New GDPR regulations come into force next month and you need to ensure that you have adequate, GDPR compliant, permission to continue to send emails to them. If you don’t, you have a window of opportunity between now and the 25th May 2018 to get their permission. The stakes are high. If you don’t have a lawful basis of retaining the data with permission to send email marketing communications, you will no longer have the right to retain the data from the 25th May 2018.
If you can’t identify how, when, and where consent was obtained from an individual on your email marketing list the best option, in order to be compliant, is to ask (to communicate with contacts) to regain their permission.
You have between now and the 25th May, 2018, to get compliant permission from your subscribers.
To start with you need to audit your data to identify those records where need to get permission to continue sending marketing email communications after the 25th May 2018. Hint: you don’t need permission from everyone.
The following types of data can legitimately remain on your mailing list, provided they have not previously unsubscribed:
1. Any non-personal business email addresses eg info@
2. Any previous customers
3. Any individual that has asked you to do something before entering into a contract (eg providing a quote)
4. Any individual where you have a record of consent that is GDPR compliant. Read our blog article to find out more.
5. Any individual that is outside the EU
For everyone else, you need to regain permission for them to remain on your mailing list. You can regain permission by calling the individual (eg as a customer care call to get their permission and record their communication preferences), by emailing them, to ask for their consent and by targeting them via social media.
A re-permission email campaign is a simple, straightforward campaign that asks your subscribers whether or not they want to keep receiving your emails. It sets expectations, and offers a simple Yes (confirm their interest) or No (Unsubscribe) option.
Please note: this is different (albeit similar) to a re-engagement campaign where you are looking to re-engage people that are otherwise GDPR compliant. If you have a list of people that are simply not responding to your emails, there is not the same urgency with which to run a re-engagement campaign as you do not have a deadline of the 25th May to re-kindle the relationship with them. Read our blog post to see examples of re-engagement campaigns.
What makes a great re-permission email campaign…
A re-permission campaign needs to be simple and impactful. You are looking for the individual to make a positive commitment to remain on your mailing list, so the email should be eye-catching, grab attention and the permission should be easy to give! There are numerous ways you can achieve this:
- Send them a ‘letter’ style email, asking for their permission to stay ‘opted in’…
- Be direct. Consider a no-frills approach with a couple of simple options:
- Add an eye-catching permission request to a promotional email…
- Be more subtle and simply ask the individual to update their preferences:
- Give them reasons to keep receiving emails eg don’t forget we offer…
- Incentivise them to stay on your mailing list:
You could also consider using lead magnets with incentives, offers, or content upgrades. And it’s worth considering sending a series of emails with an increasingly urgent message. Ultimately, if subscribers feel there is value in your communications, they’ll be more likely to give you their consent.
Don’t just rely upon email
Whilst we are great advocates of email marketing. You shouldn’t rely solely on email marketing to regain permission. Ensure your website is focussed on gaining subscribers and use social media, mobile push, text messaging and pop-ups leading contacts to a quick opt-in forms.
- Update your website to prominently promote opt-in to your mailing list
- Create dedicated landing pages which are opt0in focussed
- Create a communication preferences section enabling individuals to manage their communication preferences including the ability for them to reduce the frequency and even to ‘take a break’ from your comms.
- Create a custom audience in Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin by uploading the list of emails that you want to re-permission and run a series of ads to them linked to your opt-in landing page.
Take a look at the following by way of example…
1. Conversocial targeted Facebook ad – aimed at gathering a newsletter subscription:
2. Leading to a dedicated landing page encouraging opt-in. This looks great and (in our view) could be improved by:
- “Subscribe?”. Technically of course, this is correct, but its not especially imaginative! Instead it could say ‘I’m in’, ‘Send me updates’, ‘Yes, send me emails’ etc to make it more conversational. But you get the idea.
So what do we recommend?
Time is of the essence. You don’t have long to regain permission with those individuals where you will no longer have a lawful basis to retain their personal information for the purpose of email marketing beyond the 25th May 2018.
- Ensure you have a ‘clean’ list of individuals where you need to regain permission (if you have GDPR compliant consent or if you have another legal basis upon which to send marketing communications, you don’t need to add them to a re-permission campaign.
- Create a series of increasingly urgent emails and schedule them to send weekly between now and the 25th May 2018
- Run a complimentary social media campaign…
- Create a custom audience in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter by uploading your target list. Note: If your list comprises of business emails, they may not all use their business email for social media, so your audience may be smaller.
- Run targeted ads on social media to encourage opt-in, linked to a landing page explaining the benefits of opting in.
- If you have the resources, consider phoning them too.
GDPR is a good thing in disguise. It’s an opportunity for you to cleanse your data by removing those who do not meet the high standards of GDPR compliant consent or for those individuals that are simply not engaging. As as result you will have a more engaged list and the tools to build a better relationship with your best customers.
Subscribers may feel overwhelmed if they receive too many re-permission emails from all the brands that they’ve signed up with, so the sooner you put together a re-permissioning strategy, the better chance you have in getting a (positive!) response.