The problem with all predictions about Brexit, and what it means for email marketing, is encapsulated in the title. Even now, less than 100 days until we officially leave, there is some doubt that we will actually do so.
Some things are more or less set in stone. The GDPR and similar EU legislation will still need to be complied with so there should be no changes in the way to collect, store and deal with the data on your email marketing lists. But what else should we expect?
There seems to be a lack of people who are willing to go on the record. Some are happy to share options, so that’s all I can do.
A journalist on a national television channel told me nearly two years ago that the decision on what will happen would not be made until a ‘few’ months before the deadline; 29 March next year for those who’ve been asleep since the vote. Who better to go to than someone who was spot on?
A week ago the journo said that no one knew what the outcome will be. The options seem limited to a hard Brexit, something similar to May’s plan, or we remain in the EU. Further than saying that he’d listed them in order of what he thought was their likelihood, he was not prepared to go. His last comment was, ‘The vultures are circling.’ In other words, countries are after what they can get out of us.
Comments on May’s plan were easier to come by. I’m writing this just before Christmas, with the vote on it being (provisionally) rescheduled for 14 January. It is, I was firmly informed, unlikely to be passed without major modifications.
So where does that leave us?
The state of the GBP suggests that if/when we leave the rate of exchange will be lower, giving many of us in email marketing a bit of an advantage. Given that 46% of our exports go to the EU we all probably hope for some kind of agreement before the day arrives.
We have no idea if any trade agreements have been pencilled in, although New Zealand and Sweden have made certain overtures. There may be more, some of whom will not want to be seen too early to be supporting the UK.
It seems clear that there will be a certain amount of loss if the UK goes through with hard Brexit. This will probably be lowered to an extent if we enter into some kind of ersatz Norwegian style of option. A positive aspect is that the EU will suffer if we leave without an agreement.
The EU businesses that sell much of their stock to the UK will be, no doubt, pressuring their negotiators in order not to suffer too much of a hit.
This is not a reassuring prediction, such as it is, but it seems that if we carry on with email marketing in the way we are doing now, we are likely to suffer less of a blow than other SMEs. Here’s hoping.