Barracudas choose Everything DM to create acquisition campaigns for 40+ summer childcare camps

MarketingFile - Barracudas choose Everything DM to create acquisition campaigns for 40+ summer childcare camps
MarketingFile - Barracudas choose Everything DM to create acquisition campaigns for 40+ summer childcare camps

Marketing agency Everything DM is working with leading children’s activity provider, Barracudas, to create data driven marketing ahead of their 2018 summer day camps.

Dotted around the south east, the 43 camps offer families high quality, action packed, fun holiday childcare.

Barracudas chose to work with EDM in an acquisition and social media targeting capacity. Instead of supplying prospect data, EDM is profile-matching Barracudas’ customer demographic to identify a large pool of prospects for monthly direct marketing campaigns. Targeted social media advertising is also helping drive website enquiries and sales.

Barracudas says “The summer term is a crucial time for holiday childcare providers to reach out to families with compelling offers and we think EDM have the data capabilities to maximise our marketing ROI.”

 “Barracudas already has a great website and engaged social media following which will help convert enquirers and prospects” says Laura Moore of EDM.

How To Design A Great Landing Page

MarketingFile - How To Design A Great Landing Page
MarketingFile - How To Design A Great Landing Page

Looking to get the most from your digital marketing in 2018? Be it social media, Google ads, email marketing or even the occasional print piece. Landing pages are a must for any agenda.

Before now you probably directed all your PPC and other marketing material to your homepage, but this can be a huge mistake. By tailoring pages to individual campaigns we can create a more unique visitor experience which in turn drives conversions.

There are a number of things you can do and we’ll talk about them shortly. Firstly, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself, before plunging in the deep end;

  1. What is your goal? Are you looking for data collection, newsletter sign ups or sales? Knowing this helps us establish a design and content to drive the desired results.
  2. Who are you competing with? What are they doing to succeed and how can you emulate their success?
  3. Who is your audience and what can you do to spark their interest?
  4. How do your prospects arrive at your landing page?

Once you have the answer to these, you’re one stage closer to processing new leads. Now let’s look at the design elements;


Keep ISimple Stupid. A landing page should provide all the necessary content in a clear and simple format. Avoiding waffle or overwhelming the viewer with information. Remember this person has already seen enough to get them to this page, now drive home the sale.

High-Quality Content

In keeping with our first point, the art of great copy is best left to the professionals. If you need to hire a copywriter then do so. Information should be short, to the point and engaging. Nobody has time to sit and read a novel.

All Roads Lead to Rome

Make sure you’re fully aware of all entry and exit points to your page. Make sure you limit links away from the page and potentially increase in roads. We use landing pages to help funnel our prospects down a desired pathway. Making them feel that their still in control as they reach our desired goals. 

Make it Easy

Always remember that the purpose of our landing page is to convert leads. By providing as few barriers between points A and B as possible helps this. The next step on the journey should always be obvious. Obviously this depends on your eventual outcomes, but make it appealing and easy to distinguish. Form submissions should be as short and simple as possible and download buttons should be as irresistible as your favourite sweet. 


Call to Actions don’t always mean buttons. Headline text encouraging users to “download your free marketing guide” can be just as effective. Don’t overcomplicate it. Tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do. 

Use Headlines

The best landing pages use their main headline to confirm their offer. This is often accompanied by a sub-heading to provide more details. An example of this being a heading of “Get Your Free Facebook Marketing EBook”, followed by “Learn how to grow your followers, likes and engagement with help from some of the worlds top marketing guru’s”.

Use Video

A picture paints a thousand words, so who knows how many a video portrays. If your product is overly complex or your system long winded, consider a video to shed some light.

Grab A Deal

The easiest way to rake in those conversions is with an offer too good to refuse. Create an offer that’s engaging and desirable, then let everyone know just how great it is. It’s as easy as that.

Remember Your Origins

Prospects arrived at your web page from a specific advert or marketing piece, so make sure you tie into that. There’s nothing worse than clicking a link and arriving at a web page that bears no resemblance to the link you selected. It’s an instant turn off and deal killer. The key to landing pages is to be specific, no more sending people to your homepage, remember?

