Friday, 29 March 2019

Ex-member communications under PECR & GDPR

We're looking at how member communications and processes have changed since the GDPR 'change'.

GDPR and PECR combined (?) should help to focus membership organisations when it comes to ex-member communications. It adds a level of urgency to messaging, as you have a window of, say, 2 years to contact ex-members after they cancel their membership. If there is no interaction over this period, you should stop communication. Looking at this practically, if a member has not re-joined (or interacted*) 2 years after leaving, it’s a good point to stop contacting them, as you’re probably wasting time and energy anyway.

* In the same way that some clubs are bending the rules on opt-in and operational messages, there will be a debate that says if an ex-member has interacted by clicking a link, or opening a message, you still have 2 years from that point to communicate with them. Of course, all the other rules about unsubscribe still apply, but then so do the different electronic channels (SMS, email), and post is always an option, although organisations are more likely to limit the time validity from a cost perspective for post.

Another consideration for a lot of clubs is to remember that your ex-members don’t all hate you. Most will not unsubscribe from the first ex-member message you send out, particularly if it’s worded well. Start with a “thank you for your past business” message, after all, this is the start of a new journey, one which only a few members will complete by re-joining. However, if you don’t start them out on this journey, then they’re much less likely to re-join.

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