I was talking to one of my lovely students this week about email marketing and she said “Claire, I’m scared of emailing after that whole GDPR thing. I don’t know what I’m allowed to say, who I’m allowed to email, I’ve just avoided it altogether” and it made me think of you.
I realised you’re probably sitting there wondering the same thing and maybe even avoiding emailing your subscribers in case you get something wrong and end up in trouble, which is a real shame.
The truth is your subscribers and customers WANT to hear from you. They LOVE hearing from you. Your emails help them and if you stop, well, one of your competitors might get in that space. Which is even more of a shame.
When it comes to email marketing, as long as your subscribers signed up willingly to your newsletter (in other words opted-in) and as long as you are using an email tool like Mailchimp, which stores customer data away from your computer and handles all unsubscribe requests automatically, you are good to go.
If you tried to get people to stay on your list throughout the GDPR shenanigans, and failed, don’t let this put you off.
Even after GDPR you are definitely allowed to email customers AND anyone who had opted in before May, as long as you are still sending them what they signed up for. Even if they didn’t re-opt in (because honestly, in those two cases they didn’t need to).
Start building your newsletter list again, it’s definitely worth it.
Why You Need To Use E-newsletters In Your Business
Picture the scene. Jane finds your website on Google and absolutely LOVES it (well, why wouldn’t she, you sell awesome stuff!!) but she is not quite ready to buy right now.
She knows she needs and LOVES what you sell but she won’t need it for a few months, so she will bookmark your site and come back and find you soon.
At least, that’s the plan.
What actually happens is her 10 year old daughter can’t find her gymnastics leotard and she needs to leave in 10 minutes, she realises she needs to pop to the shop, then it’s tea-time, and before she knows it, 4 hours have passed and she can barely remember what day it is, let alone what she was looking at on the computer earlier.
She forgot to bookmark it and in the meantime, her 7 year old son took his chance to play Minecraft on the computer and closed all the open browsers, so she doesn’t even have that to remind her.
Sounds a lot like my life!
A few weeks go by and Jane wakes up at 7am with a start – the occasion she needed your stuff for is tomorrow and she forgot to order it. She can’t remember what your company name was.
She can vaguely remember your website but she can’t even think of the exact name of the thing she was going to buy.
She decided to Google it, finds some other random site and even though she really wanted your stuff, she goes with your competitor because she’s short on time.
Whether you sell products or services this is happening to your business all the time. People are finding you online, loving what you sell then getting distracted by life so they forget how to find you again.
Imagine now, if you had a big message on your home page that said ‘Let me send you goodies! Sign up to my newsletter and every month I’ll remind you of all the lovely things I sell AND send you lovely offers to make you happy”
Now, that might not capture EVERYONE who intends to find you again but it will capture SOME. It will capture more subscribers than having NO sign-up box, that’s certain.
Now imagine the same thing happening on your Facebook page or Instagram or Pinterest account. People find it, love it, intend to come back and then forget and go elsewhere. It happens EVERY DAY.
Visitors have wonderful intentions of being able to find you again easily but I am living proof (as are you, I suspect) that it just doesn’t happen.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve intended to go back and find something just to discover my 48 year old brain is too full of mental spaghetti to even begin to remember what your site was called.
How E-Newsletters Can Help
If you could capture even a third of the people who find you online, love what you do and intend to come back, your email subscriber list will grow steadily day by day and will be full of people who want to be kept in the loop.
They have opted in to say ‘yes, I want to hear from you’.
That’s called ‘marketing to the converted’ where I come from.
You can start to build a relationship with them, month by month.
Depending on what you sell, you might share tips and advice or ways to get the most out of your products and services.
You might share new products or showcase existing products, because I guarantee not all your subscribers will know about everything you sell.
You might share deals and offers you know your customers will love.
Alternatively you might share blogs and articles, as I do, because my business is teaching women about business.
Other ideas you could try are product reviews, trade-secret tips, introductions to staff members, customer spotlights, whatever you think your customers will enjoy learning or reading about.
If you keep doing this, month by month your subscribers will come to expect it. They will take you up on your offers, if you get your offers right. They will start replying to your newsletters with feedback. They will go over to your website when you do showcases, and they will buy.
And, perhaps most importantly, when they need to buy the sort of thing you sell, they won’t bother Googling because your business will be top of mind. They will think of you. THAT’S great marketing.
So, don’t let GDPR scare you.
Your subscribers have chosen to hear from you. They are happy to get your emails. Give them what they have asked for and don’t let them down!
Were YOU scared off emails? Tell me what happened!