Be Mobile Friendly

By creating a responsive page, you can as much as double your conversion rate. With mobile traffic ever increasing can you afford to risk missing out?

Speed is Essential

When it comes to bounce rates, load times play a huge part. You can improve yours by keeping images to minimum sizes, using cache tools or upgrading to a super-fast web server.

Keep on Track

Conversion tracking should never be underestimated. For best practice, make sure you set up tracking correctly to see how your pages are performing. It all helps when keeping control of your finances (unless they’re bottomless of course!).

Drop us an email on [email protected] and we will be more than happy to talk over your requirements.

GDPR – it’s not all about consent

MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?
MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?

It’s the final countdown to GDPR. It becomes law this week and the general consensus from a lot of marketers, business owners and even legal experts is that they are still not quite sure if and how they can legitimately process personal data for their various operational purposes.

“Consent” seems to have become the default, or utopia, for satisfying GDPR, when in fact there are six legal bases for processing personal data. Consent is just one of these, and even the ICO admits “the GDPR sets a high standard for consent. But you often won’t need consent.” Even if you obtain it, the data subject may withdraw it at any time. To the consumer it also sounds like a slightly sinister committment to an eternity of marketing emails.

The “please opt in to continue hearing from us” requests have been landing left, right and centre with tones of sadness, desperation and urgency. Recipients are not really turned on by GDPR emails, partly because they don’t fully understand, don’t take the consequences seriously, or are simply not motivated to click or read a privacy policy. The more compelling communications give great reasons to update preferences and stay on the mailing list, and this can be presented effectively across other channels such as web and social, without even mentioning the G-word or C-word (consent).

The many organisations chasing consent like headless chickens may be taking unnecessary and laborious action, especially if they are B2B, as we explained in our blog about legitimate interest, which is likely to be the sound legal basis for many marketers. There are employers scratching their heads wondering if their own employees need to consent to opting-in to the storing and processing of their bank details so they can be paid every month. In this situation there are other more relevant bases, like the contract between the employee and his/her workplace.

So what are these four other bases? Besides consent and LI, the remaining options are Contract, Legal obligation, Vital interests and Public task. There is not much talk of these – granted they are not as relevant as consent and legitimate interest for marketers, but the world of marcomms encompasses all genres of communication that are now subject to GDPR. For professionals with responsibility for marketing and communications as well as areas like HR and data audits/strategy, these other legal bases are worth exploring and understanding.

Let’s take a look at these other bases in more detail.


There doesn’t have to be an actual contract in place between two parties here. This basis refers to processing someone’s personal data to fulfil your contractual obligations to them (e.g. process and deliver an online purchase or an employment contract), or because they have asked you to do something before entering into a contract (e.g. provide a quote):

“The processing must be necessary to deliver your side of the contract with this particular person. If the processing is only necessary to maintain your business model more generally, this lawful basis will not apply and you should consider another lawful basis, such as legitimate interests.” The ICO

One of the GDPR rumours is that businesses will flounder because they won’t be able to respond to customer enquiries without a database of fully-consenting opted-in clients. But if a prospect or customer wants a quote or service, then processing their data is likely to be legitimate under the Contract basis. Of course, what you do with their data thereafter is important. You can’t just add it to a marketing pot or even use it to profile an individual’s interests, if it is not necessary to perform the contract itself. Your privacy notice should be updated to make it clear what happens to that data and how long it’s kept for, with justification.

Legal obligation

Sounding similar to contract obligations, legal obligation is a basis you can rely on to comply with a common (UK/EU) law or statutory obligation. It isn’t something new, it hails from the 1998 Data Protection Act, so if you are looking at this using this basis and satisfy current law then you should not need to make huge changes.

“The point is that your overall purpose must be to comply with a legal obligation which has a sufficiently clear basis in either common law or statute.” The ICO

This takes us back to the employer/employee scenario, and the misunderstanding of consent. For example, you can rely on the Contract basis to hold an employee’s bank details and rely on Legal obligation to legitimately disclose employees’ salary information when requested to do so by HMRC. Other examples from the ICO include a court order, Act or regulatory requirement that request certain personal data you hold.

It’s important to note under this basis, the individual has no right to erasure, right to data portability, or right to object.

