What the GDPR Will Mean for Your Business & List

  • GDPR is new legislation for businesses from the EU that gives specifics on the collection and storing of customer data.
  • The deadline for GDPR compliance is May 25th , 2018.
  • Customers must agree to receive marketing communication from you. This means that customers will need to sign-up again to be on your email list.
  • You shouldn’t use personal email for your email list. Instead, you can use a bulk email product such as Mailchimp.
  • Use a subject line that captures their attention. Don’t be afraid to be different! It is important that they open it.
  • Use systems such as Drip and Leadpages to set up a seamless email campaign and process for each option. This means the yes or no answer that your subscriber will give you through email in response to staying on your list.
  • The emails you send should explain the value of being a subscriber. What makes your newsletter or communication great for your subscribers? You will want to remind them of that.

You may lose a large chunk of your email subscribers. But be positive! Those customers who are going to opt-in are the customers that value your services and will engage. They want to hear from you. The quality of your email list will improve overnight.

  • What is the GDPR? – 02:31
  • How to use email systems for your email campaigns – 06:24
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about losing email subscribers – 09:34
Transcript below


Hello and really warm welcome to episode 11 of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple Podcast, and I'm your host, Teresa Heath-Wareing. Thank you so much for downloading this week's episode, I know I say it a lot but I really truly mean it. I have this website that I use to go on and look at what downloads I'm getting, and I get so excited every week when I go in and see how many people are listening.

Also on my vision board which is to the right of me in my office, I have a goal for how many people I want to listen to the podcast. Every single month I write down how many downloads we've had. I am really excited to think that you're out there listening and I really, really do appreciate it.

Obviously, if there is anybody that you know that you think might benefit from the podcast, then I would love it if you would share it with them. Of course, being a big social media person, I would also really appreciate it if you wanted to share it on social media as well. Anyway, that's enough of my please, let's get on with today's podcast.

Today I've decided to talk about something that I didn't think I would talk about because if I'm honest, I was being a bit of a scaredy-cat. I'm going to talk GDPR. This subject is a really big subject at the moment because it's just about to come upon us. I decided that I wasn't going to do a podcast about it because of the fact that it's a fairly heavy going subject, it's a subject that unless you're a solicitor you probably shouldn't give advice on.

I'm going to start this podcast with a caveat that I am not advising you what to do, I am merely giving you my take on it and the kind of things that I'm going to do to help me with GDPR. Like I said, this isn't a podcast where I'm saying, “Do this, do that”, I'm just merely being really open about how I'm going to be managing GDPR going forward, and some of the tools and techniques and strategies that I might be using.

The main area that I'm going to talk about is the re-qualification area.


What is the GDPR?


Let me go back a little bit and first of all just mention what GDPR is if you haven't heard of it. Basically, it's some legislation brought in by the European Union for businesses, and this legislation lays out how you should collect and hold data from people. If you are collecting data for marketing reasons, IE, you're going to email them, then this law basically now has an impact on how you collect them and how you store it.

One of the main parts of the legislation is that by May 25th, the data that you currently hold in your business has to be compliant, which means you have to be able to prove that the people on that list, on your email list have agreed for you to send them the emails that you are wanting to send them. This means that lots of businesses are now going through a re-qualification phase where they are emailing out their entire list to ask them if they still want to stay on their list and receive future marketing communication from them.

You may have already had a few of these emails sent to yourself where they're asking you if want to still receive their emails and asking you to re opt-in or confirm that you wanted to be opted-in in the first place. This is the area that I wanted to focus on. I just want to let you know how I'm going to manage this and how I'm going to use some of the smart systems I use in order to help me manage this process.

The first thing you need to do is you're going to need to send an email to that list. Now, you should be using something like MailChimp, or Drip, of Infusionsoft, some of these automated systems, and any emails you send should be going from a bulk system like that. You shouldn't be sending bulk emails, IE, emails to lots of people from your [inaudible 00:04:23] or your Gmail.

When you send your emails, one of the first considerations you need to take is how can you get their attention to open the email, that is always the trickiest bits. Open rates on emails are relatively low, anywhere between 20% and 30% as an average, you might get a bit more, you might get a bit less. But you've got to think, if you've got a database of a thousand people let's say, only 20% to 30% of these people are actually going to open your email. First task, think of an exciting subject line.

The next thing I'm going to think about is how many emails I might actually going to send because as I just mentioned, open rates can be really low and therefore you don't want to reduce the number of people who can sign up by just sending one email, you want to give them as many opportunities as you can. I've decided that I am going to send three emails to my list, maybe four, see how I feel, but those three emails are going to be sent over a time period now and the 25th of May.

