When the digital world was relatively young, people happily signed up to receive a digital newsletter.  How exciting – new emails to read! 

So how likely are you to fill in that form on someone’s website that asks for your name and email so you can get their email newsletter?  No, I thought not.

Email has been used and abused so much that we are desperate NOT to get any more ‘stuff’ in our inboxes.  And yet we find ourselves on loads of people’s email list receiving newsletters we don’t read, deleting more ‘stuff’ from our inbox and, occasionally, bothering to unsubscribe.

Clever marketers got people onto their list by offering something more compelling than a newsletter – a free download of something that has value.  But then there’s the advent of GDPR here in the UK so we’re all going to have to be extra-diligent about how people end up on our lists and what we send them. 

This means those people on our newsletter list have to have voluntarily signed up for a newsletter.  Signing up to receive a free download of some useful article, tips sheet or checklist, doesn’t mean they’ve agreed to receive ongoing information.

Does this mean a return to those forms begging people to sign up to your newsletter?

No, they’re still not going to be very effective in isolation, especially if your newsletter isn’t particularly interesting for the reader.  However, they have identified what they are interested in by downloading your valuable, free document – that means they would probably be interested in more like that.

Here’s my suggestion:

  • Still offer a free download of something that shares your considerable knowledge to help them.
  • On the page where they get directed to in order to download their document add an opt-in button (and an opt-out button so they have to do something) that appears before they get to the download, asking them if they would like more material like this.
  • Once they opt-in you’d better be sure your newsletter ticks the ‘more material like this’ box.

However, it does mean that – providing you are using a system that has a double opt-in, you now have evidence that they do want more information from you.

Your download page might go something like this:

Thanks for requesting your free download of

27 tips to make marketing magic

As you’re clearly interested in improving your marketing, we’d be happy to send you regular marketing updates with more free material like this download.  Let us know if you want to be on that privileged list:

Then you can follow with the download document. 

This might take a bit of technical ‘fixing’, but should not be too complicated. 

If you’d like some help with this please get in touch.