How Small Businesses Can Build & Grow Email Lists Post-GDPR

It’s time to grow email lists post-GDPR. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation takes effect on May 25, 2018.
The concept of consent has changed and that means you need to change your email list opt-in tactics.
By now if you have an email list you will have taken steps to comply with GDPR. If you haven’t you’ve left it too late!

GDPR confuses small businesses

Most small businesses have been in a state of confusion with what they should and shouldn’t do and GDPR hell has taken over!  It’s time to move on and consider the positives. We think the new requirements actually present small businesses an opportunity.  They can now connect with the people who really want to hear from them and build stronger relationships with their customers.
How small businesses can Grow Email Lists Post-GDPR
The BIG question is:

How do we build and grow email lists post-GDPR and continue to offer lead magnets?

We have spent hours trawling through and dechipering all the official blurb on offer and come up with our….

Dos and don’ts on creating a GDPR-compliant list growth strategy:

  • DO provide more clarity on your sign up form. It needs to state what you are and aren’t going to do with your client’s information. The ICO (information Commissioner’s Office) states ‘Explicit consent requires a very clear and specific statement of consent.’*
  • DO use clear, plain language that is easy to understand.
  • DON’T ask for any personal information that is irrelevant to the reason they are signing up. (ie postal address when they want a digital newsletter)
  • DO Provide a subscription form on your website or online store and promote this on all your social media channels
  • DON’T use one generic sign up form for collecting consent for different use of their personal data
  • DO use check boxes so customers can be specific about what information they want from you. Special offers, a weekly newsletter, a monthly newsletter etc…
  • DO implement a Pinterest strategy for growing your email list – more on this from us coming soon!
  • DO make sure it is crystal clear that your clients can unsubscribe easily at any time by clicking ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of any email they receive from you
  • DON’T add contacts who download your giveaways and resources or enter your competitions automatically
  • DO still use lead magnets but ensure that you are ‘clear and concise’* and ‘avoid making consent to processing a precondition of a service’* From everything we have read we feel that it is enough to state when someone signs up to your lead magnet if they are made aware in clear and concise way that they will also be signing up to your mailing and what that entails. Best practice would be to have a separate tick box for people to sign up to your mailing list granting permission specifically for this. However, this is a grey area and there could be a case to prove that you are still *’offering individuals real choice and control, putting individuals in charge, building trust, engagement and enhancing your reputation.’

In summary….YOU CAN grow email lists post-GDPR!

However, please be aware that this is our take on it and it is purely a risk assessment at this stage. No one knows how this will play out. The governing body, the ICO, aren’t out to target small businesses. Their regulations are designed to curtail large businesses that use huge amounts of data and acquire and use it in underhand ways.  A small business with a freebie to give away is unlikely to be slapped with a large fine.  But,  it is best that you try to abide by the general philosophy of the law and show a willingness to comply with the directives. If you can show that you have legitimate interests in requiring the email address, uphold the correct data protection principles and make sure you maintain good marketing practices while documenting your reasoning along the way, it is very unlikely to be an issue.

To finish….

We invite you to sign up to our GDPR compliant mailing list.  You will be the first to receive news on workshops, online courses and top tips on how digital marketing with help your small business grow and thrive.

Thanks for helping to grow email lists post-GDPR!

For More Digital Marketing Tips for Creative Small Business Owners Check Out Our Pinterest Board

We invite you to sign up to our GDPR compliant mailing list.  You will be the first to receive news on workshops, online courses and top tips on how digital marketing with help your small business grow and thrive.