Re-opt in email template to help ensure your NGO's contacts are GDPR compliant

Posted by Lee Noble

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With the updated General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) looming ever closer, it feels like May 2018 is breathing down our necks and the question on everyone's mind is "how will I make sure that people signing up to be a member will be GDPR compliant?". But GDPR is a retrospective law meaning that you now have twice the headache to make sure that all of your existing contacts are also GDPR compliant.

But what does this mean? Putting it simply, you need to convince everyone that you currently send marketing or promotional communications to, to re-opt in to your communications again. The likelihood is that your existing contacts weren't given the option to opt-out of communications when they originally signed up or their consent was implied/bundled in to an all-encompassing pre-ticked checkbox. Or maybe there wasn't even a checkbox there in the first place. Sound familiar? Well this could be very helpful for you; especially if you're sat there wondering how you are going to re-opt in your database for GDPR.


How are others doing it?

One of the main examples that I am going to use is that of Manchester United. The biggest club in world football according to Forbes with millions of followers across the globe. In order to be able to stay in contact with their members (anything from a season ticket holder to a newsletter subscriber) Manchester United have been on the offensive to try and encourage people to re-opt in.

From prime placement banners on their website to pitch-side messages on the electronic boards urging fans to "Stay United", the message has been clear: The law is changing and they want you to stay connected to the club.But here we are going to focus on the email communications since up until May 2018, we can use this medium to encourage our contacts to stay connected to us, too. And so can you! Let's take a look at Manchester United's communication:

United email opt in


This email has two very clear calls to action to encourage you to re-opt in to communications. Interestingly Manchester United are being very transparent about the reason why this is happening and this is the course of action that we would also recommend you take when pushing for your contacts to resubscribe with your NGO's communications, too.

In addition to this, they have also made it clear that this is an opportunity for fans to opt-in or out of communications and offered an incentive to win a hospitality package at a United game. The interesting aspect of this is that it could have easily been worded to suggest that specifically opting-in is the way to enter the competition but they chose to be clear over the fact that choosing any preference counts as a competition entry.

Listing benefits of remaining connected is also included to further encourage fans to stay registered. The links go to United's "subscription centre" which is basically a form that you are asked to fill in to resubscribe to their communications.


What can we learn from this?

The key takeaways from this are simple. Be transparent, honest and informative about the reasons why your organisation is worth staying connected with. People don't mind having to register for things if it means that they are going to recieve valuable content, timely news and information regarding offers or courses that might be applicable to them.

It is also important to note that you need to put a timeframe on your communication. This is to create a sense of urgency and further educate your contacts.


A template for you to use

To give you a helping hand we have put together this handy template that you can use to send out to your existing database in order to encourage them to opt-in again to your communications; making them compliant under the new GDPR that will come into force in May 2018.


Subject Line: <Contact First Name> we have an important message for you about the changing law

Dear <Contact First Name>

In May 2018 the law is changing to improve data protection regulations, making your personal data safer and harder for it to be breached. There is also an update to the way in which businesses and organisations collect your information and how they use it.

As a result, we need you to resubscribe to our communications to continue recieving valuable, interesting content from us here at <Insert your organisation's name>.

Some great reasons to stay connected to us:

  • Insert 1 great reason to re-opt in, reference news/updates
  • Insert 1 great reason to re-opt in, referencing any training/offers/courses you share that they could be interested in
  • Insert 1 great reason to re-opt in, referencing great content that you put out and examples

We look forward to staying in touch with you.

<insert call to action to go to the opt-in landing page>


With this template you can copy and paste it to use in your email communications. We suggest that you send it out to everyone that hasn't unsubscribed and it is extremely important that you start doing this as soon as possible. You can use campaign specific images in very much the same way as Manchester United have in the example above; these generally help increase engagement and as the old adage goes: "A picture (or video in the above case) tells a thousand words".

Want to know how we can help you? Get in touch with us below: