With GDPR just a matter of weeks away, the SBPR team has been busy attending seminars, workshops and finding out all about GDPR for us and our clients. We thought we would share our findings for any of you that are still in the process of getting your heads round it.
What is GDPR?
GDPR is the catchy acronym for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations. These regulations replace the current EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 and before any of you start crying ‘Brexit, Brexit, it doesn’t matter now!’ it does, our government will be writing it into UK laws.
Although it might seem like a massive pain in the database, we actually think it’s a good thing. Cybercrime is a massive problem for businesses and people (two thirds of our staff have been affected) and as the current regulations were brought in three years before Google was born we think it’s about time they were brought up-to-date.
When Will It Happen?
The GDPR effective date is 25 May 2018.
Who Does It Apply To?
GDPR is applicable across all sizes of business, public authorities and all industry sectors. It applies to any business located in the EU and also to businesses located outside of the EU who are processing the personal data of EU individuals.
What is Personal Data?
Personal data is anything that could identify an individual person so if you have a person’s name stored along with their contact details – that’s personal data. It also includes encrypted data and ‘online identifiers’ like cookies.
GDPR requires that consent must be a clear and affirmative opt-in action, freely given with full knowledge of the owner and the intended purpose of processing. It can’t be implied, assumed, bundled or otherwise connected and only applies for a specifically identified purpose. So be transparent and be clear with your consent option: ‘If you would like to continue receiving our newsletters tick this box’.
If you obtained consent pre-GDPR this will still stand post-GDPR but it must have been obtained in a clear and affirmative opt-in action. So, if you have gathered a bunch of email addresses over the course of being in business that you now send your E-Newsletters to – you will need to offer these people an opt-in action for your future E-Newsletters.
Getting People to Opt-In
This is the big one. With inboxes receiving a whole bunch of E-Newsletters a whole bunch of the time – how do you entice people to opt-in to yours? We’ve come up with a few options to consider:
Ask Them Nicely
Try the human approach – send them a personal email asking them to opt-in to your newsletters. Include reasons and incentives; you could include helpful tips, insightful articles and competitions offering your goods/services as a prize.
Remember to include a link to your website that is integrated with your email platform, where people can enrol themselves. This will save you having to collect their responses and entering them manually into your database.
As the internet gets to know you better, you often find that mailers from big companies are offering you what you want to see based on your previous search/purchase history.
This can be done manually; you can email your current database asking questions like:
“How often would you like to hear from us?”
“Would you like to get tips and advice on the sector we work in?”
“Would you like to know about what’s new at our company?”
Add a Subscribe Button to Landing Pages
It sounds obvious but this is a really effective way of encouraging people to join your mailing list, it gives you somewhere to direct people to when you’re promoting your E-Newsletters or asking for people to opt-in.
If you would like advice or support on how to send out GDPR compliant newsletters then give the Sunny Bird PR team a call on 01202 293095 or drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.