Vital interests

This basis is one you’re unlikely to encounter (hopefully), particularly in a business context. It really is there for matters of life and death, such as disclosing a data subject’s details in a medical emergency or protecting a child. 

You cannot rely on vital interests for health data or other special category data if the individual is capable of giving consent, and planned medical treatment is unlikely to fall into this category.

Public task

 Any organisation exercising official authority or carrying out a specific task in the public interest can rely on this basis. The focus is on the nature of the function, not the nature of the organisation. It is similar to ‘processing for functions of a public nature’ within the Data Protection Act 1998 so is not really anything new.

You’ll have a lawful basis for processing if you’re:

  • carrying out a specific task in the public interest which is laid down by law; or
  • exercising official authority which is laid down by law.

Private companies may fall into this remit if the nature of the function in question is in public interest, e.g. water companies carrying out a public service.


Marketers will likely be deciding between consent and legitimate interest but the other legal bases should not be discounted, depending on the nature of the organisation and the purposes it sets out to achieve. Anyone tasked with data strategy, internal and external communications, HR or writing a privacy policy will need to be aware of all six bases. Don’t forget, the essence of GDPR is respecting the rights and freedoms of the individual, and demonstrating accountability and transparency…not finding loopholes to send unwanted marketing. 

For all of the bases, you should consider:

  • what updates need to be made to your privacy policy
  • how to keep a record and justification for each basis you’re relying on
  • an alternative basis if you’re not confident it’s right – it’s difficult to swap to a different one later on
  • individuals’ rights to erasure, data portability and right to object (this differs between the legal basis, but an individual always has the right to object to processing for the purposes of direct marketing, whatever lawful basis applies)
  • the need to document your decision that the processing is necessary
  • if there is another reasonable way to achieve your purpose without processing the data.

The ICO has a user-friendly lawful basis interactive guidance tool which you can explore here.

Pitch Perfect in 10 Easy Steps

MarketingFile - Small business marketing
MarketingFile - Small business marketing

We know what it’s like. You spend weeks preparing, analysing and re-reading your presentation. You nail it every time. Then you step into the boardroom… At this point anything from self-confidence to nerves kick in and your mind goes blank. All those weeks of preparation disappear in an instance and your left looking for words.

Whilst we’re not here to help boost your confidence (directly at least), or to manage your nerves, we can provide you with some great tips to ensure you’re in the best possible position when you step into the room;

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

OK, so we already covered that you’ve no doubt been doing this for weeks. If you haven’t, you should have been! You know your business/product better than anyone but this can also be your downfall. You don’t need to let investors know every inner detail. Instead, try to step out from the inner workings and only give your listeners the information that they really need to know.

On top of this take a moment to step back and consider the questions anyone listening may have. From “Why should I give you £15 million when the company hasn’t even made £15?” to “Why are you trying to produce, market and distribute 10 products at the same time before you see if a single one sells at all?”. Taking time to cover all the basis may feel long winded now but you’ll thank us down the line.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practicing in front of the mirror isn’t going to cut it. You need to practice to an audience (of real people). Whether it’s family and friends, networking events or local stores. Practicing in front of a live audience is the only way you can experience a share of the nerves on the big day. The more you get used to the pressure, the easier you’ll find it on the big day.

Take a leaf from a comedian’s book. Yes, we find them hilarious but that’s not the case for all their jokes. They spend years trying new material to live audiences, if it works they keep it, if not it’s out the window. At least that way you can judge how your presentation engages and alter it accordingly.

Know Your Figures

Need we say much more? People may think your product is useless, but if you can back it up with numbers that’s all investors care about. After all, it’s all about them seeing return on their investments. If you can show them that’s what they’ll get you already have them hooked.

It’s also worth having multiple projections (best case, moderate case and worst case) to show you really have a grip and understanding of your financial workings.

Less is More so Get to the Point

You may have heard of the term elevator pitch. If you haven’t it may lead to trouble. When it comes to keeping attention, lengthy explanations will only turn investors off. If you can’t get them to believe and understand your concept in under 3 minutes, you can almost guarantee your customers won’t either.

