Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 at 10:16am
We’ve all heard a lot about the upcoming changes to the data protection laws in May. But despite the seminars, blogs and – ironically – unsolicited eshots, we’re still no closer to getting a real answer to the practicalities of GDPR and how it’ll affect both us and our clients.
So, we reached out to some local PR and marketing experts and invited them to a round-table to discuss the future of email marketing based on the information we currently have. To save you the same headache, we’ve put together a few helpful highlights.
Many practitioners have already raised GDPR with their clients and started to implement plans. However, we discovered that many agencies were more concerned about how a breach would affect their brand’s reputation, rather than the resulting fine. Ultimately for practitioners, these mistakes could cause clients to question integrity, meaning preparation and transparency is vital.
Media databases and press lists
Our attendees had not considered that media databases, such as Gorkana, handle vast amounts of journalist data. Fortunately, following the changes in May, it is still within the law to use this service as it is Gorkana’s responsibility to ensure that journalists are aware their details are being displayed.
Following this discussion, we decided that emails to press should offer an opt out and details of where we sourced their details.
In lieu of creating databases through (let’s face it) extensive stalking, LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to those who you would like to target. This is done either through ‘connecting’ with those who are of interest to you or being recommended to connect by an existing mutual connection.
Is email marketing still relevant following the changes? Or should we utilise alternative platforms to reach target audiences?
The findings were conclusive and unsurprising: if e-shot engagement is low, it’s more worthwhile to invest in marketing through other channels such as social media.
However, if engagement is high, it is necessary to find an informative tone of voice that encourages receivers to organically choose to opt-in after May. This would be implemented by dismissing ‘sales’ angles and ensuring all e-shots are beneficial to those who are receiving them.
Whether this is through product or industry news, this ‘newsletter’ style is vital to ensure every email received up to May is of high interest.
How do we reach customers to ask them to opt-in to receive marketing? The BBC recently distributed an email to ask all customers to create an account to continue using iPlayer. This involved consenting to receiving marketing emails under the GDPR changes.
We discussed that this was effective for the BBC as they have a captive audience that uses their services, however a smaller business may not have the same success. An incentive would be a great way to encourage customers to sign up, whether that was through a competition or gaining access to event photos.
So, how to move forward? Unsurprisingly, a lot is left unanswered but that doesn’t mean that we can’t prepare for what’s to come and be ready to spot the red flags as they appear.
Creating a new database detailing who has opted-in will help to distinguish who you can legally contact after the changes are implemented.
Adapting the tone of e-shots to encourage customers to want to continue receiving your email marketing is something that should be considered with immediate effect. This provides you with a better chance of a high sign-up rate.
If you’d like to receive a copy of the round-table minutes, please contact email@example.com.