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Reasonably, a lot of people have been complaining on social media about the crush of emails they’ve received from brands regarding updates to their privacy policies. In compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25, companies now have to tell European customers what personal information they’re gathering and exactly how they’re using that data.
“Our expectation was that it would drive zero dollars,” says Tory Hoen, MM.LaFleur’s creative director of brand.
Not to sound melodramatic, but there’s a real risk in sending shoppers a winking, overly cute note about a widely discussed topic like data privacy, the danger being that it could fall flat or come off looking lame. As one Twitter user wrote recently, “I don’t know what’s more infuriating now, the level of #GDPR emails or brands [sic] desperate attempts at a luring subject line!”
Turning a GDPR email into a branding moment and a way to connect with shoppers is significant precisely because GDPR emails are a reminder that we have good reason to distrust the companies we buy things from, many of which gather and use our data in ways we’re not informed about.
Indeed, plenty of brands irritated the heck out of their shoppers with overzealous messages ahead of (and after) the GDPR deadline on Friday, May 25. A number of people on Twitter called out Asos for waking them up in the middle of the night with text messages about it. (Asos declined to comment about its GDPR strategy for this story.)
I've been getting so many emails from @asos about GDPR, but it was the 3.40am reminder text today that made me leap out of bed and subscribe to their email - great marketing guys!— Sarah Shearman (@Shearmans) May 25, 2018
Would like to thank @ASOS for the text message at 04:33 this morning reminding me about #GDPR First time they’ve ever contacted me...to tell me they can’t contact me again without permission #GDPRday #GDPRidiots pic.twitter.com/zUNx3BlwhU— Dean Cockett (@DeanCockett) May 25, 2018
Did you, like those MM.LaFleur shoppers, wind up buying something because of a GDPR email? If so, tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.