If you’re using presentation slides, the same goes here. Keep your number of slides to a minimum and use them to highlight key points. At no point should you be reading off them like a book!


It’s a nerve racking experience. Don’t forget to breathe. We know you have passion and a will to succeed, but taking deep breathes will help control your heart. With this in check, you can deliver your information without the babble that goes with nerves.

When the questions start the same process applies. Taking deep breathes not only helps you manage the barrage of aggressive comments but also provides you valuable time to think and win investors over with your response and calm head under pressure. Don’t forget, they will often do it just to test you as much as your product.

Showcase Your Personality

Even if they don’t believe in your product, investors may believe in you. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. It’s more engaging and helps dragons see the person behind the business. Doing so could be the difference between success and failure. As good as your product is, if they feel they couldn’t work with you, you may as well pack your bags and go now.

Tell A Story

While the bulk of presentations are formal and rigid in structure, pitches tend to have more fluidity. This in turn allows you to break away from the facts and present your ideas in a more compelling manner.  

A great example of this comes from Johnny Georges, founder of Tree T-Pee, who appeared on the American show; Shark Tank.

Keep it Visual and Don’t be Scared of Interaction

Research shows that the longer we hold or touch an object – the more ownership we feel we have of it (and the more we want it). This then grows, as the more we feel we own something, the higher the value we place on it. All proving that visual presentations and physical interaction have a positive psychological impact on your audience.

If you still can’t keep away from the old fashioned slides, why not prepare a second version of your presentation. This can be sent on later to provide key facts and information as a reminder to any potential investors.

Have A Negotiation Strategy

Don’t Beg. Begging for investment shows desperation. If you really believe in your business, you know you’ll be able to get money elsewhere so don’t sell yourself short. Confidence in these situations can be the difference so believe in yourself.

You go in pitching for a certain value, but have a back-up in mind. Chances are their will be negotiations ahead. If you have a bottom line price you’ll know exactly where you stand and won’t be led into any rash decisions.

Don’t Even Try to be the Smartest Person in the Room

Knowing what you know is great but you don’t know what you don’t know. Whether you believe it or not, don’t be the smartest person in the room. As well as money, investors have a wealth of resources, contacts and knowledge. Knowing your weaknesses can be more valuable than your strengths as you build a team to take care of all aspects.

Here at Everything DM we can help you prepare for any speech or presentation you need to give. Be it with handout’s, follow up emails or slide design. Call 01462 437 555 and speak to one of our team to discuss your requirements.

What Your Brand Says About You

MarketingFile - What Your Brand Says About You
MarketingFile - What Your Brand Says About You

A word that has existed for generations, evolving through the ages and growing in momentum. Originally referred to as a stamp mark branded as a label of identity on animals. Brands or branding has grown to represent the entirety of a business and its image.

To this day, many people will assume you’re implying your logo or name of your business when the word brand is used, but reality is your brand is and should be much more than that.

We like to think of (y)our brand as the total sum of the opinions held by your customers and prospects. Whether factual (or not), it references what these individuals think they know about your business and more importantly, how this makes them feel. It is vital therefore, that when re-inventing your brand or launching a new one, you consider all potential touch points between your users and your company.

 We look at the basics to help you get the most from your brand;

Consider Your Target Audience

Appealing to your best source of income is one of the most obvious reasons to consider your market. You can find this out by asking simple questions of your business, such as;

  • Who would buy my products/services?
  • Who currently buys my products/services?
  • Where else do my buyers shop?
  • What are the interests of my customers?

You are never going to please everybody, but your brand identity should do its best to cover all bases of your target market.

Create and Identity and Stick to It

The key to success is building an identity. This won’t happen overnight and may require stricter control on your marketing than you have been used to. Having a list of values that your business considers its core will help this as will surveying your customers to generate key words they associate with your work. Just look at Apple, who rebranded from 1998 -2003.

Once you have decided these values, stick to them. Cohesion is paramount. Chopping and changing your values is a recipe for disaster so take your pick and stick to your guns.

Stamp this across your business. If you decide a core value of your business is the friendly nature you treat your customers with, then make sure all phone staff, floor staff and anyone else with customer contact exude this.

