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By Joanna Mills


GDPR is Here: What Next for Marketers?

Your opt-in campaign has been sent, your preference centre has been refreshed and your brand new GDPR consent management workflows are now live. What now?

There’s no avoiding the issue. Your database just took a hammering. Your mailing list now has a lot fewer contacts than it used to. You may even be wondering whether you have enough contacts to run outbound email campaigns at all.

Here’s the good news

Your email engagement stats are about to go through the roof. You’ve just lost the section of your database who never opened or clicked anyway. The rest of them are still there, waiting for the next email.

So, take a look at who they are, who they work for and what they’re interested in. Then write your next email for the potential leads among them. Design it in a way which appeals to them, and reference them personally, as well as the issues they care about.

Of course, this is all Marketing 101. You’ve been doing this anyway right? However, in a world where every subscriber is special, relevance is more important than before. Personalisation is now key to a successful email campaign.


It’s important to use the right personalisation approach, targeted at the right audience. To do this, you need to be scientific.

Take your database — both subscribers and customers — and get your data wizards to discover why they are. If you don’t have a data wizard, I know a few.

Build a firmographic profile of your customer base and the successful opportunities you generate. Look at the trends, and the sectors or company types where you’re most successful. Then find more companies which fit the same profile. Run campaigns targeted at these companies.

Also, investigate your activity history and discover the job role and demographic profiles of the people at each customer who first engaged with your brand. Now use the targeting capabilities of your preferred ad platforms to target other individuals with the same profile. Use the AI and lookalike matching capabilities of your platforms to enhance this.


Then speak to these individuals and find out where they heard about your brand, why they engaged with you, and how they interacted. Now post content or place ads on the channels they mention.

Direct your ads back to a landing page. Don’t use your website as a destination, because you need to focus the experience towards serving the content the user wanted, and more like it. The goal is to facilitate content consumption and ultimately conversion. You‘re aiming for an email address and an opt-in. Your website is a barrier to this, as it will contain a lot of irrelevant links and product information that will distract from encouraging conversions.


In the past, you could just add every new form fill to an email nurture. This isn’t possible anymore as forms now need to ask for an opt-in before you can do this. You need to be realistic and acknowledge that the majority will not opt-in. Make sure to offer additional content pst form submission. This is the perfect opportunity for providing the prospect with more content matched to the content that they just consumed. Make any auto-responder emails as relevant as possible, as it may be the only email that you can send them!

Even better is to build out the entire journey online. Map out the entire nurture using landing pages, or a dedicated content platform such as PathFactory. The moment someone finishes consuming one content piece, the link to the next one should be available on-screen. Also, don’t forget to provide a discrete CTA to contact Sales, for when someone wants to take the next step.

There’s no doubt this is a lot harder than batch and blasting emails. GDPR forces marketers to reach out and have conversations with prospective customers on their terms. Yet, designing and building cross-channel customer journeys are exactly what many successful marketers are already doing with strong results. Remember, this is exactly what Marketing Automation was designed to do. So, stop worrying about your next campaign. It’s time to follow the advice of Marketo, with whom we are Gold partners, and become a fearless marketer.

Written by Alan Chatfield – Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, CRMT