Author: Brandon Olson

4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing

Before Michael Port became a highly sought after professional speaking expert, he needed a way to convert his website visitors into customers. That’s when he discovered the power of email marketing.

“Email marketing launched my career,” Port said. “Very rarely does anyone ever buy anything just because they went to our website. It doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re selling services.”

Michael Port is the co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, a speaker development and coaching company helping new and established speakers. He is the author of the six books, including bestsellers Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He is also the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.

Since his entrepreneurial start in 2003, Port has leveraged the power of email marketing to nurture and convert business prospects into clients.

During a recent interview with Port, I asked him to share the email marketing blueprint he and his team uses to turn subscribers into customers.

4 keys to the Heroic Public Speaking email strategy

For the Heroic Public Speaking team, an effective email strategy comes down to four key pillars:

1. Determine an audience and goal for every email.

Every email you send should have a goal.  The Heroic Public Speaking team’s goal is to get their email subscribers to visit and watch the videos on their website. And the goal of these videos is to convert them into clients.

Ports team uses a very simple checklist of 3 questions to evaluate the purpose and audience for each email and landing page:

  1. Who is our audience?
  2. What do we want them to do?
  3. How are we going to get them to do it?

They run every single email through this checklist. If they can’t run it through that framework, they cut or revise it.

2. Use pattern interruption to grab attention

Port is a firm believer in well-designed emails that adhere to your brand identity. Yet, he says you should sometimes stray from using designed email to leverage a psychological cue known as “pattern interruption.” Pattern interruption is when you intentionally disrupt an established pattern to grab your audience’s attention.

That’s why he occasionally sends text-only emails. Since he regularly sends templated and branded emails, text-only emails interrupt the pattern and stand out. This increases his click-through rates and engagement.

“Design matters. Yes, we still do text-only emails, because sometimes the pattern interrupt feels more personal and will create a quick, direct response from the recipient. But because we’re an organization, not just an individual, there needs to be consistent visual brand identity in addition to consistent written brand identity.”

If it feels like a personal email from an individual, subscribers pay attention and are more likely to respond in the way you would like.

Pro tip: AWeber’s email templates support beautifully designed templates as well as text-only templates, all of which are mobile responsive. Log in now to try them out. Don’t have an AWeber account? Try AWeber free for 30 days.

3. Tailor your message to your audience with segmentation.

The Heroic Public Speaking team targets two types of customers: individual consumers and corporate businesses. Since these audiences have different pain points and goals, Port’s team communicates with them in different ways.

With their corporate funnel, Port’s team uses more one-to-one outreach for these prospects at the top of the marketing funnel, and then use automated systems to move these leads through the sales cycle.

With their consumer funnel, they use email automation throughout the entire buying process to move prospects through the funnel.

Their consumer group contains 4 different types of individuals:

  • People who are already very successful professional speakers
  • People who want to be professional speakers but are just getting started
  • People who speak to help spread their message/brand
  • Professionals who want to get better at presenting because it’s a big part of their job

Because these groups have unique goals, Port’s team sends a customized automation series to each one.

To automatically add the right person to the correct customized automation series, Port relies on his sign up flow. Here’s how it works:

First, Port shows site visitors a simple signup form that offers lead magnets in exchange for subscribing. By minimizing the fields on this form, Port can get more people to complete it.

Once subscribers sign up, they arrive on the “thank you” page. This is where they can self-select the segment that best fits them. After selecting an answer, they’re automatically added to the corresponding automated email series. This allows the Heroic Public Speaking team to provide each unique segment with content that’s relevant to their needs.

If subscribers don’t select on option on the thank-you page, they have additional opportunities to self-select within the email series.

Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s tagging and behavioral-automations to allow your subscribers to self-select their segments. Simply assign tags to the custom field selections on your sign up form or add/remove tags when subscribers click a link within your welcome email. Then you can start them on targeted automated email campaigns, or save them for future broadcasts.

