A little more than two years ago we were concerned about the implications of the GDPR which, after a gestation period of some five years, had finally been implemented. The predictions were varied. Some suggested it would be just the thing to reassure customers and encourage them to join email marketing lists, while others suggested that court cases and publicity would put them off. So who was right?
It could be both or neither as the evidence is somewhat contradictory, especially with regards to confidence in email marketing. Overall there has been no mass migration via unsubscribes. On the other hand, there was the proposed EU 200,000,000 fine for British Airways following the breach of half a million of customers’ data. If the biggest companies can fail, what about SMEs?
One of the side-effects of the GDPR is that data protection was brought to the attention of the public at large, highlighting the dangers of sharing personal information online. Indeed, scandals, such as Cambridge Analytica, has ensured that GDPR no longer has to be spelled out. It is not necessarily a bad thing as reputation has become very important.
Many of us might be nervous of mentioning data protection; after all it wouldn’t do to make our customers nervous of sharing theirs as we want them to sign up to email marketing lists. Now, with everyone knowing about it, there are distinct positives in mentioning it. If we tell customers that we are committed to protecting their data, have a data protection officer, and highlighting the rights of those who have concerns about their personal information to discover exactly how much we have, and to control it, then they should feel reassured.
The EU has produced a document, booklet really, on the second anniversary of the GDPR. Running to 50,000 words, and being rather self-congratulatory in tone, I’ve decided not to include a link. It’s easily found online.
Don’t be afraid to mention the risks of sharing personal data online. Emphasise your protection methods, that you treat it seriously, and that email marketing can be professionally run. And run your company professionally.