GDPR: One Month On

The GDPR deadline was not the finish line, but the start of a new age of data privacy. We look at implications of what is changing, one month on.

GDPR: One Month On

It’s been a whole month since GDPR officially took hold. It’s still too early to tell what effects this may have in the long term, as most companies are keeping their information to themselves whilst adjusting to the changes. However, there are plenty of rumours, with marketers discussing shrinking databases, and consumers showing more concern about how their data is used.

We look at some of these growing rumours and how this may change the way companies market themselves from now on.

Shrinking data

According to marketing firm PostUp, global open rates for GDPR opt-in emails sent as the deadline was approaching were just 25-30%. Despite the new regulations covering the EU, many American companies have chosen to abide by the new changes in order to keep their systems consistent. Strangely, the abysmal open rates are being more widely discussed there than in the UK or Europe, with even worse results of only 15-20% of GDPR opt-in emails being opened.

Although MailChimp estimates about 20% of all marketing emails are usually opened, most companies were hoping for better statistics considering the implications of silence as GDPR was introduced. While many of the emails flooding inboxes concerned updated privacy policies, some of the emails asked for renewed permission to continue sending out content. As these emails were ignored, consumers haven’t opted in and so can no longer be contacted. CNBC reports that some firms have lost 80% of email databases as people did not respond, with some consumers actively using these emails as a way to unsubscribe. A variety of online forums show marketers discussing significant drops in numbers from their databases.

So what does this mean for email marketing? With 82% of companies using emails as part of their sales strategy, will GDPR kill this popular channel for good or lead to new opportunities?

Positive changes

Many marketers have reported feeling happier with their shrunken databases as the contacts left are all actively engaging with their content. This can help companies to send more direct, targeted information based on genuine consumer interests, which in turn may help to create more sales from potential leads.

The changes in the market forced by GDPR provide an opportunity for both businesses and marketers to re-evaluate their relationship with spam emails, and look at quality over quantity.

This shift may have other benefits including reduced costs for businesses who can send out less emails and flyers overall, but receive more effective results from genuine prospects.

Of course after only a month, and with many companies still not fully compliant, it is too early to tell how much marketing and data concerns may shift. According to a survey, as GDPR went live, only 60% of business were prepared, with 25% citing inadequate IT budgets and 30% claiming it was not a priority despite the threat of fines. Once all companies are working to GDPR guidelines, more insights will become apparent as to where changes will be needed.   

Privacy concerns  

GDPR isn’t just affecting databases for companies, it has also created a conversation around data privacy online, and how businesses use this information.

In February 2018, a report suggested that 75% of the UK public show no major objection to sharing their personal data, with 61% of people happy with the amount of information they shared in 2017. However, when asked who benefits most from data exchange, 78% of people thought businesses benefitted more than consumers. And 86% of people stated they wanted more control.

This means consumers may demand more for their data, asking for better rewards and making businesses work harder to secure leads.

The implementation of GDPR has created shockwaves through the business world, and it will be interesting to see what this leads to in a year’s time. 

If you have any concerns about getting your business GDPR compliant, have a look at our range of blogs discussing helpful tips to get your company on the right track.


At MHR, we understand the challenges that organisations are facing in the aftermath the GDPR. That’s why we offer a range of services designed to help you get up to speed, from our online GDPR Staff Awareness training course to our handy GDPR self-assessment form. Our award-winning iTrent software also comes with a number of enhancements designed to help you carry out GDPR-related HR and payroll tasks quickly and easily.

For more information about our GDPR services, click here.