Stamping Your Logo Here, There and Everywhere Won’t Cut It

 Branding is changing. Gone are the days where sticking your logo on everything passes as brand continuity. In 2018, it’s all about being smart – respect your customers intelligence. You can use this to generate intrigue and help them discover the brand on their own and provides a great base for interaction.

Utilise Your USP’s

If you’re a tech company, don’t just follow the Apple blueprint. Every business is different and you should look to carve out your own unique identity. Use your USP to build a brand unique to your business and create something new. Henry Ford once said “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have told me faster horses”.

Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it right.

Think Long Term

Don’t go in with the offers. Overloading your customers with your latest deals only cheapens your image. Instead look to build relationships with your customer base. By staying transparent you build trust. By building trust, individuals start to believe in your core values and there’s little risk of missing expectations.

Be Consistent

No, we don’t mean use the same imagery over and over again, or the same message for that matter. What we really mean is keep your tone consistent, no matter what the medium. This simple step reinforces the character of your brand and helps customers clarify what it is you’re offering and what they can expect.

Set Goals and Plan Accordingly

In the words of Winston Churchill – “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”. Make sure you have a list of all things you want to achieve, as the road to a great brand can be treacherous and being led from the path is notoriously simple.

In theory your brand strategy should fall in line with your business plan. This helps you gauge where you need to be at any given point and helps prevent deviation from the pre-approved brand image.

Keep Up and Fluid

Despite what we may have said about consistency, there is room for tweaks here and here. Branding is a process of building, not a race against time. You should expect to make constant amendments (in line with your business) to keep your message fresh and on trend. If you feel the old tactics aren’t working, don’t be afraid to change them. Fresh material can be a great way to engage your followers and there’s plenty of companies that have been there before (see Old Spice for example).

Responsive Design for Email Marketing

MarketingFile - Responsive Design for Email Marketing
MarketingFile - Responsive Design for Email Marketing

With PC sales plummeting and mobile traffic on the rise, responsive email-marketing is becoming a valuable asset to any business. There are a number of reasons as to why this is important and evidence to suggest that your campaign success can be solely based on it.

Read on to see our endorsement for designing emails responsively:

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is a simple concept, created to keep your digital products looking good on any viewing portal, no matter what its size. Ultimately, this generally pans out as multi-column layouts for landscape tablet screen sizes and larger – and single column design for anything smaller.

In general, the design stays the same but the formatting changes. We are also able to hide elements on smaller or larger screens if we feel they will be ineffective elements at that scale.

Why is Responsive Design Important?

You’re guilty of it right? Checking your emails when you’re out and about? Work, personal or other accounts, we all do it. Let’s face it, if you don’t you’re fighting a snowstorm, already buried six feet under.

This is illustrated by the fact that 60% of emails are opened on mobile phone or tablet. On top of this 38% of click troughs occur from this format also.

Ultimately, it boils down to usability. Emails that are sent un-responsive generally provide the reader with a poor experience. This not only effects your brand image, but often means your marketing budget heads straight to their trash.

When Should I Apply Responsive Design?

Now! The longer you wait, the more your wasting your time and your money. To increase response and improve brand awareness, you should be implementing these changes ASAP. You are better off sending less emails in a responsive format than lots in an unusable format.

How Will Responsive Design Help Me?

Response. 80% of marketers state that their revenue is “directly linked” to their email operations. By creating a mobile-friendly format you make it easier for prospects to click through to your site. You also make your brand more appealing and who doesn’t want that.

How Do I Make the Most of Responsive Design?

There are a number of different things you can do to make the most of responsive design. If you have some time on your hands have a play and test send emails to yourself. It’s the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work for your business. However, if you’re pushed for time you could always give the following a try;

  • Keep content to a minimum so the email can be scanned quickly. Readers spend an average of 17 seconds on each email.
  • Keep text alignment consistent throughout your message.
  • Favour percentage division over fixed size for tables and other elements.
  • Use larger imagery (more than 300px) and keep all images consistently sized.
  • Avoid large white spacing
  • Ensure your margins remain equal on all sides
  • Whatever you do, do not delete the <head> tag. Doing so will render your email unresponsive.
  • Test, test, test. There are plenty of services out there to help you view your email in multiple platforms and browsers prior to send. (Try Litmus or Email on Acid).

