With three quarters of 2020 behind us, it is important to reflect on unprecedented economic circumstances and shifts in consumer behavior to plan for what’s to come. In the world of email marketing; trends, compliance, and technologies are ever-changing and often hard to keep up with. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the top marketing and compliance trends for 2021 and defined what they mean for email campaigns.
A Brief History of Privacy Protections
According to a recent study conducted by Oracle’s Head of Strategic Research, the groundswell of stronger privacy regulations is undeniable as consumers and businesses alike continue to navigate the effects that technology, including email marketing and third-party data collection, could have. Before 2020, the most recent privacy regulation to go into effect was the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
This key shift in May of 2018 outlined how marketers are obligated to collect, manage, and protect consumer data. From there, brands began to institute and become much more aware of opt-in campaigns and transparent data collection processes.
This year, Nevada passed a privacy-reforming act called the SB 220, and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) went into effect on January 1, 2020, and was fully implemented on July 1st. While many national companies were unprepared for such a strong shift in regulations, California serves as the example-state in adopting these measures.
Because GDPR’s requirements were mostly based on constituents in the EU, these US based-acts were aimed at bringing some of those regulations to North America. Regulations include informed consent on data collection, similar to opt-in campaigns and terms/conditions that follow fillable forms, as well as the ability for consumers to opt-out of their personal data being sold.
What to Prepare For:
Now that two states have passed privacy laws, the pressure to create a single standard that would prevent some of the confusion that could result in state-by-state decisions. When larger states like New York and Texas begin to organize their own sets of regulations, many experts predict that the federal government will most likely begin creating a united law of their own. Through the end of this year and well into 2021, data protection will inevitably rise in the US to catch up with its European stakeholders.
Marketing Compliance & Inactivity Management
As companies adapt to the recent compliance changes in 2021, it’s important for their marketing to campaigns follow. While many email marketing subscribers may still be “opted-in” to receive certain emails, it is now just as pertinent that they actually engage with those emails. Things like low open and click-through rates will result in serious deliverability problems.
“Sophisticated mailbox providers—hello, Gmail—will increasingly prioritize inbox placement based on engagement,” says Brian V. Sullivan, Strategic Director of Email Deliverability Services at Oracle CX Marketing.
What to Prepare For:
For those aware of this new shift in engagement but need a bit more information on how to prevent certain deliverability issues, it’s important to begin to strategize about re-engagement and re-permission campaigns to help audit through who out of their audience is engaged and who isn’t. Thinking of opted-in subscribers the same way you approach renewing customers may provide an easier ROI than recreating the wheel and locating brand new audience members.
Like the importance email can play to business, no industry, vertical, or department can operate without using data. It is of the utmost importance to understand how to remain compliant with data and privacy changes and how exactly certain adaptations and loopholes will ultimately affect the future of email marketing.