Remember last year when we all simultaneously lost our minds over GDPR? Well, we think it’s about time that we looked back to see how this has affected email marketing over the last (almost) year.
What is GDPR?
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so and still haven’t checked your inbox, then you might not know that GDPR is the General Data Protection regulation. It is a collection of EU laws around personal data protection, which looked at the existing laws in place and updated them to fit the digital age.
The digital makeover saw the EU data protection move beyond the borders of European countries and now affects any country who processes the data of an EU citizen. This has resulted in a complete makeover to the way that marketers and brands create GDPR-friendly campaigns as well as how they manage their mailing lists.
What’s been happening since 25th May 2018?
In August 2018, the Independent reported a 160% rise in complaints to the ICO between 25th May and 3rd July, amounting to 6,281 complaints in total. Thanks to increased media attention and the government advertising individuals rights to their data, consumers quickly became much savvier and were more inclined to hold businesses accountable.
Figures revealed that firms who hold sensitive, personal information which included data regarding education, health and finances fell into the category of more complained about, amounting to over a quarter of all complaints.
Moreover, there has been an increase in consumers requesting access to the data firms holds about them, resulting in an increased volume of requests, which in turn, required more resource. The workload for businesses increased whilst the capabilities, trying to handle more requests alongside ensuring that all email communications had been effectively repermissioned.
Is email marketing still effective?
For many businesses, acquriing a mailing list of interested parties or customers is the key to driving their business revenue. However, with the restrictions now in place thanks to GDPR, email lists have dramatically declined, but that doesn’t mean that prospects should decline too.
You see, in a post-GDPR world, email marketing has become significantly about quality, not quantity. Although it appears to have reduced the breadth of subscriber list, it has encouraged brands to take a different approach to email marketing which is streamlined to offer more valuable information to a targetted gourp of people.
Email marketing can still see significant ROI when compared with other channels, with the capability to create hyper-personalised content, targetted automation and combining with content marketing to create useful resources to assist in the purchase process.
As with the majority of marketing channels, email marketing must move forward with the times and ensure that rather than pushing promotional messages constantly. It should aim to integrate more comfortably into customers lives and provides beneficial content which will educate, inform, inspire and entertain which will build trust and finds a new way to drive conversions.
Brexit and GDPR
As with everything when it comes to Brexit, there are uncertainties around how GDPR will be affected by Brexit. As far as we know, even once the UK has removed itself from the EU framework, GDPR will remain in place.
Of course, the UK will still have to comply with GDPR when managing EU citizens data and will have to continue to ensure permissions for email marketing are reviewed annually. A previous statement from the UK government stated that “there will be no immediate change in the UK’s own data protection standards. This is because the Data Protection Act 2018 would remain in place and the EU Withdrawal Act would incorporate the GDPR into UK law to sit alongside it”.
Email marketing services
If you’re finding email marketing stressful, are unsure of how to create bespoke content for your customers, puzzled by how to manage your data or simply want a professional opinion on how to utilise it within your marketing mix, why not get in touch to find out how we can support your email marketing.