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How Might The GDPR Become Email Marketing’s Best Friend?

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Implemented in May 2018, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a text which has flipped the marketing industry on its head by offering increased rights and protections to European consumers. Between the management of consent, new obligations in terms of responsibility, security measures, and managing data protection, the GDPR has often been presented as a big bang which will lead to a total overhaul of marketing practices. This applies especially to email marketing. It’s, therefore, time to adapt, given that the regulation is now in force. But it is still possible to use the GDPR to boost your email marketing. How? Allow us to explain.


The GDPR sets out new rules aiming to protect the privacy and data of consumers. Beyond the obvious restrictions, this change can potentially act as a driver for the business of conscientious advertisers. Guaranteeing that the data belonging to customers and prospective customers will be protected is now an important value which is currently the subject of much discussion in the media. While scandals, piracy and other abuses of personal data are making headlines, a responsible advertiser can stand out from the crowd by integrating the GDPR into its internal values. Protecting user data is also a means of protecting a brand and image.

This transparency should also feature throughout the whole of the data processing chain. Indeed, the GDPR is a reminder that those responsible for data processing and their subcontractors may be held responsible for all damages in order to guarantee effective compensation. Making sure that partners are trusted is a guarantee of transparency and a potential lever for communication.

By taking a rigorous approach, the GDPR doesn’t have to be seen as an additional burden for marketing professionals; instead, it can be viewed as an opportunity for them to distinguish themselves. An added value which can change everything if communicated correctly, particularly as a part of inbound marketing.


The implementation of the GDPR has led to a clean-up of marketing databases everywhere. This means that the individuals remaining are those genuinely interested in your offers and products. Unsubscribing has been simplified, and the double opt-in guarantees that there is interest and ensures that the web user provides explicit consent. Ultimately, the fact that neither a soft opt-in nor a soft opt-out are allowed, makes it easier to complete the collection of relevant data.

In terms of email marketing, while quantity is important, relevance and quality are even more so. This is why the loss of many users from internal files does not present a genuine threat. Indeed, the GDPR has a direct impact on KPIs. Data is actually actionable and key ratios are considerably more effective. The opening rate is higher, conversions are more frequent, engagement is increased and deliverability is enhanced. While web users are said to more mobile and prone to surfing than ever, the GDPR has contributed to a strengthening of strategic quality criteria. Good news for putting a strategy into action which focuses upon success and performance.


The segmentation of your data coming from email marketing campaigns allows you to personalise messages. Thanks to the GDPR, you can go into greater detail with the individuals who actually wish to do so, allowing you to send the right messages at the right time. You’ll no longer waste time creating useless campaigns and you can instead focus your energy where it really matters. This is an approach that fosters greater customer retention. Indeed, your time investment can now revolve around those individuals who are more likely to make a lasting commitment to your brand.

Finally, the GDPR also highlights the issue of security. It has made the notion of “privacy by design” compulsory, providing further security to data, communication flows and any internal processes affecting databases.

Better quality, better-protected data, and the development of values that really focus upon the security of personal information. These are just a few examples of the concrete impacts that the GPDR has had on email marketing. A change requiring integration from all service providers and specialised agencies, as well as online retailers and businesses handling data. A good opportunity to improve the effectiveness of internal practices in order to optimise operations.

If you have any questions about the General Data Protection Regulation and email marketing, contact our expert team at Kwanko.

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