3 Steps To Running A Re-Consent Campaign For Your Newsletter Subscribers

If you read our previous post about the changes to data protection laws coming into place in the EU this May 2018, chances are you’re thinking about running a re-consent campaign.

If you’re not thinking about this yet- well, you should. Because all of your data, even old data, needs to be GDPR compliant if you are a business or enterprise and you are sending emails in order to make sales.

Step One: Identify Those That Need to Reconfirm


If you have explicit permission from your customers that you can store their data for the express purpose you are storing their data, then you do not need to send them a re-consent email.

However, if you acquired their data via a ‘lead magnet’ (e.g. download this awesome video in return for your e-mail address!) or via a GDPR non-compliant opt-in form (e.g. a pre-ticked box or one that does not explicitly tell the customer how and why you are storing their data) then they need to re-consent.

Implied consent is not active consent and therefore is not GDPR compliant.

Step Two: Give Them A Reason To Stay


We all get flooded with e-mails we ignore and there are going to be a lot of re-consent emails flooding our inboxes in the next few months.

You want to re-affirm that your product, your brand or your content is useful to them, that it will add something to their day that they need (check out our post on how to add value to your customers this way)

You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Give them exclusive access to something
  • Give them a discount
  • Give them a freebie

Whatever works for your brand and your product. Weigh the value of the giveaway/discount against the value of losing their custom.

Step Three: Make It Important


You want to ask your list to take action, to re-consent, so scream it at them. Maybe put ‘ACTION NEEDED’ or ‘IMPORTANT’ in the header of your email.

You want to try and get them to reconsent before the date passes, so make your e-mail scream OPEN ME.

You can run several emails as part of one campaign, so why not try A-B testing the first and re-deploying your more successful campaign header to those who didn’t open the email the first time around?


What The New Data Protection Laws Mean For Small Businesses, Individuals and Freelancers

This May, new Data Protection laws will be coming into place, specifically, the Data Protection Act will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation.

What’s the difference? The GDPR will have new rules around the storage and handling of personal information and there will be stricter punishments in place for those who fail to comply.

Why the new law? The short answer is because hackers are more easily able to access data from small to medium businesses than they are to hack huge, well-protected corporate networks.

Changes in Consent


At the moment it’s sufficient to ask someone to tick or even to untick a box in order to consent to the storage of their data.

Under the new laws, consent means active agreement. This means you cannot pre-tick a ‘subscribe me’ button.

Not only this, but companies need to be able to show a clear audit trail of consent, including screen grabs or saved consent forms.

Individuals also have the right to withdraw consent at any time, and it has to be effective and efficient. When someone withdraws consent all of their personal data must be immediately and permanently erased. It is not enough to remove them from the mailing list.

If you are subject to a data breach, you also have to inform the relevant authorities immediately and you must notify all individuals affected within 72 hours of the initial breach.

What does this mean for people that use e-mail marketing (and am I one of those people?)

If you have a newsletter that people subscribe to, or if you send e-mails to a database of people on whatever basis, this concerns you.

And it doesn’t just concern all the new data you might collect. It concerns all the data you currently have.

Any kind of personal data you keep has to follow these rules and you and you alone are responsible for being able to prove that someone has consented to have their data kept on file by you.

This means you can no longer capture e-mails through a competition and then add them into your mailing list, or you cannot auto-subscribe (for example) people that have bought a ticket to your show to your newsletter.

Does the GDPR apply to my personal blog?

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The GDPR applies to all enterprises. So if you run a business from home, or if your blog/website is engaged in “economic activity” i.e. you use it to make money – this applies to you.

It does not apply to people processing personal data in the course of a purely personal or household activity. I.e. if you have your plumber’s email address on file, that’s fine. If you’re sending your plumber an email telling him that you have a new kind of product available for sale, that’s not fine.

So what do I do now?

For every e-mail address in your system, you need to go back and seek explicit permission from the person to continue to send them whatever communication you are sending them.

