Recent UK pillar boxes have the initials ERII (Elizabeth Regina II), while older ones are inscribed with GVIR, GVR, and more, with some going as far back as to have VR on them (for Queen Victoria). Instead, Scottish post boxes have the Scottish crown, the words “post office”, or some combination of the two. 
Did you know ... 
From 1927 to 2003, Royal Mail in London had its own Underground rail system, dubbed “Mail Rail”. The line ran from the Paddington Head Sorting Office to the Eastern Head District Sorting Office in Whitechapel. It operated 19 hours per day for 286 days per year and carried around 4 million letters a day. 
The Royal Mail uses 342 million rubber bands per year to bundle up letters and packages. RMG’s rubber bands are red so that the letters can be more easily spotted. 
After the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, over 100 post boxes were painted gold in honour of the United Kingdom’s gold medal winners in both the Olympics and the Paralympics. 
Whilst GDPR is good news for customers, it is forcing some changes on marketers. Marketing choices need to be reviewed and postal mailing can offer a significant option to email, telephone and SMS marketing. Challenges involved in gaining consent to GDPR standards means in some cases the only way to contact some customers is by post. 
Even the ICO admits ‘Consent’ that meets GDPR standards is difficult to obtain. There are, however, six bases for processing data and you will need to choose the most appropriate. The DMA and its partners have lobbied for the continued use of ‘legitimate interest’ and this may be the most appropriate of the six bases in most cases. 
Under GDPR there are six lawful grounds on which to process data. One of these is consent/opt-in that gives sufficient consent to use your customer data for marketing. The ICO, however, sets a high standard for consent under the DPA clause: consent “must be freely given, specific, informed” but it also goes further to include being unambiguous with a clear affirmative action (no pre-ticked boxes), keeping a record of consent and avoiding making consent a condition of a contract. The ability to withdraw consent must be easy and not incur a penalty, and regular consent reviews should be implemented. 
The shrewd use of data has revolutionised direct mail in the last two decades by enabling businesses to deliver content with the right message, at the right time, to the right individual. 
Direct mail has stood the test of time because it engenders trust; it feels more thoughtful, personal, nonintrusive and authentic. 
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