Is the GDPR going to lose you precious subscribers?

10th April 2018 | Posted in Marketing communications


The style of a call to action affects people's decisions

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a headache, right? It’s great for EU citizens who are going to see their personal data even more closely protected from the end of May 2018. But it’s hard work for organisations who hold and process information about people.

This includes those of us who send out email communications to current and potential customers.

And at first glance it does look like a list of negatives from the business’ perspective.

First, there’s the cost of finding out exactly what we are expected to do. GDPR appears to be a revenue-earning opportunity for many – download our pack, buy our add-in, book a seat on our webinar, or pay for the information in some way. (There is free information out there though. Try the UK’s Information Commissioner as a start if you’re not already working your way through the challenge.)

Second, it looks like we could lose a huge number of subscribers, and that appears to be a heavy cost when we’ve spent a long time building up a list.

But actually that second could be a positive.

We need people to actively re-consent to receiving our communications, which means that we are going to lose readers through lack of interest or pure inertia. We will end up with seriously pruned lists.

But the people on that list will have clicked to demonstrate that they are interested in what we have to say now and in the future. They won’t be people who bought the fridge three years ago, don’t want another one and just haven’t unsubscribed. They will be people who want to know what we are offering because there’s something in it for them.

That ties nicely into the resurgence of email marketing that people have started talking about. (Although some of us believe it never really went away.) Email marketing is taking on a new shape, with personalisation top of the agenda.

Several organisations are already well ahead in a programme to identify the needs and desires of each of their subscribers and tailor communications to suit their interests.

That’s everything from the subject line down.

Sounds like a lot of work for people or machine, and who wants to waste time personalising emails to recipients who aren’t interested?

So what we could end up with is a more realistic view of our marketplace, a manageable list that can be personalised, and those much desired improved open rates.


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