GDPR – A Positive Perspective

11th Feb, 2019

GDPR was a major concern for associations over the previous years, which has generated a trail of generally negative opinions and hysteria before it finally came into force on May 25th 2018. While attending the Marketing United Roadshow on December 5th 2018, HQ discovered a (refreshingly) positive perspective – Shane Phair, SVP Marketing of Campaign Monitor, shares more.

HQ: How has GDPR has saved email marketing?

Shane PhairSP: Before GDPR was developed, email marketing was starting to get a negative reputation in Europe due to people’s inboxes being cluttered with unwanted email — to the point people even began ignoring commercial email altogether. But, when GDPR was implemented last May, marketers had to have their subscribers opt-in to their lists again, which cleared out the small portion of email lists that were filled with people who did not want to be there in the first place.

In a post-GDPR world, our mailboxes as consumers are far less cluttered allowing us to more effectively engage with the content we signed up for. For example, Campaign Monitor saw a 29 per cent increase in average open rates within EMEA.

It’s important to mention that GDPR not only allowed organisations to narrow down their email lists to find their engaged subscribers, but it also allowed them to focus on improving customer relationships. Showing the willingness to be compliant demonstrated their interest in keeping their customers’ information secure.

What is a good strategy for email marketing campaign?

The most important thing to think about when sending an email marketing campaign is, ‘do I have something important to say or offer to my subscribers?’. If not, then don’t send an email. One of the most common mistakes marketers make is sticking to an email cadence that is not in-line with the information their subscribers want to read. Your strategy should always be to send relevant content.

What would you say to organisations who prioritise the size of their lists instead of the quality?

I encourage them to look at their email marketing analytics and imagine what it would look like if they removed the people from their lists who did not want to be there. At Campaign Monitor and our family of brands, we continue to share the importance of quality over quantity with our customers. You can have the largest email list in the world, but if those subscribers are not engaging with your content, then you’re not gaining anything from the money you’re spending.

How can we overcome the fear of seeing the unsubscribe list grow?

It can be terrifying, but we tell marketers that if they see their engagement increasing, then they’re doing the right thing. Like I previously mentioned, you need engaged subscribers or you’re not going to have the ROI you are aiming for.

How does GDPR affect non-European organisations and companies exchanging data with EU countries?

GDPR still affects non-European organisations and companies because they are held to the same standard when it comes to exchanging data within European countries. These organisations also had to make the decision whether or not to abide by GDPR regulations in just non-European countries, or within all regions. Either way, GDPR required the same amount of up-front work to remain compliant.

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