GDPR is here… and its going to save us all!

… and its not a moment too soon.

I’m not really being facetious, take a sideways look at it with me and you’ll find it means good news for both consumers AND businesses.

No, really!

By now, as a consumer, you will have been inundated with emails from companies you’d almost forgotten you’d ever come across, asking you to proactively opt back in to receiving their emails. Oh how the tide has turned!

You can almost feel it cant you?… The coming relief, the silence… the forgotten dream of daily inbox-zero?

Of course, we could just go through manually and have a proper cull by finding the unsubscribe link, but for many its at that sweet-spot where the effort to do so is not quite out-weighing the inconvenience of a perpetually messy inbox. But now, what we are facing, is the gleeful prospect of being free of all those emails, simply by doing nothing!

Bliss!

What this does though is that it gives us pause, to actually consider whether we’d miss not hearing from that company. We briefly consider whether the reason we signed up to receive them in the first place, the purpose, has really delivered or is still relevant at all. If it is, then it deserves and warrants that complicit action – a click to keep them coming…

…Its survival of the fittest.

And so for us businesses, that’s exactly the point – and I think we should be grateful for the shake up!

Email, as long in the digital tooth as it might be, has long been a trusty stalwart of digital marketing. Statistically speaking it has always returned more favourable conversion rates than social media, especially when the prospect is a little further down the funnel and they actively want to hear from you. But its this reliability that has bred laziness. If-its-not-broke-don’t-fix-it is all well and good but email has, in our audience’s eyes, become a bothersome and negative experience.

Bottom line – if we are going to continue to use email in our marketing strategy, we’d better make sure we are putting the effort in and offering something exceptionally valuable. No more simple round-ups of recent blog posts, or news about what someone in the office has been thinking about this week, or tenuous tie-ins to whatever Trump just tweeted. I’m not saying these things don’t have some value and that your shouldn’t do them at all, just that its not longer good enough to phone it in.

GDPR is forcing the issue. The changes taking place are calling time-out on taking email, (and our customers’ attention), for granted and its giving us a chance to reset and start again!

Think about this:

When was the last time you went to your inbox, on purpose, to check specifically if you’d gotten the latest email from a company simply because you are excited to read it?

That should be the goal, right? So let’s, pause, take a deep breath and re-assess. Is it time to build more interesting, important, valuable and exciting relationships with our customers?

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