Post-GDPR — Are We Entering the Golden Age of Email Marketing?

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Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

I visited the promotions tab of my Gmail account recently to harvest some examples of bad subject lines for a training course I’m running. Normally, these jump off the page at me — bad subject lines typically sent by organizations I’ve never really had a relationship with (or if I did, it was so long ago that we are almost certainly estranged now) — but something was different now.

The subject lines were all pretty awesome, and I recognized every single sender.

There was nothing that screamed banality: no “June Newsletter” or (my personal Every subject line had a purpose, telling me exactly what I would see if I opened the email, and most offered real value. It’s as if they knew me (which they should).

The Golden Age of Email Marketing

I couldn’t help but think — we’ve surely entered a golden age of email marketing. An age where marketers actually work hard to drive engagement, instead of relying on the old “spray and pray” techniques we used to see.

There are, of course, many things that have taken us into this golden age.


GDPR didn’t kill email marketing. If anything, GDPR made email marketing stronger. GDPR has focused marketers’ minds on how they handle personal data. Email addresses are not just targets to hit; they represent real people with real concerns about how organizations treat them. The pre-GDPR email cull (getting rid of all those names where explicit permission might not have been given) has also made marketers aware that email marketing isn’t a numbers game. If you want to make smaller, more targeted lists work, you’ve got to make sure you are delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

Marketing Automation

Technology has also helped. Marketing automation has turned a simple but effective marketing channel into a laser-focused and therefore highly accurate business tool. And as the technology has evolved and lowered in price, it has become available to organizations of all shapes and sizes — meaning the advantages offered are not the sole preserve of the big boys.


And then there is the opportunity for marketers to self-educate and improve. Email marketing companies like iContact invest a considerable amount of time, effort and money producing content to ensure our clients are the best possible marketers they can be. Our recent subject line guide is just one example of how we are investing in the future of your business success.

So yes, perhaps we are entering a golden age of email marketing. This does mean, however, that if everyone is lifting their game and producing better, more targeted email campaigns — you too must adopt this strategy.

How are you creating email marketing campaigns that are fit for this golden age? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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