4. Choose the right email marketing platform.

According to Port, it’s easy to choose the wrong email platform when you’re just getting started.

“Small business owners get sucked into all of the bells and whistles of these massive platforms that they do not need. It just gets too complicated,” he said.

Instead, Port suggests choosing a platform that fits three qualifications:

  1. It’s easy to use.
  2. It fits your current business needs.
  3. It can scale with your business as it grows.

By using a simple, user-friendly platform, it’s easier to see fast results from your email marketing efforts.

Try AWeber free for 30-days

Port recommends AWeber because of its ease of use and ability to turn leads into customers.

“Without a tool like AWeber, it’s very difficult to do the work you need to do to get someone to say ‘Yes’ once they become aware of you.”

Ready to start getting clients to say “Yes” to your services or products? Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post 4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The 3-Step Formula for Generating Email Leads from Speaking Gigs

When you present to a live audience either on stage or on camera, you have an opportunity to change the way they think, feel, and act.

But what happens when the camera stops rolling or after you walk off stage is even more important. How do you continue to engage your audience and drive them to action?

The answer: email marketing.

With email marketing, you can continue to build upon the relationship you formed during your speech and create a stronger connection with your audience.

During our recent webinar with speaking pro Michael Port, he shared his secrets to building an email list from speaking events.

Port has inspired audiences from the stage for more than a decade. He was a professional actor. Now, he’s the founder of Heroic Public Speaking and coaches some of the world’s best speakers.

Below, learn Michael’s 3-step system for building an email list with your speaking opportunities.

(Want to watch the entire recording of Port’s webinar? Register here.)

1. Create a curiosity gap.

People tend to take action when they have a desire to achieve or learn something. You can create this desire (and use it grow your list) with a curiosity gap.

A curiosity gap is when there is a void between what someone knows and what they want to know.  And according to Port, it’s important to create one with every speaking opportunity you have because it’s what drives your audience to take action.

To create a curiosity gap, answer the “what” and “why,” but don’t give your audience the “how” yet. You want them to think, “That sounds awesome! But how do I do that?”

Here’s an example: A sign up form is a tool that allows you to easily collect subscribers. By optimizing your sign up form, you can triple your subscriber growth and double your revenue.

By creating a curiosity gap, you’ve now piqued their interest. You’re ready to move to the next step: filling the gap with a tool or resource.

2. Fill the gap with a tool or resource.

Once you’ve created a curiosity gap and your audience is looking for a solution, give them a tool or resource to fill the gap and satisfy their need or desire. (In step 3, we’ll explain how to deliver this tool or resource to your audience from the stage.)

When creating your tool or resource, Port suggests staying away from denser pieces of content, like ebooks, white papers, and reports. In his experience, these aren’t as effective at generating email leads from the stage because they are denser pieces, requiring much more time to consume.  Audiences want content that are easier to digest.

Instead, offer shorter tools, like tips, formulas, grids, calendars, and templates.These tend to convert more audience members into email subscribers.

You could also test this theory with your own audience. Offer up a simple, easy-to-consume solution and another more in-depth, time-consuming solution. Different audiences will prefer different tools and resources. For instance, an audience of medical doctors may want a published research document or white paper. An audience filled with social media marketers may want a content calendar download.

Continuing with the sign up form example from before, the “how” is: With my simple checklist, you can optimize your form in minutes.

Port also recommends that you make sure your tool is specific to the lesson you’re teaching from the stage. And mention your tool a couple times during during your presentation, like halfway through and at the end.

Related: 22 Brilliant Lead Magnets That’ll Inspire You to Grow Your Email List Right Now

3. Build your list and nurture your audience member.

Now that you’ve introduced the tool or resource that’s going to fill your audience’s curiosity gap, you’re ready to invite them to subscribe to your list to get it.

