26 May 2018

GDPR - and what happened to our mailing list!

As everybody who is remotely active on the internet knows by now, on Friday 25 May the new GDPR rules became binding for the EU and for the data of its citizens worldwide. To comply with that, the Win-IN website now has a Privacy Policy and I have also made changes to the mailing list we have. Coincidentally, I have also switched this website over to the safer HTTPS protocol as Google has recently activated this option for Blogger hosted websites. So far so good.

Let me tell you a little about the mailing list:

Our list isn't huge, on Thursday 24 May we had 175 email addresses with names in there, collected at various events and also through this website.

All of the data are safely kept on MailChimp, an Email Marketing Service provider used by many organisations who need to keep in touch with members (be it for marketing or not). Any list subscriber can at all times access their data on the MailChimp site and either change them or unsubscribe completely (through a link in every sent mail). MailChimp have their own privacy policy and were very helpful with information on how to make our email list and sign-up procedure GDPR compliant.

Once I got my head around all the changes necessary, it transpired that I had to set up a new sign-up form on the MailChimp site (the link is on the Contact tab) and remove the embedded form from our website. On the new form every subscriber has to grant us clear permission to email them.

To make things watertight, we had to ask electronic confirmation of this permission for every existing subscriber, so on Thursday I sent out an email to all of them asking to give us this permission to keep emailing them.

Here is what happened: so far, out of the 175 subscribers a few have unsubscribed and only about 30 opted in, 17%. Ouch - but I think this will be similar for most of the organisations who asked for opt-in.

According to MailChimp's report, we had an email opening rate of 38.7% (which is slightly better than what we normally get and definitely better than the non-profit industry standard at 18.8%), in real numbers that was just under 70 people looking at the mail - and less than half of those have opted in.

I fear the emails to the rest of our subscriber list have either disappeared in spam folders or been ignored. But it’s OK, I want our emails to go to interested people.

If you happen to be one of our subscribers and haven't seen an email but would like to keep in the loop, please do check your spam folder and if you find the mail please do what the email asks of you. If you are not able to find the email, then please re-subscribe via our sign-up form on the MailChimp site. It really only takes a moment. Alternatively if you still have one of our previous mails, locate the Update Your Preferences link at the bottom and follow the instructions given there.

In addition to that, if you think our emails are useful, you could always point friends who might be interested to our website or the email campaign archive and ask them to subscribe too.

Alternative ways to stay in touch are of course to use RSS (for the website), or social media.

Hoping to stay in contact,
Sylke on behalf of Win-IN