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After months of preparation, years in some of our cases, GDPR is here.

*Cue dramatic music*

The reality is though, it’s probably not that dramatic. Your marketing system hasn’t imploded, the stars haven’t fallen from the sky, there hasn’t been such an anticlimax since… well… since the millennium bug.  

Please don’t think I’m being flippant. I’m not. The point I’m trying to make is that GDPR isn’t a one-off, cataclysmic event that we never need to worry about ever again. It’s an ongoing, evolving process that’s going to require you to be on the ball about how you collect, segment, and manage your data. It’s time to get smart with your marketing.

Make it really easy for people to sign up again

Once the penny drops with your loyal customers and biggest fans that they’ve been removed from your list, it’s highly likely that they’ll want to sign up again.

Encourage the most active and engaged members of your audience to get back onto your email list by making it really easy for them to sign up again. Nudge them when they buy products or services, link to a sign up form in the footer of your website so it appears on every page, or add a pop-up to your site on exit.

Those who really care about hearing from you will want to, and those that don’t probably weren’t valuable customers in the first place.

Link your sign up forms everywhere

And I mean everywhere. Not just in the footer of your website. Add links to the bottom of blog posts, to automated emails following purchases or downloads, in social media posts, on social media profiles, in your email signature.

If your business relies on gathering customer data, take every opportunity that presents itself to get your sign up form in front of potential and existing customers.

When you have a good amount of quality customer data, your marketing automation efforts are going to be infinitely more effective.

Send thank you for opting in emails

A number of your customers might have given you explicit consent to market to them already, before you even started thinking about GDPR. Hopefully you have proof of their marketing consent or you conducted a balance test to evaluate your legitimate interest to contact them.

In order to nudge them into re-engaging with you, you might want to send emails to those who’ve already consented to receiving your marketing emails thanking them for doing so. That way they remember they’ve consented.

Some might exercise their right to withdraw that consent, and some might be delighted to hear from you and be reminded of the great products or services you offer. Either way, now’s the time to spring clean those email lists.

Really focus on lead generation

If your mailing list has taken a hit post-GDPR, you’re going to want to make topping it up a priority. And the great news is that you can do this with even better quality leads than you had before. Hurray!

Generating quality leads that have given marketing consent should be your number one focus if you have a robust marketing automation strategy in place.

It’s time to dig into your analytics, work out what your most successful campaigns have been in the past, and use that to inform where you direct your efforts to get maximum ROI.

If this is something you could really do with support on, you’re not alone. Book a 45-minute consultation with us, and we’ll take a look at what’s working, what’s not, and offer helpful suggestions for boosting your lead generation efforts.

Make sure everyone understands what’s changed

If you have a sales and marketing team working to get prospects into your sales funnel, it would be a good idea to get a meeting in the diary ASAP to make sure they’re comfortable with what the new GDPR regulations mean for their day-to-day, if you haven’t already.

There’s probably not a huge amount of change required at all, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be worrying about it. For example, reassure your sales team it’s OK to still pick up the phone to people and have conversations. That’s not what GDPR is preventing.

We’ve already had people asking us about gaining fresh consent in two years’ time, but there’s no need to plan that right now. We promise you, it can wait at least a few months. Right now, just focus on making sure everyone gets the immediate impact. Then you can start planning for the future.

If you’re a small business doing everything you can to the best of your ability and understanding, there’s no need to worry about GDPR. These are big changes, and the law needs time to play out. If any businesses are going to be targeted in the early days, it will probably be the big guns like social networks, ESPs, etc.

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, has assured us that the levying of big fines will be a last resort. She’s even played down the prospect of hitting a company with a big penalty to set an example, saying: “When we do need to apply a sanction, fines will not always be the most appropriate or effective choice. Compulsory data protection audits, warnings, reprimands, enforcement notices and stop processing orders are often more appropriate tools.”

So, now that GDPR is here, our best advice is to continue to do your best. Be responsible, document your processes, take on board helpful and genuine advice from respected sources, and make sure everyone in your organisation is clear about their obligations and your new processes.

If you still have concerns, get in touch with us and let’s talk about how we can support you.