The biggest trade-off you make with Partially Addressed Advertising Mail is you cannot use personal data like the recipient’s name but you do access lower data and postal costs.

From a direct mail media point of view, personalisation bonds your message to the recipient. This mailing is for me. This is important. However, when you’re targeting the affluent there is a compelling case for this new alternative.

Personalisation often isn’t used much

For some mailers, personalisation pretty much starts and ends at the name in the address block and the salutation. Dear Mr Arrowsmith. Formal, polite and relevant. It is for me after all. It’s not for my neighbour, or my wife, or one of the kids. Just me.

But will you miss out on responses, if you don’t use a name?

With Partially Addressed Advertising Mail, you cannot use personally identifiable data such as a name. This is what makes this new advertising mail alternative GDPR compliant. Instead, you can set up collective names on your mailing, which claw back some of the advantages of using names.

Use a Locality Name

If you live in a village, town or neighbourhood, use a collective name that applies the locality. So, <Insert Your Town Name Here> Resident, is still ‘personalising’ the mailing. You are recognising and connecting to something tangible about the recipient, like where they live, and potentially invoking curiosity to ensure the mailing is opened.

This takes a positive step away from the traditional ‘The Occupier’. For me, that’s altogether too impersonal and bureaucratic. It has little warmth or relevance as the letter is already addressed, so The Occupier is superfluous.

Use Your Product Category

Choosing to use your product or service category quickly singles out the household resident for whom the mailing is most relevant. The Furniture Lover may not exist at all in a household, but for the overwhelming majority, there will be someone who fits this billing.

Just how far you can extend these wide ranging descriptions is anyone’s guess. But, using collective names can arguably elevate a mailing’s appeal at least to the level of current low levels of typical personalisation use. Collective names acknowledge people do perform roles in households, so tap into them.

Make a Formal Name Informal and Friendly

This is all about softening formality. Being friendly and to a degree writing in fun. So, Head of Household could be The Household Commander or Head of Most Things.

Your collective name choice will help minimise the drop in personal relevance, but admittedly will not eradicate it. It is advised that you test different collective names and track responses by this variant.

The Engagement Rate for Partially Addressed Mail is 86%

Your mailing is actually highly likely to be opened and read. Engaged with. So, ask yourself, is this radically different to personalised mail? Maybe a little, but not by that much. A few percentage points difference in response terms.

More Than DOUBLE The Affluent Reach With Partially Addressed

Critically, you will be able to reach more affluent households than simply using name and address lists. This is true for the UK High Net Worth Database, a database with names and addresses of high net worth and affluent individuals in the UK. My company Finely Fettled markets the data.

For some years, data vendors have filled in the gap between those households not on the Open Register and all households. This was done using various sources of third party data. With GDPR, such data is becoming less available.

Using the uplift figures from The UK High Net Worth Database, for every 100 names and addresses for your next affluent mailing campaign, you can get 225 addresses using Partially Addressed Advertising Mail. It stands that those households in the increment have probably received less personalised direct mail. So, Partially Addressed provides a massive boost when targeting the affluent.

Partially Addressed is Profiled

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Partially Addressed is just about lower postage prices. We’ll quantify that later, but the point you should consider is Partially Addressed starts with a genuine profile of your existing customers. Watch the video on

This means that you target and rank all postcodes that are similar to your customers. First, because they literally live in the same postcode as your customers and second, because we use up to 30,000 different attributes and a geo-demographic profiling system to single out the best affluent households you can market to.

Our process ranks top-ups, the neighbours in the same postcode as your customers, and lookalikes, the postcodes containing households most like your existing customers. Imagine a spreadsheet with the top cell A1 being the very best matching postcode to your customers and further down, cell A25000 being the worst. If we select all cells from top to, say, cell A6000, you’d have approximately a mailing containing the best 100,000 households available.

