The introduction of GDPR caused panic among many marketers. No longer could they buy lists and market directly to people who hadn’t opted in.

The new regulations came down hard in favour of the consumer in a bid to eradicate the junk email phenomena that has grown to massive proportions over the years.

However, that doesn’t mean email marketing is dead. On the contrary, it’s still very much alive. However, now it’s even more important to ‘home grow’ your mailing list.

Growing your marketing list the right way

The only way to create a successful revenue-generating marketing list is to grow your own.

Under GDPR, you can only email people who have expressly opted into your communications. That doesn’t mean those who happen to have landed on your website; instead, it is those who have explicitly stated they want to hear from you.

How do you get started?

Here are few suggestions you can try:

  • Have a sign-up box on every page of your website so your visitors can’t miss it
  • Provide a free giveaway that’s of value to capture their email address
  • Include a sign-up link in your email signature—after all, if you’re like me you’ll send out masses of emails every day so why not use them as another opportunity to gather sign-ups
  • Promote your newsletter on your print materials too. Once they’ve signed up for your newsletter you have their details to send other offers to as well
  • If you use direct mail, send an offer that will drive them to a landing page that requires an email address to access the deal
  • Promote your giveaways through social media to widen your audience
  • If you work regularly with other companies, see if they would be willing to promote your newsletter within theirs

Of course, it’s vital you ensure there’s a clear opt-out link in your emails too so recipients can decide whether they want to continue receiving your emails or not.

Remember no means no

I have noticed that, despite GDPR, companies aren’t always following the rules.

On a number of occasions, I have opted out of a company’s emails (because they are no longer relevant) only for them to restart sending me them after a few months.

Also, there have been instances where I’ve visited a website, not bought anything, and yet they start sending me their newsletters.

If, like these companies, you feel your the exception to the GDPR rules, you’re wrong. Granted, the chances of you being prosecuted under the new rules are slight, however that’s not what you should be worried about. Flouting the rules will have a detrimental impact on your brand. If you’re seen as a company that doesn’t respect regulations, you could be seen as a company that can’t be trusted.

If you play fair by the rules, consumers are more likely to trust and buy from you.

Don’t think of GDPR as being yet another bit of red tape that’s there to make your life harder. Instead, think of it as a way to enhace your repuation in the marketplace.