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GDPR – do you need to confirm email subscribers?

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Do you need to confirm your email subscribers?  If you got them on via double opt-in you won’t have to reconfirm since you have an audit trail (the double opt-in) that they asked to be on the list.

Double opt-in

If you have not historically used double opt-in then you have two options: –

  • clean the list and invite them to opt-in (this time with a double opt-in providing an audit trail OR
  • rely on their lack of ‘unsubscribe’ in the hope this proves consent

If that failure to unsubscribe is combined with not reading or viewing your emails then that may be a bit flaky – and in any event who wants subscribers who don’t read or open.

Particularly if you pay by number of subscribers this is dead money for you.

Do not send a long boring email headed GDPR compliance and a negative message of we are only doing this because we have to.

Consent is easier to prove with a double opt-in

I am not keen on relying on assertion of ‘necessity’ or ‘implied consent by failure to unsubscribe since in my personal opinion these are always open to interpretation and argument.

Legal arguments are profitable for lawyers – rarely for the client

If we go with the intent of the EU Directive it is all about informed consent at the point of sign-up/data collection. If I can’t show that, I am going off to get it.

Confirming email subscribers has an upside

My own strategy has been so far to segment my lists (which is long overdue) and invite our earliest subscribers to opt into more targeted lists than the ones they signed up to in the first place.

This has the benefit of turning my lemons into lemonade by increasing the focus of my lists as they only subscribe to the appropriate element.

So far this alone has created a 10% increase in turnover.

When we started our lists (in the 1980’s) this was not possible. About 10% of our subscribers are from then.

Do not put 40 customer emails in the address field so we can all see them and do not make it necessary to send round an embarrassed apology 15 minutes later saying we should not have disclosed your email address.

CRMs and personal email address books

I am more concerned by the people on my outlook email address book (no audit trail there) and CRM (no audit trail there).

I will be figuring out a light touch, friendly ways to get rid of ‘dead’ data whilst gently reactivating contact (along with opt-ins) with people who love us but don’t have regular contact.

Some of them are big referrers of business to us (every five years or so), so a tactful touch base-campaign is the order of the day.

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Drop us a comment

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Glad you wrote this, Annabel. I wondered what to do about my email lists. Some were ‘inherited’ but most opted in.
    Time to email again and see who wants to stay….

    Shan

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