The GDPR came into force on 25th May 2018 and changed the landscape of online marketing; leaving many marketers in a fix. The marketers are now trying to find legit and effective ways to reach out to their customers through email.
Is it as stringent as it seems to be?
The overall situation might seem a little difficult at the moment but it will not be this way for long. The GDPR has changed email marketing and marketers across the globe are looking for new ways to get explicit consent from customers for the collection of their personal data. They have to get the consent the right way and document it.
Is it possible to convert this change into an opportunity?
Yes, this change can be treated as an opportunity to improve and finetune your assets, such as email lists. By adhering to the GDPR, your email campaigns reduce the risk of being classified as spam. It happens because you are reaching out to the people who actually wish to receive your emails and have given their explicit consent. What puts marketers in a fix is that these rules are not only applicable to the email lists of the future but also affect the ones created before the GDPR was rolled out officially.
How is the GDPR going to affect email marketing?
As responsible marketers, you will not be able to assume any consent from the users for the purpose of marketing. Urging the users to enter their email addresses is a thing of the past. You need to have a clear affirmative action in order to reach out to customers.
How to get explicit consent to market your products/services?
You need a confirmation from the prospects on multiple levels. You will have to seek permission from the existing users in your database in order to send them emails. You might lose a big chunk of your email addresses but this will help you identify the users who genuinely wish to read your emails.
What is the best way to encourage users to ‘opt in’?
In order to achieve better results, you need to redesign the opt-ins. Pre-checked boxes are no longer an option. You will need to get a user’s permission twice. Users will have to check the boxes themselves and marketers should be able to prove that they did. If this requires you to develop your landing pages and forms all over again, get it done.
Why is it important to seek consent repeatedly?
The GDPR law allows you to contact existing customers but you will need to take consent repeatedly because your customers might decide to opt out anytime. Therefore, marketers will have to take explicit consent on a regular basis. It can be annoying but it is advisable not to take risks.
Are you ready for what comes next?
If you still haven’t taken the necessary steps to comply with the GDPR then you must do so in order to have a safe working model for email marketing campaigns. Let us take a look at how you can become future-ready and continue sending email marketing in the post-GDPR era.
- Conduct a thorough audit of your existing databases: Take a close look at when all your subscribers or customers came on board for the first time. Determine if you got their contact information directly or through another source. Eliminate irrelevant emails and get in touch with the relevant ones before taking the final call. If they agree to give their consent, enter their information in the database and send relevant emails.
- Develop or improve the landing pages and forms as required: Do not use pre-checked boxes. Trying to trick your customers can lead to hefty fines. Redesign the pages and forms to adhere to the GDPR guidelines. Let them appear credible. Change the landing pages so that they inform customers about your product/service and encourage them to give their consent.
- Don’t forget to document user consent: It will not be sufficient to simply claim that you have a user’s consent. As marketers, you need to document each consent. It will prepare you for situations that demand you to present the proof. This can be achieved by scripting the website to record and document consent. Your web developers can help you ensure that there is no loophole in the process.
- Adopt a more personalized approach: Once you have adhered to the GDPR rules and regulations, you can move another step and improve your email marketing practices. Store only relevant emails and try to personalize them as you gather information about your customers. Keep their levels of consent in mind at all times and this will ensure that your emails are not ignored.