It seems that a few of those GDPR rumbles we’d been fearing for a while turned into an actual earthquake in the days before the 25 May. Every time we looked at our email inboxes there was yet another ‘you need to resubscribe’ message waiting for us. I don’t know about you, but I deleted most of them without a second thought.

And that’s why so many business owners I’ve spoken to haven’t taken the time to re-opt in their list, or have simply decided not to bother with email marketing anymore.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get your mailing list GDPR compliant and continue to run successful email campaigns, it just takes a little bit of time and effort. It’s not too late either. If you’ve been holding back and don’t know where to begin, this blog is for you.

Start with the subscribers who aren’t engaging with your emails

There are two core reasons why subscribers might not be opening and reading your emails anymore – they don’t see what’s in it for them, or they’ve forgotten who you are and what you do.

Getting in touch with these subscribers to see if they want to remain on your list is a great idea because it’ll either cause them to unsubscribe (which means they weren’t your target audience anyway), or they’ll remember how awesome you are and pay more attention.

Use segmentation to filter out the subscribers who haven’t opened your last three emails/newsletters and target that group for re-opt in first.

Be friendly and explain why they should be re-opting into your newsletter

A lot of businesses have used incentives to encourage people to remain on their mailing list, which might seem like a good idea if it creates a good retention rate. There are pitfalls to this. You need to spend time and potentially money on the incentive, and if people need to be incentivised to stay, are they really the right target audience for you and your business?

It’s better to show that you are a responsible business owner and don’t want to spam email inboxes with emails and newsletters that aren’t wanted. Remind people who you are and what you do and let people make the decision for themselves if that’s going to be useful to them or not.

Make the process to opt-in as easy as possible

Opting in and re-opting is all about ensuring that the individuals on your mailing list have consented to their personal data being used under GDPR. Double opt-in and clear and specific information on how the information would be used is essential for a compliant mailing list, and most of us didn’t have that in place when we started our email marketing.

MailChimp has made this incredibly easy for existing subscribers by allowing them to update their profile with a tick box to confirm their understanding and consent. Directing your subscribers to this section is the fastest and easiest way to make your list compliant.

Use the new GDPR tools MailChimp have created

MailChimp have created a template specifically for re-opting in your mailing list so make sure you use it rather than spending time and effort creating something new.

The “right to be forgotten” means you must erase all personal data on an individual when they request for you to do so, and MailChimp has this function in their contact management along with a record that consent was obtained.

The data management and security tools also mean that keeping your mailing list compliant is quick and easy to do. You should turn on 2-factor authentication to keep your mailing list as secure as possible

Don’t worry if your re-opt in doesn’t work and you lose subscribers

You’ll actually find that this turns out to be a good thing as your open rates will improve. Why? Because you’ll now have a focused list of subscribers who genuinely want to be there and are interested in what you have to say.

Addressing the right target audience is critical to email marketing success.

Don’t make your re-opt in a ‘one off’

It shouldn’t just be a thing that you do for GDPR.

Renewing consent and re-engaging your audience on a regular basis is a great way to keep your community of subscribers interested. Our businesses change over time and so our target audience will too. What hit the right note with your subscribers last year might be the last thing they want to read today.

Ask your subscribers what they want to see from you, check your stats to see which emails and newsletters have performed the best for you recently, and compile all the information you have into an email marketing strategy that’s right for you and for your target audience.

Using frequent re-opt in to keep your subscribers informed about any changes you’re intending to make will give them the option to leave if they wish to, and ensure your target audience is right for you.

And there we have it, 6 actionable tips that you can put in place today to ensure that your mailing list is compliant and working well for your business. If you need any advice on email marketing, re-opt in and general GDPR support, don’t hesitate to get in touch.