If you cannot provide evidence of consent, you cannot send them emails and you must delete their data permanently.

This means you will need to launch a re-permission campaign and bring your entire database up to GDPR standards.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

Fines. These are tiered based on the level of non-compliance and the severity of the violation, and they are capped at 4% of an annual turnover of €20million.


Check out our next post on how to run a GDPR compliant re-consent campaign.

Disclaimer: None of the above constitutes legal advice. If you are in doubt, we recommend you seek professional legal guidance.

5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page Engagement

Facebook is cracking down on unengaging, unloved Facebook Pages. 

For some of the larger Pages, the update won’t negatively impact their reach, because their posts are already performing well enough to tick Facebook’s box of “encouraging meaningful discussions.”

But what about if you have a Page that performs averagely? Your fans, your customers, your clients like and comment and share, but not all the time.

How do you re-align your content strategy and ensure your Page is still showing up in your fan’s News Feed?

Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are 10 sure-fire ways to boost your Facebook Page engagement, and keep it that way, which will help you climb back up to the surface of the ocean that is the News Feed.

1. Make the most of Facebook Live7195fb89-24b2-4904-8be7-994730fa58a4-768x828.jpg

Facebook Live videos, on average, generate over 6 times the engagement levels than normal videos do.

Not only this, but people spend a lot more time watching Live videos than they do watching your standard, embedded videos.

For viewers watching from desktop computers, average viewing time for a Facebook Live video was a whopping 34.5 minutes (!) compared to standard video, which was just 2.6 minutes.

Not only this, but your Live video will still generate engagement even after it has ended. Over 40% of the engagement, to be exact.

So if you haven’t already: start making Facebook Live videos part of your Page’s strategy.

2. Make sure your fans are around when you’re posting

We know that scheduling can take the ‘social’ out of social media, but if done right it can really aid your social media stats and your engagement.

That’s because scheduling your content can help you drop it into your audience right when they’re all bored and looking for something to occupy their thumb for five minutes.

Posting at your ‘peak times’ will mean your posts are more likely to get the likes, shares, comments and reactions you deserve.

To figure out which time works best for you, you should consult Facebook’s Page Insights to track and analyze your engagement data.

3. Boost posts that get higher than average Organic engagement


Ah, organic engagement. Such a long way of saying: people seeing your stuff without you having to pay for it.

That’s what makes it great!

But! Pages miss a trick when they don’t piggyback on their own awesomeness and boost their high-performing organic posts.

Boosting them gives them a chance to reach an audience wider than those who already like your page, meaning more thumbs ups, more comments and more shares.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, either. Facebook can boost a post for as little as a tenner, which isn’t much in the grand scheme of the return on investment you’ll get.

4. Don’t underestimate the value of curated posts


Curated posts are posts by other people that you’re re-sharing with your audience. They could be videos, photos, gifs or anything in between.

In Buffer’s 2017 round-upfour of their five top performing posts were curated content, meaning they got nearly four-fifths of their top engagement by simply sharing the good work of others!

Of course this doesn’t mean you should hit ‘share’ on every hilarious cat video that finds its way into your personal feed.

You need to make sure the content is relevant for your audience and fit for your brand.

If it ticks those two boxes: fire away!

5. Share only content that is valuable to your fans

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Your content needs to be the kind of stuff that your fans see and want to tout around.

In Hootsuite’s Content Marketing 101 Guide, they recommend you follow these five steps in ensuring your content is awesome, and I have to say, they cover off all the boxes:

  1. It is helpful to the audience.
  2. It is rooted in specific, tangible, and real customer problems.
  3. It delivers on its promise.
  4. Is it actionable. (Include a link to your upcoming show/your new product/your beautiful face)
  5. You are proud to share it. Is it something you’d share with your friends?

Now, just make sure you’re not making these 5 Mistakes and your brand new, optimised content plan is ready to go!

Are You Ready For Facebook’s Pages Update?

