We have just landed in London and ironically on the very day the GDPR comes into play and yes, it’s raining. But it is supposed to get up to 21 degrees today! Woohoo 🙂
Your inbox, like ours, is probably full of emails from every company you’ve ever subscribed to over the past ten years. And maybe you are stressing about it for your own business?
The good news is you don’t have to. Relax! The media has made it bigger than it has to be. Read on to find out why you don’t need to stress about it and you can go and have a nice weekend instead!
1. There’s no need to panic, they aren’t after you!
The media has blown this whole GDPR thing out of the water. As a small business owner you are NOT the target of the GDPR. They’re focussed on businesses that do a LOT of data processing and specifically those who make money from selling that data like Facebook and Google.
“But I don’t want to get fined” I hear you scream and yes, we don’t want to either. But it really is just a fear tactic. To put your mind at rest here is what Elizabeth Dunham (The UK’s Information Commissioner) has to say “Issuing fines has always been and will continue to be, a last resort”.
So basically if you have a website that has some opt-in forms on it, the EU isn’t going to be knocking on your door any time soon or hitting you with any fines.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing the right thing but it does mean you can probably take the weekend off and go spend it with your family, chill out and read a book, or take the dog for a walk, instead of trying to understand the mixed information out there on GDPR.
2. Don’t be a sheep and follow the common advice
Everyone wants to do the right thing to be compliant and you definitely should but the problem is that if you follow a lot of the common advice out there at the moment it’s going to harm your conversion rates considerably and for a small business, that means it can affect your bottom line.
But there is a way to do it right without it hurting your business or your conversion rates. First of all, let’s all get on the same page about what really needs to happen (in lamens terms, not legal jargon because the reality is we are not lawyers!)
- Before someone signs up, tell them what you are going to do with their information
- Let them view the information you collect (usually just their name and email
- Give them the opportunity to modify their data or unsubscribe (which you should be doing anyway)
- Remove all data if they request it (simply delete them out of your list)
And that’s it. Simples!
3. A checkbox will kill your conversion rate
Most of the marketers out there are suggesting you add a checkbox to your opt-in that gives people the option of receiving your additional emails over and above what they are actually signing up for.
Problem with that is most people won’t tick that box and you still have to give them what you are offering e.g. your downloadable ebook. You also have to go to the expense of having your lists split into two – those that did tick the box and those that didn’t.
Reality is…most people won’t tick that box because they haven’t received your good stuff yet and their inbox is already too full.
Instead, you are much better off changing the copy of your opt-in or changing the nature of your opt-in.
Here are three things you can do that won’t turn people away from subscribing to your list:
- Add “Subscribe to” into the heading e.g. Subscribe to receive “awesome gift”
- Make the freebie a bonus to subscribing e.g. Get our weekly tips & get instant access to “awesome gift
- Add a link to your terms & privacy e.g. We promise never to spam you. Read our terms & privacy here [with a link]
Now isn’t that a whole lot better than giving them a checklist that most people won’t check because they don’t know you yet and haven’t received any of your awesome stuff! Of course, you can still easily add a checkbox and the choice is ultimately yours.
4. Build Relationships with your Potential Clients
There is a side benefit to this whole GDPR and that is, businesses will have to get much better at marketing and the marketing of the future is all about building relationships with your potential clients.
For example, our ultimate goal at Blue Dog Websites from a business point of view is to sell websites so that we can be a sustainable business and our staff can get paid.
Our real goal though comes from our passion to help people build the absolute best website that will support them to grow their business.
Therefore, everything we do for “marketing” is all about helping people build an awesome website.
So, what can you create a regular email that is truly valuable to your potential clients and isn’t trying to “sell” them something?
5. Last But Not Least
Make sure you have an unsubscribe option on every single email you ever send out to a client as well as an option to modify their subscription if they want to.
Most automatic email responder software provides these easily for you and to be honest, to be legally compliant with the privacy laws in most countries you should have had this already.
Once you’ve done these (and it doesn’t have to be today) you can get back to the more important task of building your business.
It’s now Friday afternoon so now you are armed with this new information (which we hope you have found helpful), you can stop stressing about the GDPR and go have a good weekend!