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Myth 7: It's possible to send anything once you have an email

Category: Email Marketing

Imagen Myth 7

There is only one setting in which this myth becomes reality: when you violate the GDPR. Since its existence, nothing should be sent except what the user has given consent for. It is illegal to send any type of message without first validating that you respect the rights of each person in your database. This malpractice can be prevented by collecting email addresses in compliance with the legislation. Then, yes, it will be possible to send anything because permission will have been granted.


What is consent in email marketing

Users share their email addresses with companies for various reasons, each associated with consent. Let's use the simplest example: from the contact form, when someone asks a question about a product or requests a quote, we have to include a checkbox informing them of how we will use their data, in this case, solely to manage the response.

Before the GDPR, companies would automatically, and without the user's awareness, add them to their newsletters and automated marketing flows to try to convert them into customers. Now, this practice is illegal: commercial information cannot be sent without consent. Therefore, we should include another checkbox to request it, and it should neither be mandatory nor pre-checked because consent must be explicit, meaning the user has to give it actively.

The purpose is key to distinguishing what can or cannot be sent. If it is different from what was stated in the form, it must be requested. Consent must be informed, which is why it is explained in a sentence who will use that information and for what purpose, so they can decide whether to consent to providing the data or not. Of course, they have the right to change their mind, and the option to revoke consent, unsubscribe, as well as make easy and free modifications, should be provided.

The GDPR also affects other user data, such as their phone number or postal address, and it is the data controller's responsibility to ensure that permission is obtained to use those channels, for example, during the registration process on an online store.


How to legally obtain email addresses

The relationship we have with the user or, in other words, the stage they are in within the conversion funnel, guides us on how to obtain their emails and communicate with them. It is not the same when they are not yet customers and we want their data for advertising shipments, as when they already are, and we use it to inform them about their account status.

Focusing on obtaining consent for marketing promotions, the most common forms are:

  • Invite to subscribe to the newsletter: it must be explained that information about the company will be sent and the possibility of adding commercial actions in another checkbox should be given, although many companies combine both options in the description of the purpose and thus combine two different types of shipments in the same form.
  • Create landing pages: registration forms can be spread throughout the website, also on pages created to capture leads, for example, from a specific profile related to a very specific product. Landing pages have the advantage of being focused on conversion, so they can also be good places to include a notice of commercial messages in the form.
  • Offer a discount on the first purchase: it is usually displayed as a pop-up or prominently on the website to quickly capture attention. They can also be included only on specific products that, for example, are on promotion to clear stock. The simplest format is a code or coupon to apply during the checkout process.
  • Give something of value in exchange for the email: lead magnets take many forms, such as an e-book, a template, a demo video, a webinar, the recording of a talk, an online course... They are always digital formats obtained immediately after filling out the form. They must be related to what is intended to be sent so that they do not unsubscribe once they have obtained what they wanted.
  • Organize a contest or a giveaway: the objectives of such an action can be to obtain the email addresses of followers on social networks or to obtain user-generated content. In both cases, the privacy policy must be very clear because external platforms are often used.

The simplest consent is obtained by checking a box in the form, although it is also possible to do it in a contract or on a paper list at an event, even by phone if the question is formulated unequivocally and is recorded. And, although it is possible to rent a list for permission marketing, they should never be bought.


What to send when you have consent

The first thing to send is what the person has given you their email address for, such as the lead magnet or the discount. Once the promise is fulfilled, there are various types of shipments:

  • Promotional campaigns: this is what we wanted to consent for, but efforts should be well-directed to those who are more likely to convert.
  • Newsletter or informational bulletin with company or industry news. It can also include a section on the agenda or products on promotion, depending on the needs of the moment.
  • Transactional: these are messages related to the purchase, from the notice of registration on the website to the confirmation of receipt of the package or the satisfaction survey. They are not strictly commercial, but an additional block can be added to recommend related products and thus encourage cross-selling.
  • Relational and loyalty-related content: from birthday greetings to reminders of service renewal, these are messages that can be within the sphere of the contractual relationship but can also be used for up-selling.
  • Events: there are many types of possible messages, such as the launch announcement, last-minute reminders, ticket purchase management, or sending post-event information.

The mistake is in sending everything without the consent of the recipients, but afterward, it is perfectly legal to carry out all kinds of campaigns.

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