On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s new privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect and will apply to the data of EU individuals no matter where their data may reside.
Should I take it seriously?
Yes. The fine can be £20 million or 4% of your annual turnover, whichever is greater. It’s really worth taking precautions to protect yourself, and also gives you the opportunity to clean your data lists so you’re not spamming people / p*ssing people off.
We’ll attempt to make some sort of sense of it all in this short GDPR blog… enjoy! 😉
Consent is key
“The conditions for consent have been strengthened, and companies will no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese, as the request for consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent. Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.” Source: https://www.eugdpr.org/key-changes.html
But we’re leaving the EU, we’ll be fine!
Wrong. The GDPR will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR. – ico.org.uk
How will it affect my marketing?
It’s difficult to suggest how exactly it’ll affect your own business, as each business has different marketing plans, tools and techniques. Unfortunately a one size fits all approach isn’t going to work, however GDPR will mainly affect email marketing.
What can I do about it?
Get proof of Opt-In
We’re not lawyers, so we don’t know the full ins and outs here. Some businesses are sending “GDPR opt-in” emails asking all subscribers to re-subscribe, so that if the GDPR enforcers come knocking you’ve got proof. Another action businesses are doing to prep for GDPR is to contact your email marketing providers, asking them for more information and proof that they’re GDPR compliant. Here’s some information from the big 2 providers
- Mailchimp – https://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/management/about-the-general-data-protection-regulation
- Campaign Monitor – https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/03/gdpr-what-it-is-how-it-affects-you-what-we-are-doing-to-help/
Delete bought lists
Ever paid for a list or database? Well delete them, now.
Be honest, make things simple
Don’t try and trick people into signing up for things they probably don’t want to receive simply by making Opt Ins easy. For example, on your enquiry form on your website, always have a tick box that says “To subscribe to our awesome newsletter tick the box here”. Don’t use double negatives like “Are you sure that you don’t not not not want to receive our newsletters by ticking here?” or just assume everyone wants to sign up. Basically, don’t send people things unless they’ve said it’s ok. It’s pretty simple in that respect.
To be honest deep down you don’t want a massive email list with no-one reading, it’s far better to have 200 people on your list that open and engage with your email content than it is to have 20,000 people who literally do not care.
Check out this from Super Office –
To sum up…
It’ll be clearer after GDPR hits the true impact it’ll have on businesses of all sizes, to make sure you’re absolutely covered we’d recommend speaking to a solicitor who specialises in the area of GDPR – just to ensure you’re as compliant as can be!
It might seem like GDPR is a chore for your business, but ultimately it should cleanse your data and gives you the opportunity to remind people about the awesome content that your business has to offer. Plus, as a consumer, it should help with the amount of spam emails and unwanted sales calls you receive on a regular basis. I for one, am all for that! 🙌
Additional recommended reading
Super Office – https://www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr-marketing/
ICO – https://ico.org.uk/
Shopify – https://help.shopify.com/manual/your-account/GDPR/GDPR-Shopify
SOZO Design – https://sozodesign.co.uk/blog/gdpr/gdpr-2018-marketing-to-a-prospective-client/