GDPR has wounded a lot of small businesses.
Databases that have taken years to build up, rapidly washed away because of a new EU rule designed to combat the new-age digital havoc that is: a barrage of emails ending up in our inboxes. Unwanted, unloved, unnecessary.
This bombarding - for want of a better word - absolutely needed fixing, but GDPR has not been the correct medicine.
Whilst the small businesses of the world have mostly dutifully started from scratch (again) with their email databases, I still continue to receive daily emails from the heavyweights.
Mailers (done well) are the holy grail of marketing. Primarily because they are an audience within your control and unaffected by fickle - and often nonsensical algorithms. If you send out a mailer to 100 people, give or take of few dead mailboxes and junk mail accidents, you’ll target 100 people.
If you put out a post on Instagram to your 5,000 followers, due to algorithms and fickle priorities you may only reach 7% of your followers - (this is a statistic from January 2019 that Instagram responded to). That’s only 350 people, making your 5000 followers you’ve most likely put blood, sweat and tears into earning not really that effective from a marketing perspective at all.
Social media channels can also turn off and silence various age groups too.
Jillian Michaels, American TV personality reports losing sight of most of her followers on YouTube after many years of building them up. Her 30+ years coincided with YouTube’s decision to highlight content by the under 30’s, so there she was bluntly reminded that on social media your followers are never really yours - they’re always the possession of the social media platform.
Therefore it is not a surprise that big brands are capitalising on the power of email marketing and why GDPR was brought in with the intention of cleaning it up.
But whilst my small business newsletters have slowed down (sad face), emails coming in from big brands are coming in as thick and fast as ever. And from brands I usually love.
Whistles, Topshop, Massimo Dutti, Toast, Space NK. My wardrobe is full of them.
But someone, somewhere is forgetting that it is not sensible for brands to presume that I - loyal, purchasing customer - want to receive in my inbox ‘Up to 30% off’ and ‘20% off brand new styles’ emails every day.
That’s every morning and sometimes twice.
So I went to unsubscribe all. Yes the clothes were pretty and the discounts appealing, but no man or woman on this earth has the mental capacity or wallet size to consider purchasing your products every damn morning.
Marketers are forgetting the ‘Unsubscribe’ button - and as I encourage all consumers to do - I voted with my fingers.
And so all but one mailer got the chop. Special props to Massimo Dutti for making it especially difficult for me to unsubscribe. Guys I love your clothing, not to mention your epic experiential and editorial work via Paper but your newsletter frequency and lack of imagination is turning me into a non-customer.
The only survivor - Whistles.
Whilst scrolling down to the unsubscribe button, navigating flashing 20% off signs and ‘exclusive’ blue dresses, I spotted an article called ‘5 Paris Brunch spots to indulge in’.
I clicked, and was whisked away to fashion week, rose lattés and artisanal breads.
If you are going to market to me incessantly at the very least I deserve from you travel tips and insider recommendations. Perhaps not for me to visit right away but to fill my morning commute with more imagination than percentage signs and highlighted DISCOUNT CODES. So Whistles thank you.
I will continue to receive your marketing, and you know what I’ll most probably buy that exclusive blue dress.
In the words of fashion designer, Caro Gomez: “No selling. That’s so 2000. It’s about feeling empowered, with passion, compassion, style & humour.”
Is a world where words are in coming at us from every angle, choose ones that offer value - and avoid the unsubscribe once and for all.