GDPR: What data should I focus on when opting in?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), consent to receive your marketing emails must be explicit, freely given, and for a singular, clear purpose. In reality, GDPR can be seen as raising the bar for a higher standard of consent, which hands the control of consent over to the data subject (aka you and me!)

Gathering consent requires a positive, affirmative opt in to a clear and plain text explanation of how your data will be processed. While consent is only one basis for data processing, this blog will focus on how you can channel your efforts when trying to get your database to opt in to receive your marketing communications before the 25th May implementation date.

Think about your data as three distinct chunks – they may not be evenly balanced, but thinking about your data in this way will help you focus your efforts.

1 – Low hanging fruit.

This is the easiest group of people to opt in. This group will include current customers (if you haven’t gathered consent in a GDPR-compliant way in the past), hot leads, recent attendees at events, web enquiries and the like.

Identify these people in your database and apply a personal touch – offer them a whitepaper or content that will pique their interest or pick up the phone and ask them yourselves.

A note on legitimate interest…

You can argue that this section doesn’t need to consent because contacting them is in under the banner of legitimate interest; they are likely to want to, or expect to, hear from you about the services you offer.

2 – The ‘not so sure’s.

This (potentially larger) section of data presents a huge opportunity but expect a noticeable amout of data loss. This group will be former customers and clients, people who signed up to your newsletters a considerable time ago, event attendees from years gone by and old data lists.

This group will need a longer funnel to gather opt in consent, so automation could be the way to get them over the line. Set up a series of emails, offering them content in exchange for opting in. Monitor your success regularly and tweak your messaging if you’re not seeing regular opt ins after each wave.

3 – The dead data in the water.

This final chunk will include legacy data, years’ old purchased data lists and your hard bounces, soft bounces and generic email addresses. Draw a line in the sand and take this chunk off your radar, focussing your efforts on the data that will provide some return and freshly opted in data.

By breaking your data down into clear and defined lists, you will be able to set yourself a framework that you can clearly measure your success against. Don’t leave it too late though. It’s better to start with a smaller pool of active recipients who are clearly interested in what you offer than flogging a dead horse.

Our GDPR whitepaper clearly outlines this and many other tactics we recommend for ensuring that your marketing is GDPR-compliant. While the road towards GDPR compliancy isn’t simple, we hope that you’re more able to cope with the challenge after reading it.

Download our whitepaper today.

Sean Ross Howlett

By Sean Ross Howlett

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