Email Marketing Is Changing Forever: Are You Ready For GDPR?

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Sitting down? Good. What we’re about to reveal will come as a bit of a shock, or a jolting reminder if you already knew. You’ve officially got less than a year to make some big changes to your email marketing. The implementation date of the General Data Protection Regulation is hurtling towards us at alarming speed. By 25th May next year, you need to be ready or you could end up facing legal difficulties.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU-led directive to improve data protection, particularly in the digital sphere. In practice, it forbids companies from sending newsletters to recipients unless they officially “opt-in”. Without consent, you can’t legally send this kind of mail anymore – regardless of whether you know the addressee or not.

Naturally, the implications of the GDPR are massive for any business operating email marketing techniques. Organisations must take the time to explicitly ask both new and existing database members if they’d like to receive newsletters, and until the recipient confirms this is ok, sending them promotional mail is an absolute no-no.

On paper, this looks like a complete nightmare. Is email marketing doomed? Will it be impossible to attract and engage with clients via electronic mail anymore? The answer to both, you’ll be happy to hear, is a resounding no. It’s just a case of being smarter and savvier. Building and running a much higher quality campaign is crucial to convince existing clients to opt-in to the mailing list, and there’s never been greater emphasis on the value of truly great email content.

How to step up your email marketing game

Organising an email marketing campaign with some real bite takes patience and planning. But if you get it right, there’s no telling how big a role it will play in the growth of your business. Here are a few tips to step up your game and run a campaign people will remember.

Be newsy

Establishing yourself as a one-stop-shop for all industry news is a great way to retain a sizable bulk of your database. If people realise that you are the very best team to turn to for updates on their trade, they’ll want to remain on your mailing list to continue receiving this insightful info.

If you operate in IT, law, or accountancy, the news digest route is a great one to go down.

Take a charitable approach  

Your database members aren’t going to be striking you off their approved contacts list if you’re sending them terrific offers on a regular basis. All kinds of companies can attract and maintain a big subscriber base by slipping discounts and vouchers into their messages, but this can prove particularly effective for hospitality and e-commerce brands.

Become the go-to guy

Turn your brand into the Google for your industry by becoming the go-to guy. Do some research and find out the kinds of questions that clients and competitors are asking the most about your trade. You can use this information to compile comprehensive guides that actually appeal to people and benefit them, or you could produce video content that answers the common inquiries.

Tell them a tale

Authentic, personal reflections are terrific if you’re a public speaker, business owner, or media personality. Detailing your inspiring journey through the business world will prove to be an engrossing read for budding entrepreneurs, who will be eager to revisit your musings on a weekly basis to help build their own business. Personal stories can get people deeply invested, meaning they will want to remain very much in the loop.

The looming, ever-broadening shadow of the GDPR means there’s simply no room for complacency in email marketing anymore. You’ve got to get it right to convince recipients to opt-in, and also keep those clients you already have. Here at Making You Content, we know what it takes to build a brilliant email marketing campaign that will have your clients scrambling to sign their names on your mail list. Give us a jingle on 01616 609 206 and we’ll tell you all about it.

Words by Kelly


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