Fast forward to May 25th 2018 – you’re about to send your latest email communication to your database to invite them to a great event you’re hosting. But wait, do you have their consent to email them or to even hold their data?

If not and you go ahead and email them you risk being fined up to four per cent of global revenues. So, you only send to those who’ve explicitly opted in, how much of your database is that? After all, you’ve never asked or given your database the opportunity to opt-in.

To avoid this dystopian future, you need to act now to ensure your data is still mailable and your organisation is GDPR compliant.

Okay, how do I get GDPR compliant?

Our post Becoming GDPR Compliant: A Technical Marketing Automation Perspective has some great tips including reviewing forms and looking at how you store data.

And, how can I get contacts to opt-in?

We advise sending contacts through an opt-in campaign. Which is something we’ve been working on with several clients and using our experience have put together a short list of considerations:

Be prepared to take a hit on database size but reap the benefits of quality contacts

Although the goal is the same - to get explicit opt-ins - you still need different campaign journeys for engaged vs. non-engaged contacts. You could start by including the subscription email to existing workflows and send out periodically, with the opt-in disclaimer being added to all existing forms and landing pages.

For non-engaged contacts the risk of low response rates is very high, so you’re going to need a lot of charm on this audience. It is worth pointing out that a good click-thru rate is just one per cent, which may mean that a great amount of contacts are lost during this transition. Though there is an argument to question the quality of these contacts if they are not engaging!

You’ve got your campaign audience and journey planned, including a potential stop at a preference centre, don’t let content hold you back from gaining an opt-in.

Choose an appropriate ‘from name’ for the email

If the audience hasn’t been communicated to for a while, a familiar or unambiguous from name will be important when the email reaches their inbox in order to get a response.

Include a clear ‘subject line’ outlining the purpose of the communication

Picking a subject line that makes it easy for contacts to identify your brand and to find the confirmation email in their inbox is important.

Reiteration of all the benefits of becoming a subscriber

The focus here is on the benefits to the customer. For example, relevant knowledge on solving their problems, instead of any descriptive product benefits. You could even entice them with special offers.

An obvious request for action should be present

This is an important consideration especially as you’re asking for explicit consent to contact them. The layout of the communication, the prominence of the call to action button may make a difference in the response rates. As such we’d advise against making this button an image.

A clear opt-in statement

A clear and unambiguous opt-in sentence should be present on all forms including preference centre pages.

According to Litmus and Campaign Monitor (2016), a single opt-in process is the easiest way to support subscription management. Every additional step in the subscription process adds more friction and makes it more likely that potential subscribers will be lost along the way. Specifically, a single opt-in process typically scores a 20-30% higher subscription rate, making it the clear winner when it comes to growing your opt-in list quickly.

Do you think you’re GDPR ready? Take our interactive survey to find out.