutes legitimate interests. This had been promised “for some time in the new year” but this new information, found in a fairly obscure part of its website, indicates how the ICO is thinking.
With the clock ticking towards the introduction across Europe of the privacy regulations, there are still many companies that are far from compliant. In a Direct Marketing Association report, 26% of B2B marketing agencies feel their business is not prepared for GDPR, a decrease of just 4% in a year. Only 60% believe they are on course while 15% do not have a plan on how to become compliant.
So while the need to gain explicit opt in permission for email or text marketing remains, it is great news from our point of view that it will not be initially required when using printed direct mail for marketing.
Many of you will be aware that in May 2018 the existing rules governing the use of data, under the Data Protection Act
1998, will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulations (or GDPR for short). Anyone that keeps data on their customers or uses data for marketing, needs to be familiar with the new set of
rules. We recommend contacting the Information Commissioners Office (the ICO) for further guidance. https://ico.org.uk/for-
The new rules are designed to further protect consumer’s data and privacy, and to ensure that any marketing is conducted in a responsible, more targeted and agreeable manner. We’re fully behind GDPR at APD.
From our point of view, not too much will change. We have been following the Data Protection Act for many years so are familiar with many ‘best practices’. If Clients are not using their own customer data then we may ask them to confirm that it has been appropriately sourced. From 25th May 2018 we will insist that any data emailed to us for mailing campaigns is password protected as a minimum. The security of data is now paramount. Finally, we will need to raise a contract between us (the data processor) and our Client (the data controller). This will most likely take the form of amended terms and conditions at the bottom of our quotes but we are awaiting clarification from the ICO on this matter.
Needless to say, we will ensure that we work within the new GDPR rules from 25th May 2018. We will update Clients with any relevant news in the meantime but would respectfully request that they undertake their own research into GDPR to ensure they are familiar with the new rules and working within them when the time comes.
Happy New Year from everyone here at APD Ltd!
The move back into ‘normal’ working life after the festive celebrations is hard enough without Royal Mail deciding to sneak in some increases to their postage rates. Many of our Clients are already feeling the pinch to their marketing budgets, which are tighter than Santa’s belt after Christmas dinner! “But why have we not heard much about this?” I hear you ask. The reason this has remained below many people’s radar is that the price of a stamp remains unchanged at 56p for 2nd Class and 65p for 1st Class. Any increase to stamp prices always makes the headlines and you would have heard all about it on the evening news and in the newspapers. However, the increases implemented by Royal Mail (and consequently passed on by the various DSA postage providers like UK Mail, DHL etc) are not trivial and will affect nearly every marketing mailer undertaken in the next twelve months.
The vast majority of marketing mail is posted out using a rate far below that of a 2nd Class postage stamp. At APD, we gain postage discounts for our Clients by ‘mail-sorting’ the data into specific postcode areas before we post items, by combining mailers to increase volumes and by utilising the ‘advertising’ and ‘machine-readable’ services offered by many postal suppliers. Typically, the per-item postage cost will be nearer 25p, rather than the 56p that a 2nd Class stamp costs. The price increases from Royal Mail have increased every business or marketing postage service by between 3% and 5%. These have been implemented across the board but in such a way as to make it almost impossible to summarise! We have updated all of our quoting software to reflect these increases and we have been including these in all quotes made since the middle of December. If in doubt, please ask us for a re-quote on your specific job and we’ll be pleased to confirm 2018 prices.
Another Perfect Delivery Ltd
14-15 Clearwater Business Park,
Tel: +44 1793 878822
Monday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday: 8.30am - 5.00pm
Friday: 8.30am - 5.00pm