Who Can Help Me with Responsive Design?

We can! Here at Everything DM, we’ve been applying responsive design techniques to all of our emails for quite some time and without blowing our own trumpet too much, we’ve become quite good at it.

If you need advice, a one-off email or multiple templates set-up then we’re on hand to help. Just call us on +44 (0) 1462 437 555 or email [email protected]

How to write award-winning copy

MarketingFile - How to write award-winning copy
MarketingFile - How to write award-winning copy

If you’d like an accolade to add to your organisation’s strapline, emails or social profile, writing an engaging awards entry could bag you an Oscar of your industry. There’s more to it than submitting a few words though. Your entry must convince the panel of expert judges exactly why you’re worthy, which might feel like venturing into the Dragons’ Den.

In the UK, and indeed the world, there are awards ceremonies for nearly every sector, both B2B and B2C, from travel to technology and construction to catering. It’s not just established industry leaders or those with big budgets capable of winning (or being shortlisted) either… an emerging or smaller organisation that has produced outstanding work and results has just as much chance of impressing the judges.

Getting started

Google what’s out there. Sign up for details of the next relevant awards and take note of the deadline for entries. Make sure your product, organisation or campaign fits the category you’re going for and ensure eligibility in terms of project timelines, country of operation, budget etc. otherwise your entry could be void before you start.

“Awards entries should be lovingly crafted like any other creative exercise to engage the reader and excite them.” 
Awards judge James Matthewson

Next, put aside enough time to actually create the entry. You’ll need to gather insight, results, testimonials, images or video and perhaps specific details from colleagues and stakeholders. You might want to consider hiring a professional copywriter and multimedia designer to make your entry as relevant, compelling and attractive for the panel of judges. We can help with this – simply get in touch.

For insider tips on creating your entry, we pinned down marketing awards judge James Matthewson who offers this advice:

  • Read the criteria and make sure you answer it – don’t go off on a tangent, skirt around it or completely miss the point
  • Just like for a newspaper or magazine, the headline should define the outcome. What was achieved? What was the success that justifies your award entry?
  • Overstepping the word count can work against you. Personally I am not going to count every word, especially if the content is engaging, but have honed a sense of what is too long/short and judges will check if necessary
  • Plain paragraphs of copy won’t cut it. Like most consumers of content these days, as judges we are looking for impact – a submission that engages the brain and makes the reader want to know more
  • A picture/video/infographic speaks a thousand words and effectively breaks up the copy
  • Having that said, even an award in the creative sector needs to demonstrate some commercial value. A common mistake I see is too much focus on the creative output and not the results
  • Support your claims with numbers and client testimonials – whatever assets you have. Campaign outcomes are key
  • Don’t assume what the judges know. Explain things clearly, put the campaign into context and avoid jargon.

Once drafted, it’s a good idea to ask someone to have a read over your entry, ideally one who doesn’t know the product well who will give an honest opinion as to whether it makes sense and is engaging, or is too boring or complicated. As a final sense check, does the entry make you think WOW? Judges read a lot of submissions, and yours needs to shine.

Just make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

About the judge

James A. Matthewson is Founder and CEO of EVRYWHERE Group, a Luxury & UHNW Advisory business based in Mayfair. James has been an Awards Judge numerous times as well as (adjunct) Professor for HULT and CREA Business Schools on their Luxury & Digital Masters.

Adcock and Everything DM embark upon two-year marketing partnership

MarketingFile - Adcock and Everything DM embark upon two-year marketing partnership
MarketingFile - Adcock and Everything DM embark upon two-year marketing partnership

Refrigeration and air conditioning experts Adcock have signed a two-year contract with Everything DM to create and manage their marketing strategy.

Adcock’s customers range from small businesses to large scale, multi-site organisations across hundreds of industries. From pharmaceuticals to food management, they attract facility managers requiring world-class refrigeration or air conditioning systems. Their consumer base includes high-profile personalities seeking cooling solutions for luxury residences.

The initial two-year marketing strategy includes a new website, blog content and digital brochures. 

