How GDPR Opt-In Campaigns Could Reduce Email Volume by up to 50%

The big day is almost upon us… Tomorrow, after months of planning and preparation, the EU General Data Protection Regulation will finally be enforced upon businesses across the world. We’re sure that most, if not all of you, have been overwhelmed with masses of email opt in campaigns from businesses willing you to stay subscribed to their newsletters and keep receiving updates (guilty 🙊.)

To find out how effective these opt in campaigns really are, and, in particular, what their impact would be on the average person who has signed up to multiple email newsletters over the years, we decided to carry out some research of our own…

Our research

To get started, we reviewed over 6000 emails spread across both personal email accounts, and our sample research account. As emails go, we definitely came across some creative, impressive attempts, and then there were those which were just downright dull…

Now, bearing in mind the sheer volume of generic GDPR emails being sent out (“We’ve updated our data and privacy policy” etc…), it’s fair to assume that a large amount will be going either unnoticed, or will just not be read. Email marketers know the struggle of creating engaging emails which subscribers WANT to open.

From this assumption, we began to get to work on our research. If the average person receives X email newsletters per month from different businesses, how many email newsletters will they receive after GDPR laws are put in place, assuming they have not opted in to any email lists?

How we did it

The first challenge was to figure out how many of the GDPR emails we received were actually opt in campaigns, and how many of these came from unique senders – i.e. how many of the businesses which send us emails require us to re-opt in to their email list? Here were our results:
For one account, we received 15 opt in emails from unique senders.
For another research account, we received 63 opt in emails from unique senders.

After this, we then had to find out how many emails we receive each month from unique senders to help us find an average:
In one email account in May, we received emails from 77 unique senders.
In the same time period, the second sample account received emails from 667 unique senders.

The results

With these figures, we were able to predict the percentage average of how much our incoming emails could reduce for each account assuming we don’t opt back in.

For account one, we calculated a potential reduction of over 20%.

For account two, we calculated a potential reduction of around 10%.

Using averages, this means you can expect a potential total reduction of at least 15%.

BUT, there’s one very important thing we’re forgetting… On average, most businesses tend to send out multiple emails in the space of a month. From analysing our research accounts and our own personal experiences, we found that the average business may send out between 4-6 email newsletters each month. If you don’t resubscribe to their lists, you could actually be seeing a potential reduction of up to 50% in your monthly email influx.

If you regularly receive multiple emails from the same sources and don’t opt back in to their lists, your email volume could potentially reduce by 50%!

So, what’s the verdict?

All in all, as annoying and tedious as they might seem, these opt in campaigns are actually set to do great things to your email inbox. We’ve now regained some of the control over the content we receive, and, on top of that, the amount of emails we receive is potentially set to reduce by up to 50%… WOW.

So on this GDPR-Eve, we urge you all to stick it out, because from tomorrow, your email inbox will be looking A LOT better.

And what about email marketers?

Businesses will of course see this differently. Many of you will be set to lose a significant amount of your email subscribers, and, if email marketing is a big revenue generator for you, this could be very tough. Here are some damage control tips:

  • Make sure all new customers have opted in to receive your emails
  • Promote your email newsletter wherever you can to gain new subscribers. Promote at the checkout of your online store, on your website, on social media, or wherever else you can generate attention.
  • Keep calm and carry on. Those who did opt back in are without a doubt still interested in your content. This is a GOOD thing for you, as you’ve filtered out inactive subscribers and should see much higher click rates.

Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 team

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