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Email marketing was once the dominant force in the advertising landscape. However, with the rise of search and social media marketing in recent years and the introduction of GDPR meaning the use of personal data ishighly regulated, it is worth asking questions of email marketing.

In this piece online advertising experts Adzooma outline 5 reasons why email marketing is still an effective marketing technique in 2018 and why if you follow best practices GDPR should not reduce its effectiveness.

Email marketing has often had to play the older sibling and take a back seat to it’s younger trendier marketing techniques. However, email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing techniques available to you and should not be discounted when forming your strategy.

Firstly, it is worth trying to define GDPR and how it might work when it comes to email marketing. On its most basic level, GDPR has been brought into change the way businesses think about data protection and place greater protection on an individual’s personal data. Its principles work on the idea that you need consent to use someone’s personal data to market your product or service to them. This will, in turn, improve transparency, reduce spam, protect personal data and ensure the customer will only receive useful marketing from appropriate and relevant sources.

We would strongly recommend seeking professional legal advice to comply with GDPR. Depending on how bad the breach of data protection is, the fines can reach up to the greater of €20million or 4% of your annual worldwide turnover. Therefore, the risk of not complying is far too great and you should consider it a top priority to seek legal advice.

For email marketing there are a few best practices you can start to implement including:

  • Auditing your current databases
  • Be transparent and disclose your current data practices
  • Reviewing your current data practices
  • Remove all pre-ticked boxes of consent for future contact in the emails you sent out

Now, a couple of months in, we know what GDPR is and how it impacts your email marketing, we can look at the 5 reasons why email marketing is still an effective marketing technique for the rest of 2018.

  1. Easy to Set Up

Sign up to email autoresponder MailChimp or Aweber where you can send out multiple emails in batches over a set period of time. For example, you could send out a monthly newsletter or if you wanted to contact your customers more frequently, an email of daily offers. Once you have signed up to a platform and decided how frequently you want to contact potential customers you canstart creating the actual email. Tools like MailChimp will have multiple simple and effective templates for you to choose from.

Just like before GDPR, be sure to include the option to opt-out of subscriptions in your email. Lead generation is the element of email marketing that becomes the most complex. You’ll need a lead magnet to collect the emails of potential customers. This can be your business offering something that adds value to your industry or the consumer’s lives. A voucher, video or informative report are great examples of how to get subscribers to your email list. The email autoresponder takes care of the rest, so you don’t have to spend time clicking send on 100 different emails.

  1. Cost-effective

Depending on the autoresponder you choose prices for the service are still relatively cheap. Typically, it can start at around £20 a month for 500 subscribers. The larger your list the more you’ll pay but your sales should increase too. There is no limit on the number of emails you can send too so you can be as active and widespread as you like for your list or as targeted and specific as you think necessary to bring in more conversions. Because everyone on your list has opted in to receive your messages email marketing is known to have a higher conversion rate than other marketing techniques. Your cost-per-conversion data will be lower and therefore more cost-effective. Importantly, email is very mobile friendly, so you can target customers direct to their phone where the majority of people now check my emails.

  1. Repeatable sales

All traffic costs money from paid to organic, you invest your time and money to bring in new leads and potential customers. An advantage of email is that you can market to the same visitor more than once. You can retarget and resell your products to engaged consumers, at an incredibly low cost.

  1. Build relationships

People can be very loyal to brands and products they know, like and trust. If your product or service delivers consistently for them then they will become reliable and valuable customers to you. Email marketing is a very powerful tool for you to build this trust with them. Make sure every email you send is not purely to extract money from them. Offer interesting industry news, notable case studies, informative how-to videos these will help build a relationship that is worth more in the long-term. The bottom line is, the more trust they have for you, the more they are likely to purchase from you.

  1. Build lists

A large email list is very valuable, and building a targeted and effective list is 100% worth investing your time and money in. Not only does having the list mean you can raise awareness for your brand and with knowing you have the potential to reach 10,000 potential sales the list itself becomes a valuable commodity to your business. If you practice ethical marketing techniques, and comply with GDPR these changes need not decrease the effectiveness of email marketing.

Best Practices – Checklist

  • Use trusted email autoresponder (MailChimp, Aweber, Get Response, etc)
  • Be patient – results and building your list will take time
  • Invest in high-quality lead magnet
  • Don’t sell in every email you send
  • Respond to the feedback you get
  • Keep testing new techniques to improve effectiveness e.g. landing pages, contact forms, offers

Final Thoughts

Email marketing should still be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. If someone suggests that email marketing is not effective, 9 times out of 10 it is because they have approached it without the best practices. GDPR will change your email marketing strategy but if you research and understand what it is asking you to do, it should not decrease the effectiveness. You will still have targeted, high converting campaigns that are accessible on any device.

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