The Value of Email Marketing Now GDPR Is in Place

If like me, your phone was continuously buzzing last night with emails from companies trying to get you to read their updated privacy policy, or to re-fresh your consent, you may have found yourself feeling slightly irritated.

And, considering GDPR comes into effect today (May 25th), this was all a little last minute.

Leaving this right up until the day before, like a large volume of companies have done, could have seen their datasets reduce in size, as the consumer becomes even more selective of not only what emails they open, but the ones they respond to when required.

Especially considering that was, in the main, the only type of email received yesterday.

Anyway, no point dwelling on strategies implemented; the General Data Protection Regulation is now in full swing, and, according to the ICO: “The new data protection law puts people first.”

I couldn’t agree more.

There’s been a lot of fear surrounding GDPR, and contrasting views on whether it’s a good thing or not.

But I completely agree that it IS a good thing; and it provides a real opportunity for email marketing especially.

So much so, I thought I’d write a blog on exactly why. So here goes…

 

Data Shrinkage from GDPR Preparation Now Means You Have a Smaller Data Set of LOYAL Customers

Depending on whether your consent aligned with the new grounds of compliance, you may have required your data set to re-fresh their consent, or update their preferences to ensure you had a compliant opt-in, in preparation for GDPR.

In an ideal world, every member of your data set would have said YES to receive email communications from you.

But we all know that will not have been the case.

Anyway, regardless of the volume your data set has decreased by, you can now be pretty confident that the individuals that you do have, are fully invested in your brand.

They are wanting to hear about your latest news, offers and updates.

And they want to interact with your brand; whether this be through reading your latest blog post, or through purchasing the items of clothing they love.

So naturally you should now begin to see…

 

Higher Engagement Rates (Which Is Just One of the Benefits)

Your dataset should (hopefully) now expect to receive emails from yourselves, thus open rates should start to strengthen.

And, as time progresses, I think it would be good to start comparing the performance of your campaigns.

For example, you could commence analysing the click-to-open-rate of your newsletters now vs. what they were pre-GDPR.

As I’m pretty confident you should see an increase, even if only slight.

 

There’s a Greater Opportunity to Optimise Sales

A smaller more engaged dataset provides a greater opportunity to increase sales, as you can be confident to presume your customer base will have a propensity to buy, as they have stuck around and not decided to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

So, it’s great news from a revenue perspective!

But…

We shouldn’t expect this to just happen.

We, as agencies and brands, need to ensure we are investing time into building strategies which focus on the needs of our customers, at a granular level.

Therefore the following points need to be considered…

 

If You Are Rolling with a 'One Creative Fits All' Approach, It May Be Worth Having a Rethink

Recipients today are now more savvy and aware of how, and where their data is being used.

Especially with GDPR being at the forefront of the media.

And, for a while now within email marketing, there has very much been an expectation for businesses to be wise and only send emails which are directly relevant to the recipient.

Personally, I’m more likely to engage with a brand if they send me content based on things that are applicable to me at that moment in time.

I’ve consented to you using my data, so why aren’t you using it to add value to the marketing communications I receive?

It’s not only a better user experience, but also shows you’re aware of the relationship a customer has with your brand.

This can often mean a lot more to an individual than you’d think.

So, receiving a generic email, when a customer has willingly shared their data with you, is no longer good enough.

 

We Need to Utilise the Data We Have (If Compliant) to Personalise Emails

With the above in mind, implementing a customer focused email strategy is now advised (if you haven’t already).

If the consent is there to utilise a customer’s data – then use this for the advantage of creating personalised emails which are relevant and valuable to the recipient.

This could be as simple as utilising the knowledge of a customer’s previous purchases to send a follow up email which displays additional products which you know they’ll like.

It sounds simple enough, but you’ll be surprised by how many companies miss out on the opportunity to capitalise on sales through implementing simple but valuable strategies such as this.

And, if the value of your subscribers isn’t necessarily sales focused, don’t worry.

You can think of more unique ways to connect with that individual via email, based on what you know about them.

Which pieces of content do they engage with most, or share with others?

Now’s the time to start paying attention.

Optimising your current email strategy, so it captures the needs of your customers at a personal level can only seek to grow the performance of your campaigns.

That way, you’re making your customers happy, whilst helping to increase their life time value.

 

Analyse Performance More Than Ever

I know campaign reporting is a given.

However I think it will be of greater interest now, to drill down even further into the performance we see from the email campaigns we broadcast.

Especially when comparing them to those sent pre-GDPR.

Is there a change in performance?

Does this change link to the trends and behaviours we have seen from customers in the past?

Now is the time to harness this insight to optimise your strategy to help better performance in the long term.

 

So, In Conclusion…

With GDPR putting the consumer first, it has never been clearer to us, that we have the opportunity to unsubscribe to a mailing list at any point if we so wish.

The power is in OUR hands (as it has always been, but it feels more so now).

So, I wouldn’t expect increased performance to happen straightaway.

As although today marks the definitive date for GDPR coming into effect, I think we’ll continue to see recipients making choices on their subscriptions.

Deciding what they do and don’t want filling their inbox.

And, I also wouldn’t expect this increase in performance and engagement rates just to happen without any effort from the brand or agency responsible.

Like I’ve said, this is very much a two way street, and there really is a requirement for agencies and brands to continually engage and nurture their customers.

And hey, if you would like some help optimising your email strategy as your struggling with knowing the best way to go about this, you know where I am.

May 25, 2018|

About the Author:

Hannah.McFarlane