On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect, enforcing protection of EU citizens’ personal data. This means stricter rules about gaining consent from consumers for data and safer handling of this data when it comes to email lists, app permissions, and all the ways in which you digitally contact your customers.

Even if you are not operating your business in Europe, it is important to abide by these regulations going forward. As long as you have an email list, members from all around the world could be on it. If you’re marketing to anyone in the EU, you can still be subjected to their hefty fines.

Following these new regulations does mean the size of your email list will significantly narrow itself down. But, don’t be too terrified. Here’s why…

Reducing the people you market to down to those who truly want to receive your updates is incredibly valuable. The quality of your readers or listeners will fall much more in line with your target audience, resulting in better email open rates, better personalization, easier segmentation, higher conversion rates, and even lower costs.

Think of this as a literal spring-cleaning of your email list. You are removing the old, and now have room to brainstorm ideas for new, high-quality, targeted additions to your email list.

So, what do you need to do now?

Campaign for compliance

Members of your email list will be required to give consent to be on your list. If you haven’t already, get a landing page together that allows people to opt-in to your emails. Here’s an example.

Include information about exactly what people will be getting when they sign up. If it’s a monthly newsletter, indicate that it’s a monthly newsletter (and then don’t be a liar and email them every day). If you send each member on your email list an average of 5 emails a month, indicate what these emails are, whether they are promotional, product updates, discounts, etc.

Also, indicate exactly what information you need from your consumers. If they have to fill out a form with information beyond just their email address, you need to explain why you need this information. The data you are gathering on these consumers will have to be anonymous and protected. Try to be as thorough as you can with this campaign to avoid loopholes that could get you in trouble in the future.

Next, send a permission campaign to your existing list, allowing your members to officially opt themselves into your emails or messages. You don’t have to be formal. Stay consistent with your brand language and show your members that it’s important to you to share with them updates that they actually want.

Not only are you establishing more trust in your brand, you are taking advantage of an opportunity to learn from your customers what they really want from you. You can use this information to revise your campaign strategies for effectiveness.

Next, narrow down your email list to those who followed your instructions. This will hurt a little and could be time-consuming, but we promise it will be worth it. You can still send a follow-up message to those who did not opt-in the first time.

Now you have a fresh new start to do some safe, hyper-targeted digital marketing that will yield results you couldn’t have imagined before. Contact Backcourt Marketing for help revising your email campaigns for effectiveness.

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