The Death of Email: Is it Time to Rethink Your Marketing Strategy?

Note: it’s a little more nuanced than this because the GDPR allows for other lawful reasons to use someone’s personal data.

Marketers have been predicting the death of email for some time now, but is it actually happening? According to HubSpot’s recent Content Trends survey, younger generations aren’t relying as much on email as a source of information. Learn more:

Do remember when receiving an email was exciting? When you waited patiently for those three little words: You’ve got mail!

Email was once so cool that it made Meg Ryan fall in love with Tom Hanks.

I know, I know you’ve been hearing about the death of email forever. It’s not dead quite yet, but wow, marketers, we’re really doing our best to kill it.

Consider this. When asked what types of content they would like to see from brands, 63% of consumers over the age of 45 said they want more emails, but only 31% of millennials feel the same way.

The truth is, younger generations just aren’t relying as much on email as a source of information — and neither are Europeans.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise know as the GDPR, will come into full effect in May 2018 making it more difficult for companies to use personal data like email addresses.

Still with me? Good … this is something every marketer needs to hear. Companies will now be required by law to be transparent about what data they’re holding and gain individual consent before using it, giving consumers the control.

You heard that right. Marketers will no longer be allowed to send emails without permission. And if they do? Companies could be fined up to 20 million euro or 4% of their total revenues.

And the majority of Europeans agree with this measure. When asked, 90% of EU consumers agreed with the GDPR principles and 60% said they would opt out of receiving emails from companies.

Surprised? Let me ask you a question. How many emails do you have now? And how many of those do you plan on reading? Most of them are probably headed to the trash bin.

So what does this mean for marketers? First, marketers need to learn not to default to email. Consider your message and audience, then decide what channel would best help you reach your goals. Second, marketers need to get better at sending email. With the help of machine learning, marketers will soon be able to send fewer emails that are more personalized, targeted, and relevant.

So before you press send, think about the person on the receiving end and maybe, just maybe, we can make customers fall in love with email again.

Disclaimer: The contents of this video is not legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand the GDPR. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy.

In a nutshell, you may not rely on this as legal advice, or as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.

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