Facebook announced 7 days ago what we’ve all been expecting for a long time: that Pages will be shown less to their users in the News Feed and instead their friends and family will be prioritized.

Adam Mosseri, who is Head of News Feed at Facebook, said:

With this update, we will prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.

We will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with our News Feed values.

If you’re one of the many Freelancers or independent businesses that benefit from referral traffic or even sales through your Facebook Page, then you need to pay attention.

Will the update negatively affect my reach?


The answer to this is: probably.

Facebook has claimed it’ll only negatively effect pages that don’t consistently post content that their followers want to engage with. They’ve said:

Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.

If you’re one of the pages that consistently drives good reach, getting lots of tags or comments from your users, then the update won’t cause you so much of a problem.

If however you are like most independent business and your engagement is hit and miss, you may want to start re-aligning your content to get the best engagement out of it. Check back soon for a post on this.

How will I know if my Page is still showing in the News Feed?

Pages will be prioritised based on how many posts ‘generate a conversation’.

This could be anything from friends debating in your comments to people tagging each other in them.

Facebook wants to be seen as a place that “brings people closer together and build relationships” and they’ve put that at the heart of their News Feed update.

The algorithm will change to prioritise the types of posts people typically interact with. So if you have a core set of die-hard, loyal fans who comment on everything you do, chances are high they’ll continue to do so.

Alsopeople who’ve selected ‘See First’ for your page will continue to see your Page’s posts at the top of their News Feed. 


If you don’t know what this is, it’s a handy feature Facebook added so people can keep track of their favourite Pages by having their posts always stuck to the top of their News Feed.

It might also spell an end for click-bait


Facebook has categorically said it will demote any content that’s deemed as:

engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts

This is because Facebook doesn’t think these types of posts constitute a “meaningful interaction.”

How do I make sure people can still see my Page?

The best way, it seems, to make sure your Page stats don’t suffer too badly is by making sure your Page is ticking those crucial Facebook boxes.

These are:

  • Bringing people together by encouraging conversations
  • Posting content that inspires ‘back and forth’ discussion
  • Posting content that people want to share and react to

Facebook has a good tip in their press release as well: Live videos often get six times as many interactions as regular videos.

Facebook suggests that Pages that post more Live videos will tend to be the Pages getting more engagement, and therefore the Pages more likely to retain their spots in their customer’s News Feeds.

Check back for our next Post on how to give your Facebook Page an engagement check-up and mitigate the negative effects of the update.

Twitter is Dead, Long Live Facebook

If you’ve been to a social media conference in the last three years, chances are you’ve heard someone stand up on the podium and pronounce that Twitter is dead, dying or already done.

They point to the perceived limitations of the channel to support their arguments.

Only 140 characters!

Millions of tweets per minute – and your important brand message getting lost in all the noise!

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The figures, however, paint a different picture.

Since its launch in 2010 Twitter has experienced steady growth from 30 million active users up to 328 million – an increase of nearly 300 million across just 7 years. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire population of the USA signing up to tell us their thoughts in just 140 characters. Pretty impressive, no?

This year, however, is the first year since 2015 that Twitter has seen a plateau in their number of active monthly users – a steady 328 million.

Is this finally proof that Twitter is on the way out?


Probably not.

After all, even their dip in 2015 was countered by a +5million influx of users in the following quarter.

So why are we all still asking this question?

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(Who uses Twitter, I mean – not ‘who used to present the crystal maze’)

My theory is this: the people asking whether Twitter is dying is the proportion of the population not using Twitter. They’ve come late to the party, seen the snack table was missing cheesy puffs and walked straight back out of the door. What do you mean I can’t compose a small essay on my thoughts about my neighbour’s dog? Twitter’s not for me!

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In actual fact, 100 million people are active on Twitter every single day. They send 500 million tweets and account for 45% of all internet users.

In the UK alone there are 13million Twitter users – that’s 20% of the total population.

