With the GDPR deadline approaching quickly, we’ve been trying to assess what the new regulations will mean for marketers. In fact, we’ve written a number of blogs that you might find useful including “What Does The GDPR Mean For Digital Marketing?” and “GDPR Check List – The Basics“.
What about email though, what are the do’s and don’ts of the GDPR and email marketing?
Just because the deadline is next year (May 2018) doesn’t mean that you can carry on with your bad practice until then. There are already safeguards in place, including opt-in to protect consumers from email marketing they don’t want. Are you sending email marketing to people who haven’t opted-in? It would be an opportune time to stop and sort your database out.
Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently said:
“Businesses must understand that they can’t break one law to get ready for another.”
In particular, he was referring to the temptation to email your entire database to gain consent for future emails. Trying to regain consent from people who have already said “no” is not a wise idea, as Morrison Supermarkets found in June when the ICO fined them for “deliberately sent 130,671 emails to people who had previously opted out of receiving marketing related to their Morrisons More card.”
The methodology of “opting in” is changing. Sneaky tactics used by email marketers, where people didn’t know if they were opting in or out, are being tackled by the GDPR in the new standards for consent. It’s therefore worth considering your current opt-in/consent process in light of draft standards which are:
Yes, the new process has a lot more elements for consideration which is why you should not be leaving your preparation and implementation to the last minute but what about your existing sign-ups?
Let’s face it, with the clock ticking at some point there’s also going to be an almighty rush to re-permission your customer records so they are fit for the GDPR. Making your data GDPR-ready means re-contacting your customers in order to gain the correct opt-ins. Can you imagine what’s going to happen in April 2018 as the deadline looms? A deluge of email re-permission forms arriving in inboxes.
We’ve seen some great examples already of re-permissions emails and have reviewed them in our “How To Get Your Current Email Database To Opt In” blog. As you will see from the blog many companies have already started the re-permissions process, so don’t be left behind.
There are many resources on the GDPR available already, the ICO has announced that it will produce its final guidance in Dec 2017. With elements and clarity emerging all the time we’d recommend keeping abreast of developments. We’ll report on these in our SocialB blog but don’t forget to check out the ICO’s guidance and also organisations such as the DMA.
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