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I’ve posted a couple of times now about GDPR, and the last one, of course, was to make sure you were happy subscribing still. This post is a little different and deals with why you shouldn’t worry about GDPR losing you customers or supporters, and probably  is only for those connected with the larger Christian charities which use a 3rd party mail service provider. So if that’s not you, don’t bother reading further. Or do read and pass on to someone fretting in a charity you know.

PROBLEM: your charity has a large mailing list built up over many years, and you use a 3rd party provider (eg MailChimp) to look after list distribution. But with GDPR if people do not click your ‘are you happy with getting our mail/keeping you on the list’ link, then you will end up losing that list. It will be culled/pruned/insert your own figure of speech for significantly reducing your potential mail client base.

I have even seen some people saying that people will lose jobs over this.

Two view perspective on GDPR

  1. Actually, as I keep saying, most people knew what they were signing up for and you did it in the right way. From what I can see, you only get a problem when you get automatically subscribed when you bought something and didn’t get an opt-in option, and instead got a ‘click here to opt out’.  Which is presumed permission stuff.  So if you said ‘click here to stay in touch’ and then told people how and why you were staying in touch, I think (though no expert) all is good.  So with the GDPR permission thing its more courtesy than anything to ask if you can keep going with the same thing, pointing out that you did it right in the first place but reminding people it’s easy to opt out. And of course, there is the other thing that you will have needed to update your privacy policy to be crystal clear what you are now doing with data and how it is stored. So you can link to that.
  2. OK, so you still need to ask people for permission again.  These are the ones who assumed opt-in after a purchase. Who Asked to stay in touch but didn’t say why. Ok, well the world changed. But what if people don’t open your email and realise they have to opt back in? What if people open the email but now don’t want to opt in?

The none openers and the no we don’t want to stay in touch people…

This is the biggest fear I think is going on. But stop worrying. You don’t want those people. Seriously. You don’t want people on your email list who are not opening your email. In fact, top marketing people actually say that you should routinely go through your lists and remove anyone not opening the emails. Why?

It’s costing you money.

Now if you are below the free to use limit of your mail service provider, actually this doesn’t matter too much. But if you are above and paying for your mail service provider, then you REALLY don’t want to be paying for the people who aren’t opening, now do you? And yet there are thousands of emails that go straight to the junk pile, never being opened, and you are still paying the provider.

Yeah, that.

So what will happen? In the case of the people who don’t open your email in the first place, well they probably haven’t been doing that for some time.  So drop them.

In the case of the person who opens but doesn’t want to stay in touch…. the same thing. You don’t need them.

The people who you do want are those who are passionate about your cause, about your brand. Because they will also be the best street team you have. And by the others not opening you won’t have to send them anything that they aren’t opening, so you won’t be paying for it anymore.

That means you will save money…money that you can use to actually employ MORE staff to create awesome content or reach out or whatever.

So don’t look at GDPR as bad news…instead it’s an opportunity to sharpen your business and charity focus, and realize that cutting dead wood is never a bad thing.