8 Companies' Privacy Policy Emails, Graded

Email Screenshot

A privacy update from Ticketmaster includes an embedded video.

In case you didn’t check your email last week, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25th. It’s a big and important privacy regulation change that left countless companies scrambling to explain it to their customers.

If you did check your email, you saw one Privacy Policy update after another fill your Inbox. Most of them had pretty standard subject lines, like “Updates to Our Privacy Policy” or “We’ve Updated Our Privacy Policies” – not exactly begging the recipient to open them.

But some companies were more creative, indicating that the Marketing department had as much to say about privacy requirements as the Legal department. For example, this email subject line from social intelligence company Union Metrics definitely stood out:

“Another privacy email? Yes, but please read this one too.”

Every communication with a customer is an opportunity to create a positive customer experience. With a little effort, it is even possible to turn legal disclosures into an experience.  Here are four companies that did a great job communicating this important – and complicated – policy change to customers, plus four companies that simply (e-)mailed it in.

THE WINNERS

Ticketmaster (Grade: A+): The events ticketing company managed to turn a privacy policy update into a marketing campaign, complete with a tagline that served as its email subject line: “Privacy. It’s personal.” The email begins with a short video that mixes imagery of big stadium concerts, a soccer game and fine arts with smartphone images of users scrolling through the Ticketmaster app. The video pays off the tagline at the end by noting that “just like your taste in entertainment, your privacy is personal to you.”

The email itself starts off with friendly language that doesn’t sound like a team of lawyers wrote it: “At Ticketmaster, our fans are at the heart of everything we do. Therefore, it’s hugely important to us that you are in control of the personal information you share when buying tickets with us.” It then lays out three elements of the new Privacy Pages: that it’s clear and honest, that it puts the customer in control, and that it encourages customers to ask questions and learn more. Importantly, it contains just two links: a large call-to-action button to view the Privacy Policy, and a link to contact the Privacy team.

Buffer (Grade: A): The social media publishing app sent an email from a real person – “Joel from Buffer” – and even included his picture in the signature. While the subject line, “Privacy update: How we are meeting GDPR requirements,” doesn’t exactly scream excitement, the body of the email is informative, personal, and to the point. It uses clear language to describe Buffer’s commitment to privacy: “We are fully aligned with the spirit of the GDPR for a safe and secure Internet. We aspire to embrace privacy by design…”

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