According to CNBC, American consumers are receiving emails from companies saying that their privacy policies are changing. However, most Americans are sending these emails to the trash – and it’s costing businesses money.
This is especially the case for businesses that rely on email newsletters to gain and retain customers, CNBC says. One marketing firm reported that approximately 82 percent of companies utilize email marketing.
Michael Horn, the director of data science for the marketing agency Huge, told CNBC that customers aren’t always opting back in when they receive emails from businesses. As a result, these companies are losing a sales channel, he says. Additionally, Huge told CNBC that “23 percent have actually used them [emails] as an opportunity to unsubscribe.”
Another firm, PostUp, estimates that “only 25 to 30 percent of recipients globally, and only 15 to 20 percent in the U.S., are opening the emails at all.”
What decision makers need to know:
First, decision makers should keep in mind that this trend in customers ignoring emails has increased since GDPR, which launched in the European Union this past May. “Under these regulations, companies are relatively free to send emails to customers who have purchased something from them,” CNBC says. Companies can also send emails to non-customers – they just have to ask for permission first. If permission isn’t asked, the company gets in big trouble: “If an EU citizen does not opt in to keep getting emails, the company may never contact the person again — or the EU can sue the company for up to four percent of its annual revenue.”
Second, decision makers should remember that GDPR protects anyone who is from the European Union – even if they live abroad. As a result, it might be a good idea for decision makers to know their customers well; CNBC says that many companies don’t always know whether a customer is from the European Union or not. Because of this, some companies choose to maintain two separate rules and lists for customers living in the European Union, and those who live elsewhere. That way, they can keep straight who is protected under GDPR and who isn’t, and conduct email marketing accordingly.