GDPR: moving the dial on email performance

One year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s fantastic to be able to review the benefits it brought rather than the ‘Email Marketing Armageddon’ so many feared it would bring.

The combination of reduced spam in recipients’ inboxes, cleansed data lists and most importantly the focus marketers put on re-thinking their email marketing strategies, has led to an overall step change and improvement in email marketing performance.

In the run up to the GDPR compliance deadline, most marketers reduced the size of their data lists – many needing a much overdue clear out of unengaged, out of date contacts. The more proactive marketers however went the whole hog, positively engaging with their recipients, asking if and what content they were interested in, and giving them the option to entirely opt out. Whilst this might have felt like a nerve-wracking time, it was in reality a positive step towards quality over quantity in email marketing, with 70% of marketers saying that improving the quality of their email list is their top objective.

Bad data has never been good for anyone, the sender or the receiver. In fact, it dilutes your performance, reducing your open and click through rates and can give you a false impression of engagement. Worse still bad data can impact your deliverability with an increased likelihood of high unsubscribes and recipients marking your emails as spam. Hopefully we’re now all celebrating the gradual death of purchased data lists and the days of quantity over engagement.

Now is a great time to really focus on engaging your audience. Here are some of our top focus areas, many of which you may already have done (if so well done, and if not, don’t delay!).

  • Make it simple to opt out – if they’re not going to buy from you, it’s vanity not sanity to keep them on your data list.
  • Introduce a preference centre – empower your audience to make their own choices on how you communicate with them. They will reward you with loyalty and engagement.
  • Set expectations right in the beginning and stay true to them – tell people what kind of content they can expect from you and how often.
  • Drive the quality of your content – instead of short and sweet emails that pester unengaged recipients think about how you can guide and inspire engaged recipients.
  • Increase your segmentation – think about how you can get the right message to the right person at the right time.
  • Consider dynamic content – make messages feel personal and relevant.
  • Review your measurement and tracking reporting – ensure you’re focusing on improving engagement, not increasing the size of your database.
  • Keep your email templates fresh – update them regularly for more impact.
  • Review how you’re getting consent – and what you’re doing to respect it.
  • Consider developing gated content – allowing you to engage with people who are genuinely interested in your content.

Getting things like the above right will move the dial on your email performance, just like industry lead, Campaign Monitor are seeing across the industry: ‘List segmentation using methods like a preference centre can lead to 39% better open rates, 28% lower unsubscribe rates, 24% better deliverability, 21% more transactions and 15% better customer retention rates!’.

Email remains a high performing, personal, fast, targeted and economic channel not to be overlooked. If you need help to give it the love it deserves and get the results you need, talk to us.