GDPR Email Tactics

In the run-up to the “big day”, and no, I don't mean the Royal Wedding… the “big data day” that’s happening on May 25th, I thought I’d take a look at some different tactics companies are taking in a bid to keep us on their databases and which ones have caught my interest.

Direct Mail 

BMW has taken to the good old postal system to try and stand out from the GDPR noise in our email inboxes. Their campaign, “Are you in?” is eye-catching and not only outlines the value of staying connected (exclusive offers, competitions, the first look at new concept cars) but provides a handy tear-off to post back to their HQ or URL link to use online. 

Discount Codes

Incentive or bribery? I’m not sure, but a certain online furniture retailer is offering £100 off my next purchase, should I confirm their use of my data. It was the first I’d seen of this tactic and ever the bargain hunter, it worked and I opted in.

The VIP treatment 

Some brands are skirting around the topic by not actually mentioning the data protection act in their email. For example, the restaurant ‘Smith of Smithfields’ in London are using the party line: “Want to be a VIP?  We’re transferring to a new database so make sure you leave your details so you can keep hearing from us. We’d hate for you to miss out.” Once again, the fear of loss worked and I expect the red carpet roll out on my next visit!

Straight talking

I understand that GDPR is a serious topic and one that we are definitely not taking lightly, however, it seems many brands have adopted the same lingo and it’s a getting a little repetitive. 

“On May 25th, 2018 EU data protection laws are changing. From this date on, we will not be able to contact you about the latest (insert company name) information unless you have chosen to stay informed. Please let us know that you consent to us contacting you by clicking on the button below.”

Digiday, however, have taken a much more straightforward approach in explaining that their privacy policy has changed, and here’s a quick overview, in plain English….

In line with these new standards, we've updated our privacy policy (which you can read in full here) to provide greater transparency around how we collect and use your data. The key points, in plain English:
•    We collect your data, such as email address and other details mostly related to your profession or company, to provide you with access to our news, events and other programs. 
•    We will never share your information without your explicit permission. 
•    We honor your right to privacy and will comply with your wishes to remove your data from our systems.

What I like about all the above approaches is that we, as consumers, are given a choice. On the other hand, the benefit to brands is that they will now have an active and engaged audience to market to. As a marketer, I’ll be interested to see what impact this has on open rates and the email marketing industry as a whole. 


In summary, when it comes to asking customers to opt back in, my advice is to be human in your approach, to highlight the value the consumer will gain from being on your database, and what they will miss out on by not subscribing. 

For any advice on what else you need to be aware of or if you have left your GDPR tasks to the last minute, speak to one of our team. As a minimum, all Venn clients have been advised to add a cookie notification to the site and update privacy and cookie policies. Adding copy around forms to define how data will be used/retained/distributed is also recommended and ensure you have a way of deleting records from your CRM. See you on the other side!

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