When GDPR came into force in May 2018, many people feared it would spell the end for email marketing. It was speculated that, when the tables were turned and consumers had to actively opt-in to receive email communications, rather than them not noticing the pre-ticked box that garnered their consent previously, nobody would tick the box and an entire industry would die out as consumers everywhere happily cry at how empty and organised their inboxes had become. Luckily, that didn’t happen. It’s true that GDPR brought a number of huge changes, but, overall, we think GDPR has had a largely positive effect on the email marketing industry.
What did GDPR change?
As mentioned above, the main facet of the regulation that affects email marketers is how they must gain consent to communicate with an individual, specifically, they must gain ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous consent.’ Email marketers also have to ensure that their storage of customer data, once consent is obtained, is compliant with data storage rules, and that customers who no longer wish to receive communications have an easy way to opt-out and that this is actually followed through with.
The thing about GDPR was, aside from having to do some auditing around procedures to ensure compliance, there was nothing about the new regulations that were going to harm email marketers. It was understandable for businesses who made money off buying large amounts of data to get a little hot under the collar, but really what GDPR did was improve email marketing for every party involved, and in fact many major organisations who implemented changes in order to comply with GDPR saw either no reduction or a very small reduction in the sizes of their email lists. So if all the worries and scaremongering was for nothing, then how exactly has GDPR benefited the world of email marketing?
How GDPR has improved email marketing
The reason influencer marketing has become all the rage recently is the ability it gives brands to target a specific captured audience who they know will likely respond positively and be interested in the content being produced. By curating an email marketing list filled with consumers who have actively opted into the content you wish to send out, while your list may not be as large, its quality, over time, will likely improve enormously. In terms of return on investment, this is great news. If you are putting time and effort into creating targeted, effective email campaigns, a list devoid of those who were never interested in the first place will generate much higher open and click-through rates as a whole.
With more transparency around how their data will be used, consumers are much more likely to engage more with their favourite brands, without the worry that their email address or other data will be passed on to hundreds of third parties. So your list may not be as big, but who cares? Would you rather have a list with a million people on it but it only gets opened by 10%, or a list with 10,000 on it where the open rate is much higher and, not only that, your emails generate engagement on social media, more brand awareness and potentially larger sales numbers? The answer is obvious!
Should I be email marketing?
It’s understandable if you’re a new business that’s been scared away from trying to capture customer data and create email marketing campaigns. The fines for going wrong can be hefty, and with larger businesses creating entire departments to deal with the new regulations it can all seem a bit daunting to a beginner. If you’re thinking of delving into email marketing but you think you might need a little help, why not give Koncept a quick call? Our marketing experts are here to help, so whether you want a little bit of advice or full-scale campaign curated just for you, we’re sure to be able to help!