Building a list from the stage is different from building it online. Your audience likely won’t have their laptop ready to visit a website and opt in. And even if they did, typing in an address while they’re listening to your presentation is distracting. But what almost every audience member will have is a mobile device.

That’s why you should use a tool like Call Loop, EZ Texting, Textiful or Join By Text to invite your audience to join your email list and receive the tool or resource you’re offering.

Here’s how these tools typically work:

  1. Ask your audience to text a phrase (e.g., OPTIMIZE) to a specific phone number (provided by the texting service you use).
  2. After your audience texts the phrase to the phone number, they will receive a response on their mobile device that asks them to respond with their email address.
  3. Once they respond with their email address, they will be added to your email list automatically and receive your welcome email.

Pro tip: Call Loop supports AWeber’s advanced tagging capability, so you can automatically segment your subscribers from your various speaking gigs. Then, you can add them to Campaigns specific to the topic you were speaking about.

Step up your speaking game at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE

Need more help with your public speaking? Join Port and his team at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE, October 1 to 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The AWeber team will be there as a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage.

Not sure how to get more leads? Struggling to create a profitable email strategy? We can help. At AWeber, we’re not just an email marketing platform — we’re a team of email experts that want to see you succeed. You can contact us day or night to get all of your questions answered.  Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post The 3-Step Formula for Generating Email Leads from Speaking Gigs appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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2 Rehearsal Secrets for Delivering an Amazing Performance Every Single Time

Everyday, you communicate with people — whether you’re speaking on stage to a live audience, presenting a webinar to thousands of online viewers, meeting one-on-one with colleagues, clients, or potential customers.

Many of these performances are high-stake situations. Your audience will enjoy your presentation or become bored. You’ll land a new client or lose a sale. You’ll make an important connection or alienate a potential partner. Mistakes during these moments can make or break your results.

That’s why rehearsal is so important. Practicing before you communicate can transform your presentation into a performance that affects the way people think, feel and act. It can also have a positive impact on your email marketing. You can make connections with people that’ll convince them to join your email list, engage with your messages, and eventually purchase.

During our recent webinar with speaking pro Amy Port of Heroic Public Speaking, she shared why rehearsal is an essential, yet often skipped, part of the performance process. And she then revealed her 7-step protocol to deliver amazing performances. 

After earning her MFA in Acting from The Yale School of Drama, Port spent years acting professionally in theaters such as Seattle Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare, and Yale Rep, and working consistently in commercials. She now applies the skills of performance that only well-trained actors know to the coaching of ‘non-actors’ looking to crush their next performance. Below, learn 2 of the top 7 steps to deliver an amazing performance.

(Want to learn all the rehearsal secrets of the world’s best performers? Below we share 2 of the steps from Port’s 7-step rehearsal protocol. Register here to watch the entire recording of the webinar and learn all 7 steps.)

Rehearsal tip #1: Do a “table read” on your own.

As a writer or marketer, you would never publish the first draft of a blog post, landing page, or book. Instead, you write it, read it, and revise it. You might even have someone else review it as well.

And yet, when we speak, we often publish our first draft. That’s why Port recommends leveling up your performance by doing a “table read” after completing the first draft of your talk. A table read is simply reading your draft out loud.

“When we’re creating our content for the spoken word, we’re creating it on our keyboard. But that’s very different than actually saying it,” Port said. “So in an table read, you take that language and, rather than reading it on a screen silently by yourself, you read it as if you’re talking to another human being.”

By reading it aloud to yourself, you get to experience your content in three different ways: seeing the words, speaking the words, and hearing the words.

And you begin to discover words or phrases that trip you up. Maybe your speech feels a bit robotic. Or perhaps your point doesn’t make sense, or your speech lacks a cohesive flow.

The AWeber team does table reads before nearly every video we produce. We sit around a table, script in hand, and read it out loud, noting words or phrases that are confusing, unnatural, or difficult to say.

To do a table read, you don’t need a polished script or a fully baked presentation. All you need is a first draft of your performance.

