4 May 2018

GDPR & Marketing:
Opportunity or Threat?

With the ever-looming GDPR coming into force, it is important that you understand the effects of this regulation on your marketing campaigns. It’s not all bad though, we actually think as much as GDPR is going to be a pain to implement, your marketing will be more targeted.

Threats & Challenges

Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first. There are 3 things that marketers need to be concerned with: data permission, data access and data focus.

Data permission

Due to the whole issue of consent, you are going to have to provide a double opt-in when people sign up to receive your marketing emails. So essentially, they tick a box, you send an automated email to explain what they are signing up to receive, and then they have to confirm again with the link you provide.

All a bit long-winded we know. And you HAVE to be specific. You can’t just say you are going to send ‘marketing’ emails. You need to specify the type of marketing, for example ‘emails about our SEO services’, or ‘emails about PPC services’. Clarity is key here.

Data access

As marketers, it is our responsibility to ‘look after’ customer data, if you like. We are the ones who will be in charge of accessing and removing customer data if required. In particular with regards to email marketing lists.

If you are using one of the top email marketing platforms such as MailChimp or CreateSend, there is not much to worry about here. You should automatically have the ‘unsubscribe from these emails’ link at the bottom of your emails. With GDPR, you will have to add in another step though. This link also needs to allow the user to amend their own email preferences. The example below is spot on.

Data focus

This refers to collecting data that is actually relevant. Most of us marketers tend to hoard data, because it may be useful further down the line, or simply because we feel safer if it is there. Pressing the delete button can be quite anxiety-provoking!

But this has to change. When you are collecting personal data, ask yourself this question. Do you actually need that information? For example, do you need to know someone’s favourite film before they can sign up to your newsletter? How is that going to actually be of use to your future marketing campaigns?

Golden opportunities

Now we have got the challenges and threats out of the way, let’s talk about the opportunities GDPR can bring (it’s not all bad, we promise). Firstly, think about how cleansed and segmented your email subscriber list will look.

Targeted campaigns

People will have to select to receive emails about the exact products or services that are of interest to them. So you can start targeting email campaigns around these. Suppose someone said they want to know more about your PPC services? Send them a specific email about your PPC work. And watch as your open rates and click through rates soar!

One single data platform

With the introduction of the ‘right to be forgotten’ – so essentially the removal of personal data, you will soon realise that it is much easier to have all customer data in one place. So get condensing your records onto one CRM now.

This way you can keep track of all your permissions data, ensuring you are GDPR compliant. The other huge benefit is that by having one platform, it will allow your customers the chance to switch data preferences on and off, as they require. Meaning that you can learn more about the individual preferences of your customers.

Transparency

By showing that you are adhering to GDPR, this instills trust with your customers. They know straight from the get-go that their data is safe, and only being used for the required purposes. Building up trust comes through projecting transparency. The more honest you are about what you are doing with customer data, the more they will believe in you as a company.

And if they are receiving relevant, targeted emails from you, rather than blanket emails, you will be in their good books. So say goodbye to the days of receiving hundreds of spammy emails on a daily basis, that either don’t apply to you, or you aren’t the slightest bit interested in.

Do let us know if you have any concerns, or questions regarding what you need to be doing to prepare for GDPR by emailing marketing@laser.red, or giving us a call on 01472 878496.

The authors

Charlotte Perrelle - Digital Marketer at Laser Red
Charlotte Perrelle
Digital Marketer