“We are proud to be in our 54th year of trading. Our family-owned cooling business has been built on foundations of excellent customer service and the dedication of the UK’s most highly trained engineers. We are now looking to position our cutting-edge products and services in front of more clients and prospects by launching a brand new website and engaging marketing content. We were impressed with the attention to detail and ideas from Everything DM.” 
Paul Brant, Deputy MD, Adcock

Adcock’s new state-of-the-art website is already under way. Kieron Karue, MD at Everything DM says “We are delighted to be working with the Adcock team in a marketing capacity. Adcock is an ideal client with a great reputation for designing, installing and servicing exceptional engineering products. It’s now our job to build upon this, creating a modern, compelling ‘shop front’ for the online customer and showcasing their unrivalled knowledge and expertise.”

Adcock’s manufacturing partners include Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin and Toshiba. Based in Cambridge, they boast a network of 12 fully serviced centres across England, employing 230+ staff and specialist engineers.

GDPR: a legitimate interest for direct marketers

MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?
MarketingFile - What is GDPR & will it affect me?

The GDPR implementation date is creeping closer leaving many marketers and business owners still confused and perhaps panicked. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, nine out of ten say they are still not ready for 25th May 2018.

With “cold turkey” cases like pub chain JD Wetherspoon deleting its email database of 700,000 customers and deciding to market through social media and website instead, there is a temptation or fear to follow suit or launch a strategy to re-opt everyone in to marketing.

Industry bodies like the DMA and Data Protection Network (DPN) are providing a lot of useful information for marketers on GDPR. We’ve distilled their salient points into a briefing on the viable strategies to continue sending relevant, targeted direct marketing to a qualified audience.

Firstly, have you got consent?

In a nutshell, under GDPR there are six lawful grounds on which to process data. One of these is consent and you may well already have sufficient consent to process your customer/prospect data for marketing. But beware the ICO sets a high standard for consent. Essentially it is based on the current 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. Note that the ability to withdraw consent must be easy and not incur a penalty for the individual, and regular consent reviews should be implemented.

So rushing in to get fresh consent from your hundreds/thousands/millions of customers could be unnecessary, costly and detrimental to an already legitimate database. If you have consent that satisfies GDPR, ensure you continue to adhere to it making any of the required changes such as consent reviews (every six months is sage advice). Ensure your current sign-up forms are GDPR-compliant for data you acquire henceforth.

But one thing is clear. You cannot contact someone who has already opted out, regardless of your motive. Even if you think you’re being prudent or helpful– to check if they want to opt back in, to update their details or inform them about your GDPR strategy – it’s breaching the law. Flybe and Morrisons have been penalised for this.

Legitimate interest

We’ve established that consent that meets GDPR standards is quite hard to obtain – even the ICO admits this. But remember, there are six bases for processing data and you must choose the most appropriate. The DMA and its partners have lobbied for the continued use of legitimate interest, and as one of the six bases it may be the one for you as a data controller.

“The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.” Article 47

Legitimate interest can be relied upon for a whole host of data processing purposes including fraud prevention, profiling and HR but we are focusing here on direct marketing.

CEO of the DMA Group, Chris Combemale remarks “Most of our members will use ‘legitimate interest’ as the basis for normal data hygiene, segmentation, personalisation of offers and channels such as postal, and recital of 47 of the GDPR states that direct marketing is a legitimate interest.”

However, if you’re not sure exactly what it means, you’re not alone. One in four marketers are concerned about the issue of legitimate interests under the new rules*.

There are three elements to the legitimate interests basis. You need to:

  • identify a legitimate interest;
  • show that the processing is necessary to achieve it; and
  • balance it against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms

To break this down further, legitimate interest means that there would be a relevant and appropriate relationship between the data subject and the controller, i.e. the people you’re marketing to would expect to hear from you and not object. You must also include an option to opt-out at every opportunity. It should be noted that GDPR prohibits the use of legitimate interest for as a basis for processing personal data by a public authority (Art.6 (1)(f)).

Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes.

An update on fundraising events from a charity to its donors? Sounds reasonable.

A mail pack about child investment funds to someone who doesn’t have children? Now it’s starting to sound less legitimate.

