Why GDPR is the perfect opportunity for email marketers

GDPR is the perfect opportunity for businesses


Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is GDPR?

GDPR is an opportunity to do better by your contacts

GDPR is a fantastic opportunity to start building relationships with contacts

The General Data Protection Regulations are set to be enforced from the 25th May 2018.

Woah, rewind.  That’s this year.

GDPR will be enforceable by law and carries a severe penalty.  This is serious business.

As a marketer, you should start preparing for changes well in advance of the deadline.

These regulations are the biggest update to data protection regulations since the creation of the Data Protection Act 1998.

All businesses processing data from the EU are affected by the new regulations.  Brexit or no Brexit, UK businesses need to comply.

One of the aims of GDPR is to give data subjects more control over how their data is used.

It will help protect the personal details of all EU citizens.

Get Our Latest Blog Posts, Product News, And Tips Straight Into Your Inbox!


Before you start email marketing after GDPR is enforced, you need to make sure that your data is fully compliant.  If GDPR sounds like too much work, think again.

For businesses in the UK, failure to comply with GDPR regulations will result in a severe penalty of 20 million euros or 4% of global annual turnover.

For businesses outside of the UK, you don’t escape the changes.  Local enforcing bodies will take responsibility in cases of a data breach.

That’s some serious money!

If that’s not enough, marketing to contacts who haven’t subscribed is likely to result in high unsubscribe and spam rates.

The results that marketers may be able to achieve by ignoring GDPR will not be worth it anyway.  The data just isn’t good enough.

Failing to make contact data GDPR compliant before the 25th May 2018 means that businesses will not be able to have an email marketing function.

All existing data must be brought up to date with the right consent before it can be used.

GDPR is The Perfect Opportunity

Far from being a reason to worry, GDPR gives you the opportunity to cleanse your contact lists and improve your email marketing output.

That might sound strange.

With hefty fines and severe penalties marketers may fear that GDPR is the end for email.

However, it can be used to gain an advantage.

A smaller, more engaged contact list is more beneficial for performance than a larger list of purchased contacts who don’t open, click, or engage with your marketing communications.

By only marketing to contacts who have opted in to receive your communications, you already know that your contacts are interested in what you have to say.

A purchased list potentially contains thousands of contacts who don’t know anything about you and who don’t want to hear from you either.

As a result, they are likely to delete or mark your communications as spam. For every purchased contact who converts, many more will delete your emails or unsubscribe entirely.

Marketing to Purchased Contacts results in high unsubscribe rates

Marketing to purchased data is no longer permitted under GDPR

Success is down to chance and is far from guaranteed.

Working with a Smaller Database

Email lists are likely to decrease in size as a result of the changes.

Don’t panic.

A smaller, cleaner database will change your marketing for the better.

Once contacts have opted in to receiving marketing communications, you can be sure that they are engaged with your brand.

Contacts who have opted in to receive marketing communications are more likely to be engaged with the material they receive.

In turn, this will have a positive impact on return on investment of the channel.

Engaged contact lists result in more successful email campaigns

Engaged contact lists result in more successful email campaigns

You will also save money that you are currently spending on wasted email sends to your unengaged contacts.

When reviewing years of data, you have the opportunity to clear out all of the poor quality non-compliant data which negatively impacts your campaign performance.

Email delivery rates will improve as a result of targeting content to a more engaged contact list who actively want to hear from your company.

Savings will also result from a reduction in the storage costs associated with having a large contact database and from sending fewer emails in total.

Reducing the cost of storing and processing data will have an immediate and positive impact on Marketing ROI.

This will allow marketers to invest more in data driven email marketing campaigns in the future.

Get Our Latest Blog Posts, Product News, And Tips Straight Into Your Inbox!


5 Comments on "Why GDPR is the perfect opportunity for email marketers"
  • Ralph Miller
    17th May 2018Reply

    So the question - How do you create a smaller, cleaner database? Is there a formula?

    With GDPR are companies allowed to send out an Opt-in email?

    • Connor Barrett
      18th May 2018Reply

      Hi Ralph,

      The best way to create a smaller, cleaner database is to find the people who would be interested in what you have to say. You can do this in a number of ways that we have covered in other blog posts on our Marketing Hub but they include using lead magnets and demonstrating value to your contacts by producing whitepapers and webinars. You then need to position sign up forms in relevant positions on your website and landing pages where your contacts are likely to fill them out.

      As for GDPR opt-in campaigns, any campaigns need to be completed before the 25th May deadline. This is important as you won't be able to email anybody who has not double opted-in after this date unless you can justify your marketing activities under another legal basis for processing data. Read more about the double opt-in here.

Leave a Reply

All Posts