GDPR's Gift To Marketing -- Fewer Emails, More Engaged Lists

In all the fuss made around GDPR, there were a couple of issues that most could agree on. There was always the legal right to rely on legitimate interests as a legal basis for processing personal information, but those going for the consent option were adamant that lists needing pruning.

Cut out the people who are no longer interested in you, your products and services, and those remaining will be the self-selected target audience. By choosing to stay in contact with a brand, people have voted with their keyboards to keep the conversation going. 

That would certainly appear to be borne out by new research from retail email personalisation firm Nosto. Its figures suggest that the volume of marketing emails has halved since GDPR was introduced at the end of May this year. That has made inboxes a little less cluttered, and so it is easier to stand out, leading to a 30% rise in opens.

That makes sense, but perhaps more surprisingly, the figures are claiming that the value of email campaigns is two times higher than before, in terms of the sales volume they generate. 

Clearly Nosto has skin in the game here -- it is there daily sending out cart abandonment emails and other automated "we miss you" type messages. These, it says, stand out a lot more easily in less cluttered inboxes. So one has to accept that the figures are coming from an interested party.

However, this is the first major study I have seen focussing on retailers' use of email after GDPR, and it certainly rings true with my inbox. Sure, May saw a deluge of brands either asking us all to stay in touch or telling us where to check out their revised privacy policies. When you combine those brands seeking consent that didn't get it with those companies that flagged up a change to terms and conditions that lead to the unsubscribe button being hit, that's probably a lot less emails being sent out.

Certainly Nosto's suggestion that volumes have halved rings true. The point is, of course, that those who have given consent or have resisted hitting unsubscribe are now a far better, qualified audience -- and are far more likely to be engaged in future messages. 

A lot of marketers had been predicting this would be the outcome of GDPR. Far from dreaded EU interference in digital marketing, it would help slim down lists that had become so bloated that companies did not always maintain a clear view of who their best customers were. 

Next story loading loading..