Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months, you will already know that a new data protection law is coming into force from Friday 25th May 2018.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the current Data Protection Act 1998 and will affect every business that collects and handles customer data, regardless of its size or stature.
We’ve already outlined some recommendations in a previous blog post for what action you can take to ensure your business complies, so now we want to focus on the positive impact of the GDPR for marketing your business.
The looming legislation might seem intimidating, but it does provide an opportunity to improve your marketing and make it more targeted than ever.
Most notably, you can be certain your contacts want to hear from you as they will have actively opted in to receive communication from you. In theory, this means your audience should be more receptive and engaged with your business than ever before.
For example, response rates to any calls to action you include should increase significantly.
For newsletters created with your email marketing software, you should notice an increase in open and click-through rates. The open rate is the number of people on your list who open your newsletter, while the click-through rate is the number of people who click on the links in your newsletter to read the rest of the content on your website.
In contrast, you should see a reduction in the bounce rate for your website - that is, the amount of people who clicked on a link but left after interacting with only one page. A higher bounce rate suggests to Google that your content is not relevant to the website visitor, which will eventually harm your website rankings and reduce its visibility on Google.
GDPR provides an opportunity to find out what your contacts are interested in: rather than giving a basic ‘yes or no’ option when asking people to opt in, you can now provide them with a list of options – such as topics of interest – so they can pick and choose what sort of communication they want to receive.
This consent allows you to gain an insight into each individual’s interests to provide them with only the information they want from you.
Not only does this help you to be compliant with the GDPR, but it also helps to segment your contacts so you can create tailored marketing campaigns as opposed to adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Owing to GDPR, you may want to consider implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system if you haven’t already done so. Having a central system on which to store all data may be worthwhile – especially if you currently hold data in different places, as that could be problematic if an individual wants to exercise their right to be forgotten.
A CRM system could be a valuable investment for your business because, if your contacts are switching on and off (opting in and out), you’ll get an insight into their changing interests in real time. That way, you can learn more about them and target them with more specific or relevant information.
Finally, by complying with GPDR, you are being transparent with your stakeholders: people do business with people that they know, like and trust, and building trust involves doing just that.
If you can demonstrate that you have your contacts’ best interests at heart, by treating their data with respect and storing it securely, then you will be well on your way to strengthening trust and engagement with them.
If you’d like to discuss any of this in more detail, please contact us on 01522 528540.