Before your table read, you should have already given some thought to what you want to say. Don’t sit down and start ad libbing.

And during your table read, have a pen or pencil in hand and circle the portions you want to review and revise. Don’t stop and edit in the moment. Keep reading. Then, once you’ve finished, return to the areas you highlighted during your read.

Rehearsal tip #2: Improv, record, and re-write.

With a table read and some revisions to your speech under your belt, it’s now time for an improv rehearsal.

Just like the table read, you do this on your own. But here’s where the improv is different: Your presentation is more complete, and you’re presenting it as if you’re in front of a live audience.

The key to this step is to record your improv rehearsal. So pull out your voice memo or video camera on your smartphone and start recording.

When you record it, you’ll capture everything you do and say. You’ll discover things you like and don’t like. You may find that you say something differently than you’ve ever said it before. Or, you might find that you’re constantly wringing your hands or bouncing up and down, or making other unconscious gestures that hurt your performance. You’ll be able to note these great moments and mistakes and rehearse your performance over and over again so you deliver it the same way every time.

Learn 5 more steps from Amy Port’s protocol

Don’t wait until you’re on stage or in the moment to discover that something doesn’t work. By knowing what works and what doesn’t ahead of time, you’re able to make adjustments, level up your work, and bring your performance to new heights.

Watch the entire recording of Port’s webinar and learn all 7 steps of her rehearsal protocol to deliver great performances time and time again.

Need some more help with your public speaking? Join Port and her team at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE, October 1 to 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The AWeber team will be there as a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage.

The post 2 Rehearsal Secrets for Delivering an Amazing Performance Every Single Time appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The Simplest Way to Keep GDPR Records of Consent for Your Subscribers

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires that you can prove the nature of consent between you and your subscribers. That means you must keep comprehensives records of how subscribers joined your list if you want to comply with the law.

But keeping records of consent for your subscribers can seem daunting, no matter what your email list size. 

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.

Below are two simple ways you can keep records of how you collect subscribers’ personal data.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you.

Two key data points to record for GDPR consent

To prove you are GDPR compliant, you must be able to prove what a subscriber has consented to when signing up for your list. There are two parts to this:

  1. the sign up source (i.e. the webpage they visited to sign up)
  2. a copy of the form or mechanism they used to sign up at the time they subscribed

AWeber automatically records the sign up source within your subscribers’ records, so we have you covered there.

But it’s a bit more complex to record a copy of the sign up form. Why? Because you may have more than one sign up form on your site, or you may change your form from time to time, making it difficult to show exactly what the sign up form looked like at the time of signup.

The best way to record a copy of your sign up forms will depend on a few factors:

  1. Do you have have multiple email sign up forms?
  2. Do you regularly change your email sign up forms?
  3. Do you run split tests on your email sign up forms?

How you answer these questions will impact the way in which you keep records of your sign up forms.

Related: Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the EU Data Law

“I only have a single sign up form, and NEVER change it or run split tests on my form.”

If you have a single sign up form that never changes, you should be able to manually record it since all subscribers join your list the same way.

Simply take a screenshot of the form using any commonly available software (like the Snipping Tool for Windows or Skitch for Mac) or a built-in feature on your Mac or PC.

However, a screenshot doesn’t provide you with the destination of any links on the form, such as a link to a privacy policy. So note any such URL in an accompanying text file, or add it to the screenshot image using basic editing software (like Preview on Mac or Canva).

Another alternative is to save the underlying HTML or Javascript code from your AWeber sign up form. To do this, simply copy and paste the code into a plain text file.

Once you’ve created a record of your sign up form, save the file in multiple places, such as your computer, an external hard drive, and a cloud-based storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.

“What if I change the signup form later?” No problem. All you have to do is repeat the process above to make a new manual record, and add the details to your documentation. Be sure to retain the old record, too.

Related: 6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked

“I have multiple signup forms, I change my form regularly, or I run split tests on my forms.”

