Over the past few weeks we’ve pushed the subject of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) no end. Whilst you may be thinking “hey, what’s the rush?” as there are seven months before the deadline for compliance is up, this seemingly long time frame still doesn’t leave a lot of time to figure out how the new regulations will affect you and how your business can prepare for the changes ahead.
From a website perspective, there are implications for pretty much any company that has a website, yet hardly anybody has heard of GDPR! Here we take a closer look at how GDPR affects email marketing, SMS campaigns, postal mail outs and indeed any form of direct marketing where you hold confidential data on a person.
It’s official from May 2018, GDPR will come into effect, and the regulation will impact all personal data belonging to EU citizens – whether we are a part of the EU for very long or not! Your email marketing campaigns are likely to be the first thing to cross your mind when reading the latest about GDPR. In short, GDPR will make your intentions on how data collected will and will not be used crystal clear. There may be extra hoops to jump through to achieve this but the confidence that it will instil in subscribers will, in theory, make them more likely to want to share their data with businesses like us and you.
Under the new GDPR legislation, businesses should refine their sign up process providing clearer information on what subscribers are signing up for and seeking consent separately from their usual terms and conditions. Pre-ticked opt-in fields are invalid under this legislation whilst all consent should be fully documented and easy to withdraw.
SMS marketing will also be affected by GDPR legislation and as with the points highlighted in relation to email marketing, consent should be clearly and freely given, fully recorded, and the process for withdrawing this consent simple to undertake.
The option to opt-out should always be available to subscribers, that’s a given. However, as you may have experienced with your own direct marketing correspondence, the same mentality isn’t always adopted by the companies that we find ourselves receiving SMS or email marketing materials from, whether we remember opting in or not. We can say “goodbye” to hard opt-in tactics thanks to GDPR, which is great for subscribers, but not so great for businesses that take a spammier approach to direct marketing, and “hello” to an easy, frustration-free experience.
Postal mail outs
With headlines like ‘Direct mail firm braced for financial impact of GDPR’ and the like, it’s no wonder that direct mail marketing companies and their clients are worried about the implications the new legislation could have on their activities. It is important to remember however that GDPR is about maintaining legal compliance not reducing the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing campaigns.
Yes, making sure the data you hold about your subscribers and their activities remains compliant and up-to-date will no doubt be a long and continuous process. By refining how you validate contact details at the point of capture, you can make upholding the best practices recommended by GDPR, i.e. data cleansing and regular consent gathering, easier in the long run.
Want more information on how GDPR will affect your direct marketing activities? Or fancy getting started with a fully compliant campaign right now? Get in touch with our team today. Don’t forget to share this post before you go!
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