You may still don’t know the GDPR by heart, but you must have seen the series of emails in your inbox on GDPR compliance in the last two months from every brand you’re subscribed to. GDPR or General Data Protection Rule came into effect on May 25, 2018. Ever since then, all internet brands have been on their toes to alert their subscribers and users that they comply with these rules of user privacy.
GDPR came into effect to protect user data and maintain user privacies. However, the pressure on marketers doubled up in order to maintain a healthy email list. Marketers felt the impact of GDPR most strongly as series of challenges were thrown in their way to maintain a large and healthy list. Here’s how the scenario for email marketers saw a radical change ever since GDPR came into effect.
- Re-permissioning email lists: Since GDPR came into force to help maintain user privacy, many marketers took the plunge of re-affirming that they have the consent of their subscribers to send them communication emails. To do this, many marketers sent out emails with a link “stay connected” within their email content. Subscribers were asked to click on it to confirm their consent and continue to receive emails from that brand. However, reports showed that this strategy led to the shrinking of email lists drastically. The ‘saved’ rates went down to 30 percent, posing a major challenge for marketers.
- Modifying permission techniques: GDPR requires unambiguous and affirmative consent. So it was but natural for marketers to make a shift to more intense forms in order to gather consent. They consciously migrated from pre-checked boxes and opt-outs to urging clients to take action to give their consent before they are added to the list. Although, this strategy reads effective, but upon implementation, it elongated the process for subscribers. As a result, the subscription rates fell, affecting list growth badly.
Whatever the challenges are, there is no backing out off GDPR. Hence, marketers need to reform their techniques and methods of acquiring emails. If you want to grow your lists while adhering to the GDPR, you can resort to the following broad approaches.
1. Your current list may be small, but it is of high quality. Make the most of it.
Your list is small, but you know all these subscribers have given their node on their own accord. Also, this list consists of subscribers who are willing to hear from you. Why not make the most of this list!
- Create contextual and triggered programs. These programs can drive more email engagements like email opens, clicks, and conversions. Ditch the traditional email campaigns this time.
- Make your emails more personalized. You can personalize so many things in your email – the features of your products, offers, and CTA that can drive more engagement. For each segment, determine the set of features and offers that can trigger engagement. Personalization is already a rage. And at this moment, when you need to retain your quality subscribers, what better way than showing them what they want to see.
- Test email frequency to be sure that you are not overdoing or under-doing it. Build segments based on subscribers’ behaviors, email engagement rates, time of lists, last date of activity, and other such details. Test various frequencies for each segment, especially the ‘high value’ segments and track the engagement metrics over a month. An important thing to keep in mind: Ensure a careful balance of these gains against the subscribers you’ve lost.
2. Revive your list.
Other than engaging your subscribers, make efforts to grow your list without overriding any privacy rules, especially taking consent.
- Make your subscription forms more prominent on mobile and web. Let your subscribers easily see your subscription forms. Use smart web pop up forms when your clients are browsing through your website or related pages. Show light pop up form boxes when they are about to exit. Embed web forms throughout your website, add them as inline subscription box, and also add reCAPTCHA pop up forms. All these ensure that your subscribers are not added by default without their consent.
- Make subscription easy and capture subscriptions across all channels. Use social subscribe buttons to make subscription easy and quick. You can add CTAs as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social channels to acquire email addresses. Embed forms throughout your website, add on-exit and on-page scroll forms, and also add thanksgiving popup forms.
- Create attractive subscription call-to-action buttons. Wherever you place your subscription form, it is important to tune your CTA text according to your target subscribers. Some examples can be ‘subscriber only’ or ‘subscriber first’ offers, or maybe a ‘limited edition available’ CTA. Add to this; your CTA must offer social proof that subscribing to your product or services is worthwhile. For instance, you can add small testimonial snippets.
All these practices are to make sure you are not sending unsolicited emails. You want to grow a healthy list and maintain your email sending reputation as well. So, a focus on quality and quantity simultaneously is mandatory. Review all your subscriber activities, whether good or bad, to see the bigger picture of how your acquisition methods are performing.
GDPR is designed to uphold the privacy of your subscribers, which is a good initiative. This will surely help you in growing a list that is genuinely interested in your product or services. These challenges are short-term. The bigger picture is a lot better and user-oriented.