GDPR – the acronym that seems to be on everyone’s lips at the moment.
And whether you’re a one man (or one woman) band or a large multinational – if you run a business in the EU – you’re likely to be affected by this change in the law when it comes into force on 25th May 2018.
We’ll wholeheartedly admit – it’s a minefield out there, with lots of conflicting info no matter which way you turn.
We’ve no intention of adding to that confusion by telling you what you need to do to comply – you can find all the official guidance you could ever need on the Information Commissioners website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/
But when it comes to marketing, and reaching out to new prospects, the real question is, how will the new data protection laws affect your current marketing activity?
Here’s a rough guideline:
So, before 25th May 2018, you’re well within your rights to keep in contact with your current database.
In fact, we’d urge you to be more proactive with them whilst you still can!!
Just make sure you factor in a GDPR compliant e-mail that asks them if they’d like to remain on your mailing list after the May deadline.
This will ensure continued compliance once the rules are enforced.
25th May Onwards – You’ll still be able to send out B2B communications via post.
As long as you give recipients a clear and simple way of opting out if they no longer wish to receive marketing material from you.
But B2C marketing will be a whole lot stricter – you’ll only be able to send mail to individuals once you have their explicit consent and opt-in.
Before 25th May, you’re free to send e-mail marketing campaigns to all of the contacts on your database, providing you offer a clear unsubscribe link in the body of the email.
As with direct mail – we’d urge you to get your messages out there while you still can.
And make sure to include a GDPR compliant email that asks for permission to continue e-mailing them after the deadline.
After 25th May when GDPR is officially enforced, you’ll no longer be able to contact new businesses or consumers unless they have given clear consent that they’re happy for you to contact them.
There will be exceptions to this rule based on targeting for ‘legitimate interest’, but these are instances that are likely to be policed very closely. Feel free to call us regarding this.
As long as there are no name and address details on your leaflet, so they are not targeting any named individual, there is unlikely to be any consent laws imposed here.
So this will remain a great advertising option, especially for small or local businesses, both before and after the May deadline.
This method doesn’t need any specific consent since businesses and/or individuals are able to freely choose whether to like/follow your profile or remove themselves completely.
The individual is fully in control.
So when it comes to social media – just keep doing what you’re doing, (but maybe just a little bit more perhaps?)
What you will need to be mindful of is identifying subjects within your posts (for example if you post an image of an employee and include their name and office location).
Again, these instances would need express, documented permission from the individual in question before posting.
Before 25th May, you’re well within your rights to contact any business or consumer, unless they have signed up to the telephone preference service (TPS).
If you undertake this type of marketing regularly, it’s worth contacting prospects now to seek express permission to continue after the deadline.
From 25th May onwards, for both business and consumer targeting, you will not be allowed to sell to prospective customers via phone or SMS unless they have gone through a specific opt-in process and you have gained and/or recorded their explicit consent.