Not only this, but chances are the people using Twitter are your target demographic: 37% of total Twitter users are between 18 and 29, and 25% are between 30-49.

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Now add into this the fact that Twitter reported share growth of 12% in April, and 2017 saw it’s biggest jump in terms of new users since ’15… I think it’s probably time to stop telling people Twitter is dead.

Twitter is very much alive and kickin’.

Happy Tweeting, guys.








What Value Do Brands Add To Social Media?

In 2014, we were talking about the necessity of brands being on social media. “We need to be part of the conversation online! We need a social voice!” were sentences that I’m sure were bandying their way around a number of executive boardrooms.

In 2015, brands realised that in order to appeal to their (human) consumers, they needed to come across as human themselves. We moved away from copy-and-paste responses and added a personal touch across communication on social media, signing off with names or initials to show that there are people behind the screens.

Now, however, it’s 2017 and we’re seeing brands mourning when celebrities die. They show solidarity to movements. They stake a political claim.

For some brands, this makes sense. For others the link is more tenuous. For the most, it’s non-existent (see above).

But in all cases, we need to be asking — what value does this add for my followers?

Your followers are your consumers, and they are savvy. They know you’re in the social media realm to market to them. They know that what you are posting is always, even if not overtly, an advertisement. You may not be writing “buy this now!” but what you’re asking your consumer to do is spend some of their attention span thinking about you.

So why waste that opportunity by posting something like this?

(Put into context — Dorothy Perkins tweeted that the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union 52% — 48%, so there was a high chance the majority of their consumers were not, in fact, feeling it that Friday…)

Consumers are flooded with online advertisements. It’s estimated your average consumer views between 500 and 5,000 advertisements in a single day (although the exact number remains fiercely debated).

With organic social, you may get one opportunity to make an impression on an existing or prospective customer with what you post online. You have less than 8 seconds to stop their thumb scrolling past you and onto the next brand.

So make the most of that time.

The best brands and individuals on social media are the ones that add value to their followers. They enrich the user’s experience of the platform by adding insight and information that your reader otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.

A great example of this is news outlets on Twitter, a platform where they perform exceptionally well. When a story breaks, live updates are posted on Twitter not just by the reporters, but by people who are there. It boils down to value — news companies bring something valuable to the party.

So, how can you ensure that you’re adding value to your consumer with what you post on social media?

Each time you go to post, ask yourself three questions:

1. What’s the purpose of this post?

2. Who cares about this post?

3. Why will they care?

Let’s take the Dorothy Perkins example used earlier.

What’s the purpose of this post?

I would assume this was a scheduled post, intended to piggy back on the almost-guaranteed trend of #FridayFeeling.

But it was a white noise post — words for words’ sake. Often disguised as a ‘brand awareness’ post, or a ‘presence’ post, the white noise posts are pointless both for the person writing it and the person reading it. There are no links, no calls to action, nothing to make me want to engage with the post. The purpose, it seems, was to fill an empty schedule slot.

Which makes it difficult to answer Question 2…

Who cares about this post?

At the time, this tweet actually got some attention — mainly because of its catastrophic timing. But let’s assume it was posted when it was originally intended, some benign Friday. Who cares about it? Who sees it as they are scrolling and pauses for this type of post?

Or perhaps more pertinently, who wants a clothing brand asking them how they feel? (Answers on a postcard please…)

Which means it’s impossible for us to answer Question 3…

Why will they care

— because they most probably won’t.

Now, I’m not suggesting that all text-only posts are white noise, or a waste of time. You can use text-only post to build on your brand’s persona to great effect. But the posts must have a purpose and therefore value for your consumer — even if that value is just “it will make them laugh”.

As someone who manages social media content, I have certainly been guilty of the ‘low value’ post. Or perhaps even the ‘no value’ post.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your own brand that you forget that whilst you may think this cake gif is brilliant for #NationalCinnamonBunDay, your followers don’t care. They’re just wondering what on earth a comedian is doing tweeting about pastries.

