How many times have you heard someone say “GDPR” lately? Too many, right? But do you actually know what they’re referring to? Perhaps you’re aware that it’s something to do with data, but not quite sure. Well, hopefully, this article will help clear up a few things, although it is mainly geared towards how the GDPR affects marketing.
What is the GDPR?
GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, and it is a new EU law that comes into force on the 25thMay 2018. It standardises the regulations across the EU so that data is protected across all member states. It seeks to improve the transparency of the data obtained by businesses, as companies now must obtain consent and disclose how they acquire data.
The GDPR cannot be ignored! The EU, is taking it extremely seriously, and anyone now abiding by this new regulation could face fines of up to €20M, or 4% of your global turnover…whichever is higher!
How does the GDPR affect marketing?
There are essentially three areas that you need to look at as a marketer with regards to the GDPR:
This will mainly affect email marketing, as most contacts on an email marketing lists have not explicitly given consent. Even if a customer has signed up for a free e-book, or perhaps a coupon code, it does not mean they want to be contacted. They haven’t given express permission. The EU Privacy Regulations state that the consent must be informed, specific, unambiguous, and revocable.
Therefore, your leads/customers will need to physically confirm that they agree to be contacted. It’s not sufficient to put a statement on your site that says anyone signing up agrees to be contacted, but you will now need to add tick boxes, so they actively agree to be added to your mailing list.
For extra precaution, you will want to switch on the “double opt-in” option in your email marketing client. This will send them an email asking them to confirm their participation by clicking on a link.
You may remember that Google had to comply with the EU law that gives people the right “to be forgotten”. This means that any inaccurate or out of date personal data has to be removed at the request of the individual. Google has to remove several of its pages from search engines at individuals’ requests.
When it comes to email marketing, you can easily comply to this by adding an unsubscribe link on the bottom of your email.
Give people the option to remove their data if they wish!
It’s very easy to get carried away on a sign-up form and collect data that you think maybe useful. With the new GDPR, the regulation requires you to justify what you data you collect. If you have a legitimate reason to collect this data in order to provide them with a good service, and you can prove it, then great! Otherwise, stick to the essentials!
Summary: How GDPR affects marketing
The GDPR sounds really scary because the majority of people are not clued up and are scaring each other about what it means. As long as you are careful with your data and get permission from everyone, you should be fine.
Please note that this article should not be considered as legal advice, as we are not legally trained professionals. This is simply our way of trying to help fellow marketers out there prepare for the GDPR.