It would be a lot of work to manually record and manage multiple or changing signup forms, while also verifying which subscribers came through specific versions of the forms.

In this case, we recommend using a service like optinopoli™ to automate the recording process.

Note: In order to use optinopoli’s auto-recording feature, you’ll need to sign up for one of their paid accounts, which starts at $19 per month. AWeber is not an affiliate of optinopoli.

How to auto-record signup forms

optinopoli™, which integrates with AWeber, is a signup form tool designed to help you collect subscribers on your website and grow your list.

Unlike other sign up form builders, it has the ability to automatically record the version of the sign up form used by each of your subscribers.

Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Here’s how it works to record your forms:

For each new subscriber coming through an optinopoli™ form on your website, the app sends you a notification via email. These notifications are optional, but you’ll need to leave it on to take advantage of the auto-recording facility.

I recommend setting up a filtered folder in your inbox make managing all of the notifications easier (and to save your inbox from getting clogged!). You can receive and store these notifications in there.

Another alternative: Create a separate email account where these notifications can be sent and stored.

Within the notification, you’ll see a link for the sign up form used. If you click the link, you’ll see the exact form used by the subscriber displayed in a new browser window.

If you’re running a split test on your forms, the app will also record any variations of the form. You’ll get the record of the actual form used by the subscriber.

Pro tip: Set the lead notifications to go to a cloud-based email account, such as Gmail, where the emails can be safely and permanently stored in the cloud.

Once you’re set up with optinopoli™, be sure to test your new form and lead notification. Make sure your notification contains the link to the auto-recorded signup form.

Following the steps outlined above enables you to keep comprehensive records of consent for your subscribers. Questions? Ask me below!

The post The Simplest Way to Keep GDPR Records of Consent for Your Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018.

Thousands of sources have published their “expert” advice about the law and how it applies to email marketing over the past several months.

But here’s the thing: Much of their advice is wrong or misleading — and it’s causing a lot of misunderstanding, confusion and fear among small businesses and entrepreneurs around the globe.

So, we decided to set the record straight.

We’ve already covered the steps you can take to help prepare for the GDPR. (Great news! If you’re an AWeber customer, you’re probably already doing a lot of those things.)

In this post, however, we’ll dispel some of the most common myths about the GDPR and email marketing. Use this information so you can confidently move forward.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you.

Myth #1: “I need to send a re-engagement email to all of my existing subscribers to reconfirm consent.”

One myth we see everywhere is the idea that you must have all of your subscribers reconfirm their consent in order to be compliant with the GDPR.

This is false. Sort of.

Here’s the deal: It all depends on whether you can prove consent from your subscribers, or you have other lawful grounds for processing data, according to the GDPR.

If you are relying on consent to determine lawfulness, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Did my subscribers opt in to my list, and can I prove it?
  2. On my sign up form, did I clearly explain how I’d use subscribers’ data and what content I’d send them? Can I prove it?
  3. Can my subscribers unsubscribe from my list as easily as they subscribed?

To prove you received consent, you should use the following three data points:

  1. The date and time the subscriber opted in
  2. The source of the opt-in (e.g.,, “Added via API”)
  3. A screenshot of the data collection mechanism (i.e., your signup form or landing page)

You can easily find the date, time, and source information in your subscriber details within your AWeber account. Just look for the date and time when they opted in as well as the source of signup.

To prove you clearly explained how you’d be using data and what content you’d send to subscribers, save a copy or screenshot of the signup form you used to collect their personal data.

Now, let’s say you imported your list from another email service provider (ESP). In this case, you won’t have the source information within your AWeber subscriber details. However, you’re confident your list subscribed in a compliant way through your old ESP. If you don’t have this information available in your previous ESP, you probably can’t prove consent and should consider sending a re-engagement email.

Finally, let’s quickly touch on the third question: “Can my subscribers unsubscribe from my list as easily as they subscribed?”

