GDPR isn’t the hassle that people are making it out to be. It’s actually going to improve your sales opportunities. Yes, really!
The data regulation means you now need explicit consent from customers to contact them with marketing communications. That means that anybody who signs up to your email newsletters, for example, is an interested party.
Why does this matter?
You’re spending less on targeting a more interested group of people!
Instead of spending a lot of money on sending a lot of emails to a lot of disengaged people, you’re only sending a limited number of emails to those with a warm interest who are already receptive to your business.
Fish, barrel, boom.
It’s All About Trust And Transparency
The way GDPR protects individuals, and the new processes you must follow to gain explicit consent and store personal data, is actually of a benefit to your business.
That’s because only the people who want to build a trusting relationship with your company are going to be signing up.
The clear data segmentation opportunities provided by consent processes also mean you’ll be able to enhance your customer experience. With already-engaged customers willing to pass across their personal information, you can ask them for more and break down buying trends into marketing lists, too.
What Is Data Segmentation?
You can choose to segment the information you hold on customers on a general level or drill right down to specific behaviours.
For example, you could segment by demographic, location, or age bracket. If you want to go further, you could segment based on how recently they purchased from you, what they’ve bought, or how frequently they buy.
For example, someone who has already signed up to your email newsletter, that then goes on to make a purchase, is going to be more receptive to receiving other marketing communications. This could include direct mail, a physical touch-point for you to further engage on a more personal level and improve the buying journey.
What About ‘Undue Coercion’ To Sign Up?
There’s a bit of legislation that’s very vaguely worded. This is where you cannot offer a cash incentive to get people to agree to marketing emails if it is seen as ‘undue coercion’. This phrase is highly confusing: does is mean an actual cash incentive? Or a cash-equivalent incentive?
What Is Coercion?
Coercion is when you’re persuading someone to do something by giving them a more favourable option if they do it.
It’s like telling a child they can have ice cream, but only if they finish their mains first.
It’s OK: don’t panic. Discounts, coupon codes, and free gifts are all still allowed. You just have to be careful about how you word these offers, and that you are not being unfair to those who choose not to sign up to your email marketing.
Only giving email newsletter signups a discount – no, no, no.
Having regular website-wide discounts and then a different discount or offer (such as a downloadable) for email signup – yes, yes, yes.
See? It’s not as scary as it sounds. Just remember: as long as you’re not ‘playing favourites’ by encouraging people to sign up to marketing emails from you as the ONLY way to receive any type of discount, offer, or gift (digital or physical), you’ll be alright.
For example, you could say that anyone who signs up to your email newsletter will receive 15% off their first order, IF there is also another opportunity for non-sign ups to have a similar discount elsewhere. It may be that you run a website-wide discount for one week per month, for example, available on selected products. You can then still offer a 15% discount on first orders for email sign-ups, as you’re not providing an undue incentive to coerce somebody to sign up.
Just remember: once people have signed up, you must give them a way to access their data and select or change how and when you can contact them. This is easily done with a customer account and ‘Email Preferences’ section, where you can provide the option for people to cancel receiving marketing emails at any point.
*This email master class/ blog series has been prepared by instantprint as a condensedsummary of GDPR and not as a full comprehensive review. We advise all readers to undertake their own further reading and research into GDPR, including a review of the GDPR guidance set out on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s website.