Legislative changes and the intelligent use of data could enable direct mail to enjoy a resurgence in 2019, according to UK mailing house membership group the Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP).

Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the SMP, said the direct mail industry must evolve alongside the digital sector to make the most of existing opportunities, particularly following the introduction of legislation such as GDPR.

She added that direct mail and partially addressed mail in particular could enjoy significant success this year, despite the rising cost of ink and paper – a sentiment echoed by SMP board members.

Ben Snutch, group sales and Commercial director of the Go Inspire Group, said direct mail could enjoy a significant resurgence, provided it was utilised effectively.

Specifically, analysing data could optimise insight into both customer preferences and the effectiveness of diverse delivery channels. Michael Gray, Williams Lea Tag’s European senior category manager, said key market research could deliver both a greater understanding of what customers wanted and statistics to illustrate the importance of mail.

He added: “It’s about educating our industry and customers and starting to use the data that we have to hand to be able to deliver communications in the best possible way.”

Isla Munro, from the Dragonfly Agency, said working with customers was key: “2019 could be a big year in terms of seeing how the industry and customers react to the different ways in which we now communicate. As an industry, we need to work with customers on those ways and more too, and that’s where direct mail can come in.”

Challenges facing the industry in the coming year include continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, in addition to rising paper and ink prices.

The SMP is the largest group in the UK of mail and print, and members – known as ‘The Mailmakers’  –  belong to the only known specialist supply chain network in Post in Europe.

For more information about the SMP, visit: www.thestrategicmailingpartnership.co.uk