GDPR seems to be scaring everyone witless. They seem to be so scared that the Information Commissioners Office is going to jump on them on May 25th with a huge fine.

Everyone is desperately sending out emails to get people to subscribe to their mailing lists so they won't get fined. PLEASE STOP.

There are only two reasons to send out the "please subscribe" emails:

  1. they shouldn't be on there in the first place

If your email marketing lists are made up of people who you have added without their consent and you're a B2C company, you need to take a careful look at your mailing list. If you're a B2B company, things are different but if you've been scraping the internet, you need to review your list.

Emails should definitely be sent and those who don't respond should be removed.

2. They aren't engaging 

These are people who are on your mailing list (for whatever reason) but are not opening or clicking on your emails. 

You want to understand whether these people still want to be on your list. If they do, great. If they don't they are no loss. Keeping on there because they might, someday, maybe want to buy from you is just plain silly. The chances of your email landing in their Inbox just as they are thinking about buying is tiny - up there with getting the right 6 numbers for the lottery.

If your list does not contain some of these two groups (it will, I promise), then there is absolutely no need to add another email to everyone's inboxes.

Potential Suicide

Why would you want to throw away a list that you've spent years building? You've spent time and money on developing a list of people who have opted in at some point in the past. When you send your email asking for them to opt-in again a number of things can happen:

  • they ignore it, along with all the other GDPR opt-in emails they get.
  • the email goes into one of the various spam folders we have these days and so gets routinely deleted.
  • they open the email, but cannot remember what was so special about your company and so don't click the buttton

The result of all of these combined is a 90+% drop in the size of your mailing list. I bet even some of your best customers won't click to re-subscribe!

The Result

If you stop talking to your customers, someone else will start soon enough. You are throwing away a huge amount of business - because you haven't read the ICO guidelines and some GDPR consultant has scared you with talk of huge fines.

Next Steps

  1. Read the article this blog is wrapped around.
  2. Read the GDPR guidelines the ICO has issued
  3. Check the PECR guidelines.
  4. Make your own decision about who you need to be emailing and who you can leave on your list.

Once you've done that, let's see if you are so eager to press that SEND button.