In the frenzied run up to May 25th we’ve all been focused on trying to get ‘opt-in’ consent from all those on our existing mailing lists. Many of us are going to find our lists severely depleted in the coming days. So how do you go about building your newsletter mailing list after GDPR comes into force?
As we all know the key objective of GDPR is to give control back to the individual. That means giving them the final say on who holds their data, for what purpose and for how long.
Whether the people on you mailing lists have genuinely signed up to your newsletter years ago or are customers whose details you added to your lists, purging of old lists and hoards of data will leave you with the most relevant and most interested subscribers. This will give you a higher quality mailing list that will undoubtedly result in higher click-through rates.
Still, you will want to grow that mailing list and have the opportunity to promote your business to new audiences. GDPR isn’t preventing you from doing this; you just have to follow the guidelines!
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how GDPR jargon fits into your own business. There are experts out there like Mackin Consultancy who can help you make sure your business is GDPR compliant.
Here are a few pointers on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to building your newsletter mailing list after GDPR comes into force.
Do send a nice friendly email to new contacts saying that you think they may be interested in learning more about your services/products. Ask if they will consent to being added to a specific mailing list to allow you to send them information relevant to their role or industry.
Don’t add new contacts to every mailing list you have. Someone giving you a business card or their email address does not mean that they consent to being on every mailing list in your company! Unless they explicitly say YES, don’t add them to a list.
Do understand the difference between B2B & B2C. Divide your lists to reflect this. Both sectors require explicit consent before you can email them. B2B emails should be targeted at a person’s role within the business. B2C emails are directed to the individual.
Don’t presume every person on your mailing list is interested in every service or product. It is important to keep emails related to what they originally expressed interest in.
Do always ask for consent in a clear no-nonsense direct approach. To be super safe you can use the double-opt-in method. This is a two step process. First a potential subscriber fills out and submits your online sign-up form. Secondly they will receive a confirmation email asking them to click a link to verify their email. The single opt-in is quick and simple and GDPR compliant. Mailchimp has some great resources when it comes to email consent and GDPR compliance.
Don’t email any contact who has opted-out, unsubscribed previously, or has asked in any other way that you don’t contact them.
Do remember that GDPR doesn’t mean the end of email marketing, it just means being compliant in the way you do it.
- Ask people if they want to hear from you; whether it’s customers calling into your retail shop, business people you meet at networking events, or people who require your services.
- Send them a friendly email asking them to consent to you send them newsletters, information or special offers.
- When they ‘opt-in’ make sure that you send engaging newsletters relating to their interests. This way you are likely to get interaction which can lead to increased business.
Keeping the dos and don’ts in mind, you can continue building your newsletter mailing list after GDPR comes into force to create a list of people who will actually connect with you. Let’s face it this has to be a positive. You might reduce your mailing list substantially, but the possible conversions from your new mailing list will be far greater, because people ‘opted-in’.
Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing, more so now that email lists have been cleaned up and you are only sending mail to those who are genuinely interested in receiving it.