Ok, this is quite a modern first world problem, but do you ever get fed up of all the spam mail clogging up your inbox? I suspect that the average person gets between 10-15 marketing emails a day - which are usually pretty irrelevant to them. It's very annoying to click on each of them, find the unsubscribe button and unsubscribe, so many of us just delete without reading and await the next one to arrive in a vicious spam cycle. Do you even remember subscribing to so many newsletters or brand mailing lists or have you been duped into subscribing when buying something or wanting to access an article online? Or worse, did you subscribe to something you were genuinely interested in, only for that company to sell your data to anyone who wanted to buy it.
I find spam very frustrating, which has been quite fortunate for me, as my loathing of spam helped me develop my business, FanFinders. My business does deal in data, but one thing FanFinders will never do sell unsolicited data. I know as well as most, when people receive spam emails from companies, brands and people they have no interest from hearing from, they delete those messages straight away.
The good news for anyone with an email address however, is GDPR (a super dull set of marketing laws) is coming into effect from May 2018. Put simply, your days of being spammed are set to be over - unless you choose to opt in to lots of marketing materials.
GDPR will bring a lot more transparency in the way businesses and organisations handle our data, which essentially puts you in charge. You may also be glad to hear that the GDPR regulation has a tougher penalty too for data abuse. So the risks for rogue operators, the sort that sell your data to everyone and anyone with a budget, make nuisance calls to your grandmother or send you random texts - will be much higher. (Up to 20 million Euros or 4% of annual turnover - whichever is higher, this could be a huge number for some brands)
Over the years I know of many people who have abandoned their email addresses or change their phone numbers because they were fed up with sheer volume of spam mail and nuisance calls they received. Quite an extreme thing to do, but when your data has been abused by businesses and organisations to the point that it's impacting your life, this might have been the only option to regain privacy.
The impact of abandoning an email address of changing your phone number is not without consequences however, you can lose many contacts, access to many websites or social media platforms - the impact of this today can have quite the snowball effect. My advice to you is don't abandon your email address or change your data at this point. This time next year the majority of the spamming will stop and you can regroup and get your email as tidy as you want it to be, without new companies getting hold of your details and starting the vicious cycle again.
GDPR has certainly sent the marketing industry into a bit of a tailspin, but I for one will be very pleased when it comes into effect and my data can no longer be sold to (un) 'carefully selected' third parties.
Alec Dobbie is the founder of FanFinders a GDPR performance marketing business specialities in the nursery and women's life style sectors.