A guide to best-practice email marketing and GDPR compliance

Posted by Damian Leonard May 14, 2018 11:30:30 AM

Topics: Email marketing, Manchester PR Agency, gdpr

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to touch base with your target audience – you can do it en masse, you can tailor your messaging to ensure you’re getting your key points across, and you can almost guarantee that everyone will see your email popping into their inbox (which is great for brand awareness).

The effectiveness of best practice email marketing is continuously monitored and justified – did you know that 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation? And email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel.

In this post, I’m going to take you through the key hit-points that you need to factor in to give your email marketing the best chance of success and give a brief overview of what you need to do to ensure you don’t break the new GDPR compliance rules.

Let’s take a look!


Get to the point - your subject line

To be quite frank, if your subject line doesn’t entice the reader or immediately intrigue them, you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.

Your subject line is the first thing the reader sees, and their attention span for email marketing will only be a few seconds, so make it sharp, snappy and of interest to the reader.

Some best practice email marketing methods for your subject line include:

  • Giving a brief overview of your offer and a short description of the content e.g. Email Marketing [Guide]
  • Highlighting whether your content includes videos/infographics – clickthrough rates can increase by 30-35%
  • Make your offer obvious – e.g. instead of writing ‘Want cheaper coffee?’, write ‘30% off coffee this week’

Using software like Campaign Monitor allows you to assess your open rate, as well as carry out A/B testing to see what type of subject line works best for your brand. Give it a go!


Optimize your content

The point of an email marketing campaign is to get your key messaging across to your target audience, with the hope that they will then take action and become a customer/client/utilise your offering.

With that being said, you need to make sure you’re sending across your best content. The most importance considerations should be:

  • Finding out what your database’s pain-points are – there’s no point getting in touch if you’re not offering a solution to a problem
  • Offer a plain text version of the email so your database is guaranteed to see your content
  • Run a spelling and grammar test – your reputation is at risk if you send out poorly worded or misspelled content
  • Send the email to yourself and read it aloud – proofreading your own content is a must
  • Send a test email to someone else to get a second opinion

Along with this, make sure that you’re utilising short paragraphs, use bullet points so your key messages are clear, include links to your website and any relevant collateral, and most importantly include a strong call to action (CTA) to ensure a greater take-up.


Update your database

This may seem glaringly obvious, but it’s something that marketing professionals seem to frequently omit from their email marketing – updating their database with relevant, interested parties.

We utilize email marketing for both our clients and our own purposes, so we’re frequently trying to update our database to ensure maximum ROI.

If someone gives you their consent to be added to your database for a specific reason – whether they’ve filled in a form to get your latest eBook and want to receive more updates, or have asked to be invited to your next big networking event, make sure you include them in your future marketing for similar events.

No matter how good your email marketing campaign is, it won’t matter if it’s not going to those who actually want it.


GDPR – a quick overview

Whilst we’re talking databases, the GDPR compliance rules that are coming in across Europe will change the way we can market to our databases.

Unless each individual that you’re marketing to has agreed to continue receiving emails, or you believe that the individual has legitimate interest in your content e.g. they’ve come to your workshops before so they will probably want to come to your next one, then you cannot market to them. If you’re found to be breaking GDPR guidelines, you will be on the receiving end of a very hefty fine.

Here are the seven key principles you need to adhere to:

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
    • Personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  • Purpose limitation
    • Personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
  • Data minimisation
    • Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed
  • Accuracy
    • Personal data shall be accurate and continuously kept up to date
  • Storage limitation
    • Personal data shall be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed
  • Integrity and confidentiality
    • Personal data shall be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data – any breach of security will result in a fine
  • Accountability
    • The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR


And that’s it

There we have it – a brief overview of best practice email marketing and GDPR compliance. It’s clear that email marketing is still a huge tactic for securing new business and building further relationships with your database, but it’s important you do it right, have your customer’s needs in mind, and comply to GDPR guidelines.

If you need help with your own email marketing efforts or would like to discuss other PR and marketing activities, get in touch with us at Roland Dransfield and we’ll be able to help you out.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on all things media, marketing and PR.


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