General Data Protection Rules (GDPR) come into effect on May 25th 2018.

Under the new rules individuals that are currently on your databases will need to opt in by this date in order to continue to receive your marketing communications, and you’ll need to be able to prove that they have opted in too!

So what if most of the contacts on your database don’t opt-in by May 25th? All that data that has been gathered over the years events, meetings, websites and external databases, will all need to be deleted!

So what are you going to do about it?

Be positive! The new rules present the perfect opportunity to cleanse your data and put real impetus into producing quality marketing communications that people want to receive.

If you don’t have a marketing plan or content strategy then now is the time to act to ensure that your communications are delivering real value so that when presented with the question ‘Do you wish to continue receiving our marketing communications?’ the answer is YES!

Here are our tips to help you to plan an ‘opt-in’ strategy that will encourage contacts to stay connected with you.


Your brand is what people buy into therefore it’s essential that you incorporate your brand values into the messaging at all times. Your brand guidelines are there to ensure that you stay in line in terms of who you are, what you stand for and your values.


Given the volume of emails that land in people’s inboxes every day, why should someone tick the ‘YES’ box to carry on receiving yours?

Sending out product or service information every month simply won’t cut it. If you truly understand your target audience (and your contact information is accurate), you should be delivering solution led communications that help them with their day to day needs or their problems – things that they find useful and enjoy receiving.

Rather than sending out a newsletter with a selection of mixed headlines for a wide audience, segment your data into categories and send out messages that are specific to that particular group of people.


Sending out information that YOU think they are interested in will undoubtedly end in failure. There are two ways to find out what your audience is interested in; ask them or ask their customers.

Customer surveys or market research can not only give you an accurate insight into their needs, aspirations or issues, they will also give you the tools with which to deliver valuable, relevant content in the future.

Customer or market research can also tell you where your audience looks for information i.e. What do they read and where? What channels do they prefer? What magazines or websites do they subscribe to?

Create a tactical content strategy

GDPR rules will apply from 25th May, therefore your content strategy needs to be in place very soon. This will need some real thought in order to be truly effective.

Your content strategy should cover at least 6 months and should be designed in a way that builds engagement, interest and trust over time and therefore the recipient will not want to ‘miss out’ on things to come i.e. they will want to opt in to continue receiving the next part.

Here are a few examples of content that is designed to keep contacts opted in:

E-Books – you can deliver one chapter at a time, building into a complete e-book over a year. These need to be very targeted and will require good creative, copywriting and research. With the right subject matter they are very good at keeping audiences interested. Promote the next chapter and the highlights with each issue.

Market research insights – deliver a monthly update on market research or insights that you have undertaken or sourced. Examples might be pricing information, trends, market threats or opportunities.

Loyalty or seasonal rewards – send out a monthly discount code that can build up in terms of discount over a period of time i.e. each monthly code is worth £10.00 (ideal for ecommerce).

Special events – Announce a series of seminars or conferences that will take place later in the year with key topics and speakers (to be announced nearer the time).

Forums or user groups – create a new online forum or special interest group where peers can share information through a secure login or special events – register for free.

Promotional teasers – Announce that new technology is to be trialled and they will be looking for volunteers later in the year. Sign up now to take part.

Discounts for club members – Create a special discount on products or services by registering online for free.

Case studies – send a relevant case study out each month via a link to a landing page that shows how a customers has benefited using key facts, images, video etc. Ensure that there is a strong headline teaser about the next case study next month.

These are just a few examples of tactics that can be used to encourage contacts to stay connected with you. As with all communications, keep the messages very targeted, useful, relevant and creative to maintain engagement.

If you would like help with any aspect of your marketing communications strategy, please don’t delay getting in touch.