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Effective email should play a key part in the success of your marketing campaigns. Email subscribers are three times more likely to share content on social media than leads that came through any other channel. 59% of B2B marketers say that email continues to be their most effective channel in terms of revenue, while 80% of retailers say email marketing is their biggest driver of customer retention. With the recent changes in data privacy laws through GDPR, now is the time to give your lists a good spring clean and create engaging email campaigns.

What GDPR means for email marketing

An individual must be given the freedom to provide specific consent for how their data is processed and stored. This should be done with an opt-in, whereby individuals actively tick boxes according to their preference of if and how they wish to be contacted pre-ticked boxes and an assumption of consent are no longer kosher.

Consent needs to be given on a granular level. For example, a retailer cannot bundle marketing consent with consent to share audience’s data with third parties. You therefore need to be specific about what information your audience will receive and for what purpose.  

The law is not yet clear on the level of granularity required. This will undoubtedly become clearer over time, but to err on the side of caution, (plus you gather interest to segment against) it’s a good idea to gather consent for news and updates separately from consent for event sign ups. Even though they are both for the purpose of marketing, but the downside is you get drop off as tickbox fatigue kicks in.

So as time goes on, your marketing will become even more targeted, and can be segmented by audiences who want to receive industry news, customers looking for promotional messages and the latest deals, and those interested in both.

The tracking of consent will now be mandatory. So, if you have unclean lists where consent is a little (or lot) of a grey area, you’ll need to get every individual to give their consent  to legally contact them going forward.

How to create a compliant re-engagement campaign

Cleaning your lists and becoming GDPR compliant may seem like a challenge, but it will actually improve your email marketing efforts. Successful email marketing is not about the size of your lists, it’s about engagement and conversion rates.

Post-GDPR, your lists will be more targeted, your audiences more engaged and your email campaigns will become far more effective. Here are some tips to get ahead.

Provide quality content

Under GDPR rules, you can’t incentivise people to opt-in. This means you can’t offer a discount or special deal in exchange for people signing up to your newsletter. Instead, focus on the quality of your content.

Value is key for all successful marketing campaigns. Gone are the days where hap hazard content and hastily constructed emails will cut it. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your business and position staff as thought leaders. Spend some time creating some really useful, powerful content that your audiences can’t help but engage with.

Segment your lists

Spend some time segmenting your current lists to determine who has engaged with emails or other sales messages over the past month. Marketing automation platforms such as Sharpspring allow you to filter based on time and type of engagement, which helps you to create more targeted lists.

This ensures you’re not targeting people who have already clearly opted-in, and will help you form your messaging strategy for engaged vs not engaged audiences. You can also create separate email campaigns for other lists based on industry, interest or position in the sales funnel.

If your data is really old, ditch it. Deliverability is likely be really bad, which will affect the success of your campaigns and could mean you’re placed in a lower IP pool by your email provider.

Ensure content is targeted

For biggest impact, create valid reasons why your audience should opt-in. Now your lists are segmented, you can ensure your messaging for each group is personalised and powerful.

Split test the creative and messaging of each segment for optimum impact. Don’t forget to optimise your emails for mobile (54% of emails are opened on mobile devices) and ensure you include links to your GDPR compliant privacy and cookie policies.

Use all touchpoints

GDPR creates a shift towards personalised communication. This is reflected on social media channels through the ability to target individuals with messages based on their interests, job titles, lifestyles, seniority. You can make the most of targeting via social media to create an integrated opt-in campaign to build new lists at the same time as cleaning existing lists.

It’s not just about gaining consent via email campaigns, think about all the other touchpoints you use across your business. You can also capture consent  via event signups, contact pages on your site, landing pages or any applications your business might use. For the greatest impact, create an consent strategy that includes all your relevant channels.

Integrate your forms and landing pages

To be GDPR compliant, you need proof of the path of consent for each sign up. To do this, it’s advisable to have your sign-up forms embedded into specific opt-in landing pages. These can trigger an email for double opt-in, which, although not a GDPR requirement, provides an extra layer of protection.

Integration with your CRM system will ensure each opt-in action is stored against the corresponding customer as evidence of their consent.  Don’t forget to keep a data log too of all the actions you’re taking with your data from now onwards, if the ICO does come knocking you have all the information in one place.  

Bonus tip: Before you begin, ensure you’re actually sending some engaging email campaigns before you ask for consent.  There really is no point sending an opt-in campaign if you haven’t been in touch for months. You have until 25th May to get GDPR compliant. Get cracking and have some fun with your email campaigns.

Need some support with cleaning your lists and creating opt-in email campaigns that pack a punch? Get in touch today.