GDPR: The pains & gains for marketing your business in 2018

By Joanne Curtis

At the beginning of this year, we gave you a detailed overview of what the General Data Protection Regulation (short for GDPR) entails and has in store for all website owners/users.

The key aim of the GDPR is to process data from private people in a lawful and transparent manner.

Now, lets analyze what all these changes mean for Digital Marketing and business owners.

Many Marketers and business owners don´t like the changes that implementing GDPR has created. But there are positive sides to it, which we should definitely not forget to talk about.

What are the main pains?

Asking past subscribers for consent

In the past weeks, especially during the last five days leading up to May 25th,  many of us  were inundated with emails, asking us to opt in and remain on the respective newsletter list.

And that was the main challenge: The necessity to send out an email asking for consent from every subscriber on your email list,  unless you had already asked for consent beforehand. Additionally, you must have a record of this written/recorded consent.

And everybody who did not give you consent, who did not specifically opt-in again for your newsletter, needed to be removed from your list and shouldn´t be contacted,  nor should their data be stored by your organisation. Many of us, lost a lot of email contacts (who had been diligently acquired and nurtured over the years)  –  which was possibly the most frustrating experience so far.

Asking new subscribers for consent and keeping a record of that

The next pain points are required website updates, with regards to consent for precise marketing efforts envisioned in the future.   You are no longer allowed to offer somebody a download of a freebie in exchange for their email address, and to then add this email address to your newsletter list without specifically having asked for the consent of this subscriber.  If you continue doing this, you could potentially get surprised by a hefty fine.   You cannot ask an email subscriber to give consent for email marketing as a condition for receiving your freebie. Therefore, it is important to get specific consent from a subscriber before adding him or her  to your general email newsletter.

However, many email providers supported this process and made a fairly simple set up for  the required actions. MailChimp has even provided a template for this  purpose:

MAilChimp helps with GDPR
MailChimp provides GDPR specific fields for your opt-in email

While in the past,  many of us will often have had a pre-ticked checkbox for the newsletter sign-up on your contact form,  or even just carried them over automatically to the general newsletter list; we must  now re-evaluate this procedure, as this goes against the new GDPR. The way to go now, is to add a voluntary checkbox/drop-down menu on your opt-in page.

However, there is another small roadblock here. People often just overlook that little checkbox asking to opt-in for the newsletter. There is an alternative for that as well. You give a yes-or-no choice to opt-in, but it is mandatory to pick one option. Below is a great example:

Keen: How to ask for newsletter subscriber
Amy Porterfield shows us how to ask for the newsletter consent

Updating your website

Another challenge for business owners is to take care of their website, including the theme and plug-ins being used to ensure these are up to date and GDPR compliant. That includes checking if the SSL certificate is in place, understanding where and how data is processed, stored and how long it is kept. Furthermore, people have the right to request any information your business may hold on them and can even request full deletion of their data straight away.

Keen is secure
Our website is SSL secure

What are the main gains?

 Quality of leads

AA big gain is the quality of leads you hold in your hands from your previous list. These subscribers will be surely engaged and interested in your brand and offering, the blog posts you publish or the podcasts you release. Ultimately, they are easier to convert into customers or clients at the end – so just focus on the opportunity in front of you. After all,  some email hygiene from time to time doesn’t hurt.  Your customer acquisition costs will focus on potential leads,  instead of wasting your budget on cold contacts and an outdated mailing list, feeding your email service provider good money. Furthermore,  you can count on the good quality leads you’ll be gaining from now on since you make it crystal clear, what a newsletter sign up on your website offers to the subscriber who actively opts-in.

Website up to date

Another gain is that your website will be alleviated up to the highest standards of  security and data protection. Your website must be up to date in any case, and you want to assure a safe web experience for your online visitors and avoid unfavourable PR about hacks or stolen sensitive user-data.

Let’s get this straight

GDPR did not just hit us with a surprise – it was released 2 years ago and has since come into enforcement. Anybody who is doing business with EU clients,  or who is located in the EEA has to adhere to this and it only pushes us to be more precise, to target better, focus on warm leads and to be productive,  rather than broad. It tickles our entrepreneurial spirit to invent new exciting ways of marketing potential audiences effectively within a given budget. Sounds exciting? That’s what we think.

Dry the tears, countless untapped digital marketing opportunities have never even been touched by most of the crestfallen businesses across Europe!

If you require any further assistance on GDPR or like to discuss some digital marketing ideas, simply get in touch with us TODAY.