Estimated Campaign Costs

The first thing to note about Partially Addressed is there is a minimum volume. That is 10,000 packs. A pack could be a postcard or a letter. The postcard will be cheaper of course, but the pack we have costed here is not unreasonable for mailings to affluent households.

Note that the mailing contains the all important business reply. Miss adding one of these and you are asking, no begging, for lower response rates. Yes, you might think your landing page has absolutely everything possible an interested person will require, but affluent people tend to be older, and are happy to despatch their interest via a pre-paid envelope.

Example Pack

  • A4 Letterhead, Simplex, Full Colour
  • DL Outer Envelope
  • DL Lift Leaflet and RSVP, Duplex, Full Colour
  • DL Business Reply Envelope

What Costs are Included?

We have included Creative, Data, Print and Postage. So for the following volumes you have an estimated pack cost.

  • 10,000 £0.40 per pack
  • 25,000 £0.35 per pack
  • 50,000 £0.30 per pack
  • 100,000 £0.27 per pack
  • 250,000 £0.25 per pack

Return on Investment

The Yorkshireman in me is saying, costs are one thing, but how much can be made from the campaign? The legal answer is that outcomes are not guaranteed. However, if you have a great offer on a product or service widely attractive to affluent individuals, and your call to action is about helping those people take the next step towards you, then you are in danger of doing just fine.

Let’s assume that you sell something that will net you £1,000 net profit from a new customer in the first year. How many of these do you need to breakeven on a 50,000 Partially Addressed Advertising Mail campaign?

Using the pack described, the cost of a 50,000 mailing is £15,000. So, you would need 15 sales to breakeven. That’s a pretty conservative 0.03% conversion rate. If you were to achieve a modestly better 0.15%, you would have 75 new customers and a 5 to 1 return on investment.

Direct mail response rates vary. For campaigns I help with, a response to mailing of 0.6% is regularly achieved for seminar mailings for example. Royal Mail are yet to go long on trial outcomes for this new service. That said, if Partially Addressed was just 75% of this personalised direct mail response rate, your seminar would attract 225 people with a 6.7% convert to sale breakeven.

And if the conversion rate from seminar was slightly more ambitious at just 15%, new affluent customers would be recruited for £444 each, which for many affluent marketers would be an immediate buy.

Of course, you’ll want to do your own numbers. Please contact me if you want help or simply wish to discuss yours with me.

Why Not Just Send Door Drops?

From the affluent marketer’s viewpoint, door drops, or leaflet distribution is hampered by the need to order postcode sectors. For affluent targeting, you might only want to target 10% of roughly 3,000 households in a sector. That might be the best 20 postcodes that ideally describes your audience.

If you spend money getting to the rest who are not your market, then for 50,000 7p leaflets, your cost per affluent contact rises increases tenfold to 70p per affluent household contact. Or put another way, more than twice the cost of a Partially Addressed mailing.

So, when you have two goals, to reach affluent customers and at the lowest possible cost, then Partially Addressed is a good option. It does both.

A Word about GDPR

There is something of its time about writing without using a name. You are saying that you want your offer to be sufficiently compelling to the affluent household, that you want to earn the right to their name and the subsequent use of their data.

It’s more than being straight with the church clock, as my Dad used to say. This is a state of humility about thinking you can use a person’s data when that person might not have dealt with you beforehand.

GDPR facilitates the use of direct mail with names under the legitimate interest processing rules. Now, that might be sufficient legally, but morally, and perhaps more persuasively with intelligent sentient affluent households, recognising their importance starts with not knowing who they actually are by name. And by having a mindset that says you want to earn that right.

Summary and Next Steps

Partially Addressed Advertising Mail is a new direct mail option designed to fit between door drops and personalised direct mail. As this article highlights, the affluent marketer can single out exactly the households they need cost effectively. The level of profiling is significant and sophisticated. Cost savings exist for data and postage.

If you are ready to start a discussion about using Partially Addressed, get in touch directly on 01535 654930 or write to Thank you.