GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – as the name suggests – is a law that governs the acquisition, utilization, storage and removal of personal data of European Union (EU) users. All those businesses that have EU-based customers are bound by these regulations regardless of where the business is based.
While GDPR is all about letting the customers control the use of their data, it means that marketers will have to be extra vigilant about how they communicate with their prospects. That applies to email marketers too, as they will have to be much more transparent with their subscribers when they sign up.
According to a poll carried out by Litmus Software, 60% of brands that are adhering to GDPR principles saw that their email lists got shrunk by less than 10%.
However, this helps to maintain a healthy subscriber list. Of course, it is not a breeze to abide by GDPR. It requires the email marketing team and all the other departments to coordinate with each other and make sure that all the operations are on a par with the guidelines.
Once the systems are all set to be in sync with the law, you can reap superlative results by following GDPR. In an ROI analysis of the marketing impact, it was found that marketers fetched a higher ROI in the EU because of stricter laws.
Here’s how it helps improve the email ROI:
Enhanced customer engagement
With the implementation of GDPR, your list will include only interested subscribers who genuinely want to hear from you. As a result, it will help to enhance your email opens and click-through rate, thereby amplifying your subscriber engagement. This will ultimately reflect on your conversion rate and ROI.
Better email deliverability
The most important guideline of GDPR is that you should be able to provide the documentation of permission. You should have explicit permission that the prospect has agreed to your terms and conditions and expressed interest to receive your marketing emails. Double opt in method is the best way to document that the subscriber is willing to hear from you.
Whenever a subscriber signs up for your emails, you send out a confirmation email so that the subscriber can verify their subscription. Such permission-based email marketing strengthens the inbox placement and improves the email deliverability.
Improved customer experience
Following GDPR gives your employees access to authentic data. It empowers them to deliver the right information in the emails and send more relevant emails. These tightly-targeted email campaigns, in turn, improve the customer experience by using data-driven tactics. You no longer need to go through data archives to respond to the concerns raised by the customer, as a result you can respond without any unnecessary delay.
Mitigation of blunders
If user information is saved in diverse records, it is difficult to differentiate between similar looking entities. Say for example: Mary Jones is a very common name in London and your database could have multiple entries by the same name. This results in duplicate records or incorrect information which increases the possibility of errors in communication. Complying with GDPR will give you more control over your data and help you in making customer-centric decisions without any blunders.
Laser focus on business strategy
GDPR compliance enables you to have high-value engaged subscribers on the list. This will let the business owners focus on devising new strategies and grow their business. It will also facilitate forecasting future behaviour of the prospects and rediscover new opportunities for the business.
Better access to deep intelligence
If you can retrieve accurate customer data, it will help you create more depth within the data that is more meaningful for your email marketing strategy. Sending emails as per this information will instil a sense of trust among the subscribers and improve the confidence. Needless to say, the customers are more likely to stay loyal to the brand they trust.
Easier to see the results of A/B tests
The results of A/B tests are more significant if you have active and engaged subscribers on the list. As list quality gets better with the execution of GDPR, the effects of A/B tests become much more noticeable and genuine. You can iterate and build better email campaigns that would entice the subscribers to engage with your brand.
Development of a single customer view
It is imperative to connect the crucial information if you want to make the most of the opportunities you get. Connecting the customer data allows you to achieve a detailed 360-degree view that can help you unravel new business opportunities. It will help you get an insight into the customer preferences and formulate winning email marketing strategy.
It is a general notion that tighter regulations hamper business ROI. That is certainly not true. GDPR has helped businesses to cultivate better email habits like acquisition, email list management and data protection.
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Chris Donald is the Director of Inbox Group, An USA based email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing solutions from production to deployment. He has worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government bodies in all facets of their email marketing services and marketing automation programs since almost 2 decades. He enjoys sharing his distinctive thoughts and insights into email marketing best practices at his blog.