The next thing I'm going to think about is the text inside the email, and I'm going to try and have a bit of fun with it or I'm going to try and be a bit different, and I'm going to try and encourage people to sign up by reminding them why they might have signed up in the first place or what value I add to them.

My email list for instance when I do email out, I only ever email my content, I very rarely email anything that isn't a notification about a blog post or some free content that I'm giving away, or my latest podcast. I'm going to put in the email, remember this is why you want to receive emails from me. Like I said, I'm going to try and have a bit of fun with it and try and stand out from the crowd a little.

The next part of this process is how are you actually going to record when someone says yes, they want to stay and and someone wants to actually be removed from your list. One of the ways in which I'm going to do this is through some of the systems that I use. I apologise if I'm going to get a little bit techy.


How to use email systems for your email campaigns


I hope I don't lose you, but I think it's really important for you to understand what's out there and the capability of some of these systems.

I use a system called Drip which is a email automation system and it can do some really smart stuff. The email that I'm going to be sending out in the email when it tries to encourage you to stay on my list, it's going to ask you to do one of two things, it's either going to ask you to click yes, that you want to stay in, or no, that you want to be removed. When you click either one of those buttons within the system, I have the ability to apply a tag which is basically a bit of information about that customer or that prospect that's on my database.

What I'm going to be able to do is when someone clicks yes, I'm going to be able to use the system to apply a tag to say that they want to stay on my list. When they click that button they're going to expect to go somewhere because they've clicked a button in a email, so I'm also going to set up some thank you pages. I'm going to use lead pages, and if you have heard me talk about them before you know I'm a huge fan of them.

The lead page or the thank you page is just going to say, “Yay, thank you so much for signing up to my emails, I'm super glad that you decided to stay”, or something like that. If they click the button no, then I will still apply the tag that says they don't want to be on my list anymore, and the thank you page that they will go through to will say, “That's a shame, nevermind”, something like that, “you have now been removed from the list.”

At this point I'm also going to give them the opportunity top change their mind, and I might try and be a bit funny and sort of say, “Did you do that by accident? I'm sure you don't wanna miss out on all these brilliant things”, and then have an opt-in on that page where they can put their name in the email and get popped back in to my list. The way that this is done is lead pages is connected to Drip, lots of these systems talk to each other so if you use lead pages to create landing pages, then that will also connect with Infusionsoft and ConvertKit and various other email systems including MailChimp. Therefore, once they re opt-in they will automatically go into the system.

Just a recap, I'm going to send an email with a yes and a no, and when they click those buttons my email system is going to tag them with whether it's a yes or a no, and then when they go to the thank you pages they will then on the no page get an opportunity to resubscribe in. I just want to explain why I'm not using an unsubscribe button because it would be very easy for me just to say click and subscribe at the unsubscribe button at the button of the email.

The reason I'm not doing this is because one of the crucial things about having data in one of these third-party systems is that they rely that your data is quality data. If suddenly they start seeing loads of unsubscribes, then they're going to start [inaudible 00:09:25] your data is and they might reduce your deliverable rate, which basically means the number of people who receive your email.


Why you shouldn’t worry about losing email subscribers


The other thing I really need to mention about this whole process is that you are very likely to lose an awful lot of your database. We just need to go back and think about the figures that I gave for open rates. If you, again, have a thousand people on your list and you send out an email, and you have a 20% to 30% open rate, then 200 to 300 people are going to open that email. Immediately, there is a whole chunk of people who haven't even opened the email. If we think about click through rate, IE, people who actually take action once they've opened the email, then this can be anything as low as 2% to 4%.

You're talking a really small handful of people that might respond, and of course, some of them might respond no. My advice to you would be try not to worry about it. I know it seems easy for me to say because it's not my database, or you might rely heavily on your database, however, think about the people who actually go to the effort to click your response and say, “Yes, I want to stay on your list”, they are going to love you, they are going to be people that will be your customers, that will buy your product, will engage in your services or your content, and therefore, they're the people you want on your list.

If you think about how you use your list currently, there is probably a huge percent of people who aren't interacting with you and they could be taking up valuable space on your list. If you use a system like me where you are paying for a system that is based on the number of people that are in your database, then of course you're paying for them when they might not ever be a customer and might not be that interested. They might have wanted to download one thing and then never want to hear anything again.

I'm looking at this as a very positive thing, that even though my database might reduce hugely overnight, the people who are going to say yes to my emails are going to want to hear from me, and therefore the quality of my data is going to improve drastically over night. I really hope that this episode has given you just a little bit of insight as to how you can possibly get ready for the changes we're going to have to make in our businesses in order for us to be compliant for GDPR. As I mentioned, I am no lawyer and can give no legal advice, but I just wanted to give you a little insight as to what I might be doing in my business in order to get ready for it.

As always, thank you so much for listening, I really do appreciate it. Until next time, have a great week.