Email Blizzards in Our Winter of Privacy Discontent

One hundred and fifty-seven days ago the world changed, and it has almost gone unnoticed.

Email is no longer free. SMS is no longer free. 

Let me explain.

Privacy issues are front and center in all major economies. Talk of regulation is in the air everywhere, not just in the European Union where the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. After repeated high-profile consumer data breaches from top-tier companies, people on every continent are fed up with so many apparent abuses of their privacy, and something has to give. But what does privacy really mean?

We can opt out and get lost in search engines. That is the easy path to take. LEAVE ME ALONE.

But what happens if you do want to have a conversation with a vendor? It cannot all be one-way — you to the vendor — otherwise it is not a conversation, it is a rant.

But for those customers who want to continue commercial conversations with their preferred providers, how should companies engage effectively while also respecting the spirit of laws like GDPR?

One obvious option for companies is to cut back on unsolicited emails, SMS messages, contact-center outbound calls, etc. But how many unsolicited customer touchpoints are acceptable in a year — 100? Hell no, how about 10?

That is exactly what one of our customers has decided to do. No more rampant outbound emails to customers.

When it comes to contacting customers in this new era of "privacy primacy," companies simply cannot afford to miss the bulls-eye since their supply of marketing ‘darts’ will no longer be unlimited.

The End of Endless Emails?

Imagine a world where you get ten chances a year per customer to offer a deal and hit your revenue targets. In this scenario unsolicited email and text do have a cost – well, not really a cost, but an opportunity revenue problem. If you waste an attempt to convert a customer, you lose a shot at revenue – you lose the “opportunity.”


That means every slot is important and “valuable.”  In this new era of privacy primacy, when it comes to contacting customers, B2C companies cannot afford to miss the bullseye since their supply of marketing ‘darts’ will no longer be unlimited. At Cerebri AI we were shocked when a customer of ours, a billion-dollar subsidiary of a Fortune 100 company, informed us they had chosen to voluntarily cap unsolicited emails to customers at 10 per year. But in thinking this through, is it not obvious, this has to happen to respect the spirit of GDPR and the like.

Marketing will never be the same again.

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