The short answer: If you’re using AWeber, your subscribers already have the ability to unsubscribe on their own using the “Unsubscribe” link in the footer of all your emails. You can also make the unsubscribe option more obvious by adding it within the text of your email messages.

Here’s an example from Ann Handley’s newsletter, which I shared in my previous post with her bi-weekly:

“I can prove consent. Hooray!” 👍

If you answered “yes” to all three of the questions I mentioned previously, thumbs up, you’re able to prove consent and you can continue to engage your subscribers.

“I can’t prove consent. Bummer.” 👎

If you answered “no” to any of the three questions, and you can’t prove consent otherwise, then you should probably send a re-engagement email or delete those subscribers from your email list.

Here’s a sample re-engagement email you can send your subscribers. You can use AWeber’s Click Automations to tag subscribers who click the link to confirm their consent.

Subject: Still interested in receiving emails from me?

Hi there!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the content I have sent you, like {Insert all of the types of content you send (e.g., newsletters, sales, product info, etc.)}.

If you’d like to continue receiving emails from me, click the link below:

{Keep me on the list – LINK}

By confirming your subscription, we’ll continue sending you:

  • {Insert a list all of the things you plan to send to subscribers on this list}

Not interested anymore? That’s alright. If you don’t click the link above, we’ll take you off our list and stop emailing you. You can also unsubscribe here. (Note: Hyperlink the word “here” to the personalization token {!remove_web} in your email message.)

Thanks, and have a great day!

{Your Name}

In addition to confirming consent, you can also use your re-engagement email to create better segments of your subscribers, using AWeber’s Click Automations feature.

For example, let’s say you send a newsletter as well as product information to your subscribers. You can add multiple links within your re-engagement email to allow them to opt in to receive different types of content. When subscribers click any of the links, you can tag them appropriately and send them more targeted emails.

Here’s a sample re-engagement email that has multiple options:

Subject: Still interested in receiving emails from me?

Hi there!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the content I’ve been sending you, like {Insert all of the types of content you send (e.g., newsletters, sales, product info, etc.)}.

If you’d like to continue receiving emails from me, click one of the links below:

  • Keep sending me the newsletter {tag with gdpr-newsletter}
  • Keep sending me product information {tag with gdpr-productinfo}
  • Keep sending me both {tag with gdpr-newsletter and gdpr-productinfo}

Not interested anymore? That’s alright. If you don’t click any of the links above, we’ll take you off our list and stop emailing you. You can also unsubscribe here. (Note: Hyperlink the word “here” to the personalization token {!remove_web} in your email message.)

Thanks, and have a great day!

{Your Name}

It’s a best practice to generally wait about seven days after sending a re-engagement email before deleting any subscribers who do not click the link(s) to reconfirm their consent.

Myth #2: “I need to add GDPR checkboxes to all of my signup forms.”

Another rumor floating around is that you need to add checkboxes to your signup forms in order to be GDPR compliant. Some are even calling these “GDPR-friendly signup forms.”

This is false. Checkboxes are not required, and are completely optional.

Nowhere in the GDPR does it state that you need to add checkboxes to your signup forms.

What it does say, however, is that you need to clearly communicate how you will be processing subscribers’ personal data, whether using a descriptive sentence or two, or using a checkbox, if you so choose.

One reason to go the sentence-route? Unnecessarily adding multiple checkboxes to your forms may introduce the possibility of click fatigue and lower opt-in rates.

Here’s an example of a signup form that is GDPR compliant and does not include checkboxes:

So, when is it appropriate to use checkboxes? The GDPR requires that consent must be freely given by subscribers, and cannot be bundled with unrelated actions. Keeping this in mind, here are two examples where checkboxes are required to be compliant with the GDPR:

Example #1

Let’s say you’re a retailer and you want to send marketing emails to your customers after they make a purchase, as well as share their data with other companies within your retail group. Under the GDPR, you cannot bundle their purchase with consent to send marketing emails.