So look at your social media pages and have a think. Be your own analyst, get 50 weeks deep in your own content and ask yourself ‘what value is this bringing my followers? Who cares about this content? Why do they care?’

And make social media a more enriching place to be.

A shorter version of this post originally appeared on Medium.com

How To Write A Killer Guest Post Pitch

If you read our previous blog, you’ll know that guest posting is the quickest and easiest way to drive new traffic through to your blog/website.

New traffic = more subscribers = more fans = more money.

(At least that’s what most marketing manuals will tell you.)

But what they don’t tell you is how to write a great pitch for a guest post.

Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve written something that spells out the meaning of life. If you can’t sell it, no one will read here.

So here’s our step by step guide to getting your guest post secured:

1. Subscribe to their blog

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Think about it. If you had someone telling you how awesome your blog was, and then you realise they don’t even subscribe, you’ll be pretty peeved.

So once you’ve selected your list of targets, go through and subscribe to them all. You want them to know you’re serious – and invested – in the success of their blog. That’s going to sound a whole lot more convincing coming from someone that actually follows it.

2. Make it personal


Nine times out of ten, someone will have their name somewhere on their website. Use it. Addressing the email personally will mean it’s much more likely to get opened, if not read. “Hey, Tanya” is so much better than “Hey there” or (even worse) “To Whom It May Concern.”

Never start a pitch email with that, because whoever is reading it will automatically decide it probably doesn’t concern them.

3. Show them how good you are

Include some links in your pitch that are the best possible examples of your tone and writing style. You want to wow them with the quality content you’re creating, so send them your 2 or 3 best pieces of work.

If you’re lucky enough to have featured elsewhere already or have been interviewed, include one of these as a third link underneath your own work.

4. Don’t go into too much detail

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They will want two things. One of these things is a title, and the other is a reason why their readers are going to open that blog in the first place. This does not mean you have to send them the blog in its entirety.

What you should do is include a little 2-3 sentence outline so they know where the blog post is heading, like this:

How To Blog: A post focusing on the common pitfalls most bloggers make and how to avoid them. Your readers will walk away knowing how to write killer blog posts that bring in more traffic and convert that into paying customers.

I mean, sounds like a blog you want to read, right?

Right. That’s exactly what they want.

5. Track the emails you send

Gmail has some great extensions that you can download that track whether or not your email has been opened. Streak is awesome because it tells you when your email was viewed and when it was opened. It also keeps tabs on how often someone visits the conversation so you can see exactly what’s happening once you’ve sent your pitch into cyberspace.

6. Set up a chase system


Now that you’ve sent your emails, you don’t just want to sit there and wait.


Like a flower, you need to tend to your precious pitches by watering them every now and then. Or, at the very least, following up with an email a week later.

People are busy, so you don’t want to harass them, but a simple chase email 7 days later is more than acceptable.

If your chase email doesn’t get a reply, you can cut that time in half and email again 3 or 4 days later.

So here’s what your chase schedule should look like:

  • 7 days – send initial chase email if no open
  • Send another chase 4 days after first chase
  • Send a final chase 7 days after previous chase
  • Send new email 14 days after last email

7. Follow up

You don’t want to nag them. After all, you’re asking for a favour, essentially, even if you’re creating awesome content for them.

So you need to keep your follow up emails short, sweet and to the point.

Make it easy for them to come back to you with a one word answer, a simple yay or nay reaction. Because we all have way too many emails and never enough time:

Hey Tanya,

Appreciate you must be super busy, just wanted to see if you had a quick yes/no based on my previous email?

I can get started on it straight away and wouldn’t need anything from your side at this point – other than the OK!

Thanks so much, hopefully catch up soon.

8. Follow through

You’ve promised them the world – or at least a great blog post – so make sure you follow up and keep your word. Deliver on time, deliver with photos and deliver to whatever specifications they ask for (Google Doc, HTML or otherwise.)

Don’t fall at the last hurdle!

Have you got any tips you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!