Less is More: Use Frequency Management to Win Under Tightening Rules

GDPR and Email Sender Reputation are creating new hurdles for marketers. Frequency Management can help.

With the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, companies with offices, partners, or customers in the European Union and European Economic Community are faced with stricter rules regarding how they can collect, store, utilize and transfer their customers’ data. Companies found in violation of these laws face fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

Companies covered by GDPR are now only allowed to collect the minimum amount of data necessary for their legitimate purposes, and customers must give explicit permission for any of their personal data to be used in marketing communications.

This means some of the old techniques for marketing communications can run afoul of GDPR regulations. Sending automated cold emails to groups is no longer allowed, nor is the purchasing of email lists, or the scraping of social media sites in an attempt to bulk up contact lists.

GDPR also creates new rules for companies when customers unsubscribe from marketing communications. When a customer unsubscribes, all personal data associated with that customer must be deleted from the company’s CRM, except perhaps for an email address and a note saying that they’ve opted out of communications.

Email Sender Reputation

In addition, regardless of whether a company is governed by GDPR, a high number of unsubscribes or messages marked as spam by the recipient can also affect a company’s Email Sender Reputation with email service providers. It’s like a credit score for a company’s email communications, based on factors such as unsubscribes, customer complaints, unknown recipients, sender volume, content, authentication, and more. A lower Email Sender Reputation can result in fewer customers receiving your messages, even if they’ve opted in.

With all these competing forces – GDPR and Email Sender Reputation vs. automated marketing platforms – it’s both more difficult and more important than ever to maximize engagement with every send. The winners in this arms race will be the marketing teams who rise to this new standard of communication, and are most adept at using every resource available to achieve better business results with fewer, more relevant, and more timely emails.

How Frequency Management Can Help

One way to mitigate these challenges is to use Motiva's Frequency Management, which enables marketing teams to communicate with customers at a safe cadence based on an analysis of what frequency works best for their contacts.


In the example shown above, the sweet spot for this company’s marketing communications is two emails per recipient per week. At three emails per week, while there is an uptick in Open Rates, there’s also a jump in unsubscribes.

There are major benefits to getting the balance right: In a study published by Deloitte six months after GDPR went into effect, they noted that 69% of their respondents stated that a company’s reputation for ethical behavior played an important part in how much personal data they were willing to give that company. 70% of respondents were concerned about the excessive collection of data in general, but 60% were willing to share more personal data to receive personalized benefits and discounts in return.

If a company shows they care about contacts by communicating at a reasonable frequency, they will standout in inboxes, build customer trust and continue to develop stronger relationships with contacts through legitimate data collection techniques.  This can help marketing teams focus their messaging, boost their engagement, and reach their business goals, while staying within tightening regulations.

To learn more, check out our How-To on Frequency Management

Want to see how Motiva works? Pick a time to see a demo!

Back to Blog

Related Articles

How to Ensure Prospects Receive Your Highest-Priority Messaging

At the risk of offending some marketers out there... Not all emails are important.

Why Apple’s Email Privacy Announcement Should Make You Rethink Your Email Strategy

Last week, Apple announced a series of new privacy-preserving features, and for email marketers,...

How to Calculate an Email Baseline to Track Improvement

You can't track performance improvement and the impact of your efforts without a baseline. Here's...