GDPR ‘increases retail email open rate’

Retailers across the European Union have halved the number of automated marketing emails they send to consumers since 25 May, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force.

But those emails are now almost a third more likely to be opened and produce two times more sales revenue according to a new study from Nosto.

The data comes the firm’s artificial intelligence-powered retail personalisation platform used by 2,500 retailers globally to deliver personalised emails, web content, product recommendations, and Facebook and Instagram ads.

GDPR forced many retailers to drastically cut the number of contacts in their email databases as they had to abide by stricter rules for gaining consent to store and use people’s personal information. But the new data privacy rules also presented a golden opportunity for retailers according to Nosto, with automated emails - such as cart abandonment and order follow-up emails that are automatically sent out to consumers - becoming more effective in the wake of GDPR.

“GDPR means fewer emails landing in consumers’ inboxes overall, with those marketing emails that people do receive, much more likely to come from brands they have consented to hearing from,” explained Jim Lofgren, chief executive at Nosto. “So you would expect email to be more effective now, and that’s exactly what our data suggests.”

Nosto found the monthly number of automated emails sent through its platform from EU based retailers dropped by roughly half year-on-year, when comparing June 2018 with June 2017. However open rates for emails increased by 30 per cent between 1 May and 1 August as the impact of fewer emails landing in consumers’ inboxes took effect. And over the same period, Nosto noticed the value of purchases generated by those emails has roughly doubled.

“While complying with GDPR may have been a painful exercise for many retailers, ultimately it appears to have been positive for both retailers and their customers, certainly in terms of email,” said Lofgren. “Consumers get fewer irrelevant emails now and are more likely to open and take action based on the emails they do receive.”

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