GDPR: the best and worst repermission campaigns

Is anyone else going to scream if another GDPR re-permission campaign email lands in their inbox? If you didn't know (from the hundreds of emails you've already had), today is the day companies have to make sure they're compliant with GDPR.

What is GDPR?

A good question. GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, and is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for everyone within the European Union. In short, it's a big deal, and so companies want to make sure they're compliant. The repermissioning campaigns filling up your inbox are an attempt by each company to ensure they are up to standard with the law, which is being enforced today. 

So we get it, they're only doing what they have to with these emails. But, jeez, you'd think they could come up with a few ways to make them more interesting. 

That said, we can't knock them all. Some organisations have recognised that GDPR isn't exactly the most exciting subject and used their creative prowess to deliver a campaign that won't immediately make your eyes glaze over. 

Here are the best examples we've seen, and a few of the worst...

01. Glug

Glug newsletter

Click the image to see the Glug opt-in email in all its glory

We'd like to start by thanking the guys at Glug events for giving us a laugh with their opt-in email this morning. It immediately caught our attention with the subject line 'We decided not to', quickly followed by a series of highly appropriate and hilarious GIFs. 

The team go on to report their own stats for amount of GDPR or what they call the *what-shall-not-be-named*-regulation emails they've received, with co-founder Nick Clement joking (we hope) with one million. 

Any email that has an N-Sync GIF in gets our vote. Nicely done, guys. 

02. ASOS

ASOS went for a simple yet effective approach

ASOS went for a simple yet effective approach

Fashion brand ASOS stayed true to its demographic, sending out this trendy infographic-style opt-in campaign to its consumers. The subject line was simple and clear: 'The law is changing. Are you set to get your ASOS emails?', followed by a very obvious 'Opt in' call to action and simple graphics detailing exactly what that means. Simple, but very effective. 

03. Cancer research

The team at Cancer Research were way ahead of the game when it comes to GDPR, choosing to go opt-in only back in July 2017. 

The company backed up its move with an engaging 'Just A Tick' campaign, which included this informative yet creative video, which makes it very clear to its supporters how vital consent is in the fight against cancer. 

The video ends with the tagline 'A tick doesn't sound like much, but it has the power to do great things'. Bravo Cancer Reasearch, bravo.

04. Dune

Dune harnessed FOMO in its email

Dune harnessed FOMO in its email

One of the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal is FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. So we wonder why more GDPR emails haven’t exploited this technique? Fashion brand Dune knows all about this psychological principle, and has put it into full effect with this striking call to action. Be honest: who wouldn’t want to press the yes button in these email, as quickly as possible? (Thanks to Mel‏ @MZ_Creative for passing this on).  

05. NailsInc

NailsInc invites its customers to become VIPs

NailsInc invites its customers to become VIPs

While Dune’s newsletter (above) wields a scary stick, NailsInc instead offers a juicy carrot. While the easy option is to ignore these emails, or just snarkily click ‘Opt Out’, Nails Inc offers us an incredible inducement to do so. All we have to do is opt in and we become ‘A VIP for free’ which includes ‘Free standard delivery’ and ‘Amazing gifts’. We’re not sure how amazing these gifts will actually be, but the glitzy graphics suggest they’ll be pretty amazing indeed – and all you need to do is click? Well, who wouldn’t?

06. Good Design

A laugh surely equals an 'opt-in'?

A laugh surely equals an 'opt-in'?

Have you noticed how nice, polite and often fussily formal these GDPR emails have been? Well, here’s a palate refresher from the good people at Good Fucking Design Advice. By cleverly subverting the standard wording with more down-to-earth language, it shows the power of humour to win round even the most recalcitrant newsletter-receiver. (Thanks to @AlexandraDavy for passing this on).  

07. Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Who could resist a Lemur's plea?

Who could resist a Lemur's plea?

Awwwwww. Well, if you don’t respond to this little Lemur baby’s pleas, then you’ve got to have a heart made of stone. Yorkshire Wildlife Park not only found a way to pull on the heart strings with their GDPR campaign, but they made an event of it, cheekily building up expectations on Twitter with the following quote: 

08. Matt Richards Illustration

Clean illustration and honest words may stand out in your inbox

Clean illustration and honest words may stand out in your inbox

We couldn’t complete this list without hearing from one of our own… With his GDPR email, illustrator Matt Richards  has shown the way: treating the eye with a lovely image and using humour and plain speaking to make you feel like you’re being addressed by an actual human. In fact, just reading the opening sentence (“One day you’re on top of the world, and the next some secretary’s running you over with a GDPR lawnmower”) gives you an immediate sense that you want to click yes to this man.

But as we all know to our cost, not everyone has got it right. Here are some of the worst examples of GDPR emails, as called out by the people of Twitter…

01. Sometimes the humour just doesn't quite land...

02. Layout, hierarchy, wording... what isn't wrong with this? 

03. Someone needs to hire a copywriter

04. Just. Not. Appropriate

05. Worst or best subject line ever?

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