Free giveaways are dead, yes I know it’s a “shock statement” to get your attention, but it’s actually true.


The way we used to market will no longer work from this week and the arrival of GDPR legislation.


We are not allowed to offer free gifts and then just bundle people onto our email list we have to get much smarter about how to invite people to sign up to join us.


And I for one think it’s a good thing.


Wanna know why?


Let me ask you two questions.


1: How many times have you opted into something that looked and sounded like the answer to your prayers only to be disappointed when it landed in your inbox?


2: How many times have you opted into something and you filed it away to read at length later and never ever went back to it?


In the mean time you were now on their email list and you get bombarded with their daily offers that promise to change your life.


Am I right?


This kind of marketing is what’s ruined it for the rest of us and I’m glad it’s at an end.


People are TIRED of being sold to constantly.


Of being made to jump through hoops to get to the information they need.


Of having to go through a transaction of giving their personal details away in order to get the answer to their questions.


Times have changed, and internet marketing has changed particularly over the last decade (hence the new legislation) people have changed.


Nowadays we are looking for transparency.


And it’s those marketers who are transparent who will win the day.


The buying process is much shorter nowadays too. We are used to buying online now, it has become the norm and so we don’t need to hang out with you for two years before we purchase from you.


Chances are we’ve been hanging out with you online for the past ten years anyway so we know you are real now and not about to vanish with our £19.99 investment.


We need to start changing the way we attract our online audience.


We need to change the way we sell to our clients.


And there are two key ways you can do that.


Nobody quite knows how it’s going to play out and I’m watching and researching best practice to keep you fully informed.


Going back to freebies just for a minute – you know in the past we offer a freebie, then sign up, they get the freebie and then we start emailing them regularly after that. That is no longer possible. They have to give consent now for you to email them regularly first. If you want to throw in a free download off the back of that well that’s where the area is a bit grey for me right now.


I want to see how others do it without looking desperate or looking like that kid at school who wanted to buy your friendship with sweets. We are always gonna take the sweets and then dump them.


I feel like the way we market moving forwards has completely shifted and is far more open and honest than in the past.


I believe those of us who get smart about how we attract people in the future are the ones who will do well.


I think people are tired of this old, long winded, jumping through hoops marketing. We are all millennials now even if we are not age appropriate we have the mindset and millennials want everything straight up, fast, from the heart, open and honest. Why wouldn’t you market in that way?


I’ve come up with 3 ways to sell post GDPR.


1: The Long Game: This is inviting people directly onto your blog list where they will stay with you forever hopefully.


You are inviting them to be an “Insider” – you can headline some of the topics you will be talking about in the future just like they do on Magazine covers to get you to read it.


You need to be upfront obviously about the fact you will be sharing your marketing with them.


Once on the inside you play the Inner Game, more on that in a mo.


2: The Short Game: This could be something like a 5 Day Challenge that they opt in for and at the end of it you ask them to buy your product. They either buy or they don’t. Then you invite them to join your regular blogs and give them a link. Some will sign up, some won’t. Then you would delete this list. 


You have no reason to keep it any longer and there are strict rules about how long you hang onto people’s data. Those who wanted to buy your product bought and those who wanted to go onto your blog list are on it. Everyone else you let go.


Personally I think this is great because in the past we would just have a load of people sitting on our list who were never going to buy from us they were just there for the freebie.


3: The Inner Game: These are people in your inner circle and you are talking to them regularly via your blog so you can let them know what you are doing and invite them to take part in all of your events and activities.


On Friday I will share with you what we’ve done here at Big Me Up and how we are marketing moving forwards.


As ever I have to point out I’m not a GDPR legal expert what I’m sharing here with you is my own research and my own thoughts.


I went LIVE in DLA on Monday giving them loads of ideas for opt ins and selling in the future and jumped on calls with a few people who were struggling with GDPR.


We have a great support network in there where we help each other and I’m a very hands on person. I’m happy to say that the template I shared last week with them and you guys have helped them keep their lists pretty healthy and they’ve had good numbers signing up with them.


Also the way I have taught email marketing for the past 6 years at Big Me Up is via nurturing sequences and so anyone that has trained with me got my Auto-Responder Template and used that which “thank the lord” had explicit consent in it where we were totally up front about what they would be getting from us.


That has meant that most of the people on our lists didn’t have to be re-engaged.


I’m going to share with us what we’ve done here at Big Me Up HQ to get compliant with GDPR so you have a bit of a checklist for yourself to make sure you’re all up to date.


Remember I’m not a blooming GDPR expert I’m just sharing our thoughts and views with you to help you navigate this change in the law.


But just before we get to what we’ve done I want us to stop for a minute and think about the changes going on.


I think it’s very interesting that for years and years we have all heard the message don’t build your business on social media because Facebook (or whoever) could take your page down in a second and you’ll lose all your audience.


I don’t think any of us ever imagined a scenario where our prized email lists were ever under threat.


I’ve heard horror stories about people losing 95% of their audience overnight and if their income is tied to their list that means they’ve lost 95% of their revenue.


I think there’s a few lessons here.


1: Always play by the rules when it comes to the legal stuff and dealing with people and data.


2: Life can always throw in a curve ball and often does, we need to learn to be resilient to deal with it.


3: Nothing can ever be taken for granted in business.


4: Our social media audience is more important than we first thought.


The last decade has brought with it many changes to the way we do business with a massive rise in Business to Consumer direct sales cutting out the traditional routes and often the middle man.


Just look at Uber and Airbnb. Those apps have completely transformed the way we travel and the way we go on holiday now.


But even they are coming under threat just lately with new legislation banned the taxi service in certain cities and banning holiday homes being rented out in certain cities too.


One thing you can be sure of – nothing is ever going to stay the same and change will come so always be prepared to pivot.


So, here’s a quick rundown of what we did here at Big Me Up to get GDPR Compliant.


1: We updated our Privacy Policy to make it very clear in plain English how we handle data.


2: We updated our terms and conditions.


3: We added a Cookie reminder to our website to let people know we track them with our Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics.


4: We went through all of our 37 lists to see that we had explicitly told them they would be on our blog list, thankfully our big lists all have a nurturing sequence which explains this in the first email.


5: Our smaller lists with no nurturing sequence that popped up for events or webinars etc were sent an invitation to opt in to our main blogging list. We went from 37 lists to 11 and only lost 100 people which I can live with.


6: Moving forwards we are changing the opt in on our website today to one that invites people directly onto our blog list.


7: We are coming up with new ideas for opt ins some of which I spoke about in Wednesday’s blog with the long game, short game and inner game. 


I’d love to hear about your experience and what you are planning, hit return and let me know.


I know our inboxes will be full today with people begging us to stay on their lists – it’s like a bad break-up isn’t it? “Please can we stay in touch.” “I can’t believe you’re leaving me.”


I am choosing one a day to stay with and dumping the rest. If I miss them I can always opt in again later.


But I’m looking forward to fewer emails in the future.


Don’t forget to like and share and please feel free to ask any questions, I’ll try to get back to you asap x

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