The whole business industry is buzzing with news of the new GDPR rules that are set to come into place by the 25th of May 2018. These new rules are set to have a big impact on businesses across all industries – never before has there been a time when businesses have been more motivated to protect their marketing information and data than right now. The cost, should your business fail to comply with the new rules is severe, and is especially steep for micro and small businesses.
The question that a lot of business owners are pondering over is: How specifically is GDPR imposing itself on businesses and is it just marketers that need to comply with the new rules, or all businesses that have a client and non-client database for email marketing?
Many business owners are also wondering whether enforcers will target specific industries or whether the focus on compliance will be completely random. It’s already known that the real estate industry will be a target, but what other areas will be targeted?
Another question that many business owners are wondering about is:
Why is it so hard to get people to opt into receiving business marketing emails again and what can be done about it?
The issue is that for businesses to be able to continue to store people’s personal data, they have to opt-in once again, which means that many businesses will lose valuable contacts from their databases due to GDPR. Right now, a lot of businesses are all asking the same question ‘can we store your personal details?’ which means that there is fierce competition – many businesses are wondering what can be done about this. To help you better understand GDPR, data protection and marketing opt-in, below is a guide to everything that businesses need to know.
For any business that may not know what GDPR is, here’s an explanation of what it is and why it’s important. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. What this is in simple terms if a new set of rules that change how companies can gather, use and store data. This new regulation comes into effect on 25th May 2018 and covers all of Europe – it’s the largest change for data protection laws in over two decades.
The laws for managing data were created in the nineties, and data usage and software has changed significantly since then. This new set of laws is designed to alter how companies and public organisations handle data, decreasing the risk of data breaches and improving compliance.
So, bearing that in mind, what can businesses do when it comes to email marketing and GDPR?
Change your mindset
The most important step that businesses owner can take is to change their mindset when it comes to GDPR, data protection and marketing opt-in. What it’s important to remember is that when it comes to the onset of GDPR, it’s important to change your mindset and understand that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your subscribers. Think of it this way, when it comes to the people on your mailing list, it’s all well and good having 10,000 subscribers, but if only half of them (5000) are actually relevant subscribers, the other half aren’t considered to be high-quality as they are irrelevant. There’s no point wasting your time sending out emails to subscribers who aren’t interested in your business, is there? That’s why it’s best to focus on quality subscribers over quantity of subscribers.
Create an opt-in strategy
The next step that your business needs to take is to create an opt-in strategy – to do this you’ll need a smart strategy and a budget to work with. If you can find the original consent given by subscribers, you don’t need to create an opt-in strategy, because you already have their consent. However, if you have subscribers who you cannot find consent for, you need to ask for permission to continue sending them emails and storing their details on your database. If this is the case, what you need is a marketing campaign that’s unique and eye-catching. Ask yourself, how are you going to encourage people to opt-in to your emails – what will it take to do so successfully?
Create an opt-in campaign with a difference
As mentioned in the paragraph above, if you are going to successfully encourage people to opt into your email marketing, you need to create an opt-in campaign that’s unique and interesting, and most importantly, that makes people want to opt-in. The question is, of course, how can you do this? It’s important that you use different channels to communicate your campaign, including via social media, your company’s blog, and via mail. You want your campaign to tell people how valuable your marketing emails are and why they should opt-in – share information about your business and services that are sure to inspire people and encourage them to opt-in to marketing emails from you. If you get your marketing campaign right, you may end up finding that people are sharing it with their friends, because the value of opting in is clearly shown.
When it comes to your campaigns, it’s vital that you follow up on every aspect of it. What this means is being sure to share your success and thank your participants. By sharing your success, you demonstrate how valuable your company can be, which mayin turn encourage more people to opt-in, and by thanking your participants you make them feel valued, which may then make them want to share your campaign with others. It’s also a good idea to keep sharing even once a high number of people have opted in – the aim of this is to create a sense of fear of missing out on a good thing, which should encourage more people to opt-in to your marketing emails.
There you have it, everything that your business needs to know about GDPR, data protection and marketing opt-in. Hopefully, the above guide has answered any questions that you may have.