If legitimate interest is to be used, then there is a need to balance the interests of the business against the rights and interests of the consumer. Although not specifically itemised in GDPR, carrying out a legitimate interest assessment (LIA) will document and assess whether your choice in lawful.

An LIA has three stages and you can read more on this from the DPN:

  1. Identify a Legitimate Interest
  2. Carry out a Necessity Test
  3. Carry out a Balancing Test 

Privacy notice

Any Controller wishing to rely on legitimate interest must inform individuals (via a privacy notice) that it is processing personal data on this basis, what the legitimate interests are, and also notify individuals of their right to object. You may decide to reassure your customers that you’re making changes in line with GDPR, directing them to your updated privacy policy.

At the end of the day, it’s not about finding loopholes or meeting the bare minimum to skirt penalties. Whilst the non-compliance sanctions are potentially huge, the ICO commissioner makes it clear GDPR’s purpose is not to threaten the marketing profession but to give greater control to the individual, and part of that is being a responsible marketer.

James Monkman, Head of Partnerships & Compliance at Omnis Data, agrees. “GDPR is about common sense and looking after the consumer. That means transparency, protecting consumer information and being prepared for the changes afoot.”

We all know that engaged customers who want to hear about your products and services are the ones to nurture and respect with compelling marketing. And when they don’t want to hear anymore, allow them to walk away… leaving the door open.

Our GDPR check list will give you an indication of how prepared you are for the changes. If you need help with creating compelling direct marketing campaigns, or a database cleanse, get in touch.


*GDPR and You research from the DMA 

Call to Action – Are You Getting Response?

MarketingFile - Improve your response rate
MarketingFile - Improve your response rate

Analysing the response to your campaigns can be one of the trickier elements of marketing. Whether it be direct mail, advertising or digital campaigns keeping track of your return on investment can help plan future projects more efficiently. 

Whilst a direct link between your pieces and sales may be what you’re looking for, there’s more to advertising than this. Initially we need to evaluate if the product or service you offer is one of immediate purchase. To expand on this, a car showroom shouldn’t expect an instant flurry of response as most individuals don’t go buying cars on a monthly basis. In these instances, we use marketing to increase brand awareness so that when the time comes, your business is front of mind.

In addition to this, it’s worth pointing out that 6 months down the line, a prospect may not remember where they’ve seen your name, so don’t drop specific marketing channels because nobody mentions them directly.

Whilst, this is all well and good for longer lifespan products and services, some of you may well have the here and now fix, so let’s look at some techniques we can apply to measure our response.

Physical Coupons

Coupons are one of the oldest tricks in the book. They can be applied largely to print materials (see coupon codes for digital), in either solid or perforated formats. This allows you to simply count up how many coupons have been redeemed to measure response rate at a glance. The only downside? This method requires you to offer a discount or benefit of sorts. After all, as a buyer, why use a coupon that holds no benefit to me.

Coupon Codes

The digital equivalent of physical coupons (although they can be applied to print products). Comes with the same issue of requiring benefits (e.g discounts or freebies), but has the added advantage of automated counting to give you instant response rates.

Variable U.R.L’s

The purpose of variable URL’s is that specific prospects get individual web addresses, personalised to them. For example, an email campaign can be sent through to an individual with links directed at the domain This not only allows us to see how many times a page has been visited, but also allows us to pinpoint specific persons of interest for additional/future campaigns.

QR Codes

A format of mixed opinion. However, most QR code generators can provide a dynamic service. This allows us to change the page redirect for single codes in order to provide valuable analytics and measure response.

Landing Page

A more simple method, applicable to both print and digital media is landing pages. By setting up a dedicated micro-site for additional information, not only can we optimise content in mailings, but also track those who are interested in finding out more.


A less effective way to monitor response, is through footfall. Tracking volume of customers or visitors on a daily basis is a laborious task but can give you some insight into marketing effectiveness.


In a similar way to footfall, tracking call and email numbers can also give you an insight. The same can be said about visits to your website through Google analytics. All of which are relative as not directly linked to your marketing, but its worth tracking.

Of course sales can be used as one channel to measure although as we mentioned, direct results are ultimately uncountable.

Track what you can, keep all channels open and never underestimate the power of brand awareness.