Issue #148

Sent to members on May 31, 2018

Killing your business by accident

As you likely know (due to the onslaught of privacy policy updates last week), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in effect. It kicked in on May 25th.

I have not seen such a mad rush and freak out over a law among the online community in quite some time. And sadly, some people are making moves which are both self-defeating – and unnecessary.

I watched 2 big name friends of mine both do re-confirmation emails to their entire email list. Essentially it tells me (and everybody else) that if I don’t click their link and re-confirm, I’m dead to them.

That is NOT necessary. Well, at least in most cases, it isn’t necessary.

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Can you show your subscribers agreed to your emails? If you can, you’re good and you’re just killing your email list to do a whole new re-confirmation. Now, if you were opting people into things they didn’t expressly ask for, then yes – you need to re-confirm. If you (god forbid) purchased an email list, or took it from another source and imported it… then yes, you need to re-confirm.

Ask yourself…

  • Did my subscribers opt themselves in knowingly and willingly to your list?
  • Where they opted in, did you clearly tell them what you were going to send them?
  • Can they unsubscribe whenever they want?

If yes, that’s all you need. And good news is that… none of this is because of GDPR. Most of us have been doing all of this all along.

For proof of consent, all you need is a screenshot of the opt-in form to show you told them what they’re going to receive. And, you need to have the record of how they opted in. Most email services do this already. The date they subscribed, and what form they opted in with.

Now, if you’re in a position where you cannot prove how you acquired those emails, then yes… re-confirm.

Next up…

Those dreaded opt-in form checkboxes.

Yesterday in the Drip community on Facebook, a lady was freaking out  because over 90% of her new incoming leads were being deleted for not checking her consent checkbox on the opt-in form. She said her business depends on email marketing… and there she was losing 90% of her leads! She had an automation set up to auto-delete them if they didn’t check the box.

The sad part? It was completely unnecessary.

You do NOT need checkboxes on your opt-in forms! That is optional.

Again, all you need is express consent that they want what you TOLD them you would send them. The very act of them entering their email address is expressing consent. And, all you need to do is be clear at the opt-in form what they’re going to get. You do NOT need them to check off a separate box for it.

Best bet would  be a simple sentence under your opt-in form submit button which spells things out. A statement I am using on my landing pages is this…

When you subscribe, you’ll also get email updates from 
Blog Marketing Academy. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe any time.

And yes, that’s a link to my privacy policy.

Obviously, too, if you are doing double-confirmation (and many people do already), then that’s all the consent you need.

Putting unnecessary checkboxes on your opt-in forms will just kill your conversion rate.

Now, if you have anywhere on your site where they’re filling in a form where it isn’t obvious they’re going to be put on an email list, then definitely tell them.


I just wanted to put that out there. I don’t want to see anybody committing online business suicide and thinking they have to because of the GDPR.

There’s been so much misunderstanding about GDPR. A lot of herd mentality. A lot of blind leading the blind.

Truth is, if you’ve been operating an honest operation the whole time, there’s little you actually need to change to be GDPR compliant outside of a privacy policy update.

Oh, about that…

I know it’s over now, but all those privacy policy update emails were ridiculous. Boring. Almost every one of them made it feel like a chore.

Even to the point where I joked on Facebook about how to handle it.

Run an email search for the words “privacy policy” or “GDPR”… select all…. DELETE!

Works every time. 😉

But, seriously. Almost every one made the whole thing feel like a big-ass obligation. I know it’s over now, so this advice is in retrospect. But…

If you’re going to email your list, make it personal and interesting. Even if it is about something as boring as a privacy update.

When it comes to GDPR and your email subscribers, it isn’t about some boring law. It is about your relationship with your subscribers.

Send something valuable, man. Make it worth opening. Not just some email which says… “well, they’re making me update my privacy policy, so here it is.” It’s like… I’m sorry protecting my information is such an inconvenience for ya, dude.

Alright, my friends.

We’ll see if anything else happens regarding GDPR. For now, I think many were making a much bigger deal out of it than needed. Almost like the Y2K of the online business world. 😉

– David

Tech Talk

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