Instead, a separate consent should be captured at the point of purchase that is specific to the purpose of sending marketing emails or sharing their data with partner companies. You might decide to use a separate checkbox to capture this secondary consent.

Example #2

Let’s say you’re a financial institution and you want to allow third parties to use customers’ payment details for marketing purposes. Under GDPR, this type of processing activity (i.e., the sharing of payment information for marketing purposes) is not necessary for the performance of the contract or agreement with the customer. Consent must be freely given, and if a customer refuses consent, the institution would not be able to deny services or increase fees. That would be a violation of the GDPR.

If you would like to share subscribers’ data with other parties, you should use a checkbox to allow them to give their consent freely. And keep in mind that these checkboxes cannot be pre-checked.

Myth #3: “I need to use double opt-in to be compliant with the GDPR.”

Double opt-in (a.k.a confirmed opt-in) is when your subscribers sign up for something — like a newsletter — and then they’re asked to also confirm their subscription.

Some “experts” are stating that the GDPR requires double opt-in to prove consent.

This is incorrect.

As I mentioned in myth #1, the GDPR simply requires that you can prove the compliant consent. The act of entering personal information into a signup form and clicking “submit” can be considered an affirmative action, as long as the subscriber was clearly and directly informed of what they are accepting.

However, double opt-in is not necessarily a bad thing. There are lots of great reasons to use it, including better subscriber engagement and deliverability. You just don’t need to use it to be compliant with the GDPR.

Myth #4: “Subscribers’ personal data thats already in our database isn’t subject to the GDPR.”

This one is closely related to myth #1.

The GDPR applies to all personal data — even data that was collected prior to May 25, 2018.

If you cannot prove consent for all of your existing subscribers, you should send a re-engagement email to obtain that consent.

Myth #5: “My data is stored with my service provider, so it’s their responsibility to remain compliant with the GDPR, not mine.”

We touched on the relationship between data processors (e.g., AWeber) and data controllers  (i.e., you, the one sending the emails) in our previous GDPR blog post. But let’s dive deeper to dispel this myth.

Data processors and data controllers share responsibility for complying with the GDPR requirements. As an AWeber customer, you are still considered the data controller. You maintain control over how you use that data. AWeber is simply processing the data at your request.

So, it’s not an option to pass responsibility to a service provider who is processing data on your behalf. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly your role and relationship to the data being processed.

Myth #6: “If I’m not compliant by May 25, I’ll get hit with huge fines.”

Anyone reading the GDPR fine print is likely nervous when they see the hefty fines associated with not being GDPR compliant. (Enough to make your palms sweat!)

However, EU officials indicate that fines would likely be a last resort.

Here’s what Elizabeth Denham, the U.K.’s information commissioner, had to say in a recent blog post:

“It’s scaremongering to suggest that we’ll be making early examples of organizations for minor infringements or that maximum fines will become the norm,” she said. “The ICO’s commitment to guiding, advising, and educating organisations about how to comply with the law will not change under the GDPR. We have always preferred the carrot to the stick.”

“While fines may be the sledgehammer in our toolbox, we have access to lots of other tools that are well-suited to the task at hand and just as effective,” she continued. “The GDPR gives us a suite of sanctions to help organisations comply – warnings, reprimands, corrective orders. While these will not hit organisations in the pocket – their reputations will suffer a significant blow.”

If you’re taking the necessary steps to understand and follow the GDPR regulations and engage in good email marketing best practices, you are on the right path to protecting yourself.

Keep calm and email on

On the surface, the new GDPR may appear scary and ominous, but it’s actually pretty straight forward. And it’s a good thing for email marketers, too.

It really comes down to doing the right thing with the personal data you collect. Only send emails and information to people who’ve given you permission to do so for the purpose you told them.

To learn more about the GDPR, visit

Have questions? Comment below, or contact our team, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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The post 6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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