Are you GDPR ready?

If your response is, “what’s GDPR?” then you really need to read on…

On the 25th May 2018 the law regarding General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes, making it illegal to email anyone your business messages without their expressed permission to do so. Unfortunately, adding an ‘opt-out’ to communications isn’t going to cut it, from next May the onus will be on you to assume all contacts are opted-out and get them all, known and prospects, to submit their details (even if you already have them) and opt-in to receiving emails from your business. Worse still, if they don’t want to, it’s their choice and you’ll have to accept it and remove them from your lists.

The good news is that once GDPR is in place, the engagement and response rates to your e-communications should, in theory, improve since the recipients have all chosen to interact with you and are more likely to open, read, click through and respond in higher numbers. In essence, you’re removing that ‘dead data’ you’ve been emailing in vain all these years.

What’s the fine for not complying with GRDP regulations?

Up to 4% of your annual turnover. Doesn’t sound much but if you’re a £1 million business, it’s £40,000, if you’re a £10 million business, it’s £400,000. Have we got your attention now? In 2016, The Guardian reported how TalkTalk were fined £400,000 by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for a data security breach – under the new regulations; this figure would be closer to £59 million.

What can I do to get GDPR ready?

Starting today, look at your data, clean it up and begin asking your contacts to opt-in. This may be through a pop-up on your site, a simple sign-up form or a polite email asking them to confirm it’s OK for you to contact them by email. To be extra safe, they should then be taken to a 2nd tier landing page where they submit their email address AGAIN before they’re classed as opted-in.

Bear in mind, the way that you transmit, access and save this data is also important, since you’ll be expected to supply your databases along with proof of opt-in permission if you’re ever asked to.

How can I improve?

As the new GDPR regulations come into force and people become savvier about who can and can’t legally contact them, they’ll naturally begin to unsubscribe more from irrelevant or annoying communications. The easiest way to improve your data subscribers is to create regular, engaging, interesting, informative or entertaining content, then sit back and let the followers come to you.

Need to know more?

A good source of general information on the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on Wikipedia and in addition the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is updating their web page monthly to keep us in the know. Alternatively, our very own staff here at The Write Angle are swotting up on best practice, so save yourself the hassle and just ask us!

Ref: Lancashire Business View #73

July 3, 2017 - This article was written by Jen Hill

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