Welcome to the first in a two-part blog series focussed around data management. In this article we’ll be opening up the subject of GDPR, why it’s essential to comply, and how the importance of the human touch
When it comes to gaining permission to market, the more opt-ins your database contains, the higher your conversion rate will be. It makes sense therefore that your focus should be on the quality of your data vs quantity. Using GDPR compliant processes means the size of your database might shrink – BUT from less contacts, you get a better return rate.
Many of our clients approach us with the problem of having large quantities of badly qualified or unqualified data, which leads to a negative impact on their conversion rate. Complying with GDPR means tightening up on process when cleansing data, helping to maximise the quality of your contact information. The GDPR will also make opting-out easier – again, ensuring that your data is better maintained. Here are a few other ways in which working with the GDPR will increase your conversion rate:
Better Manage Your Data
By using GDPR as a framework, you’ll need to treat your data as if it were an asset to be continually and consistently maintained. Regular audits, refreshes, and telephone research will enable you to cleanse and capture the opt-ins needed to gain their consent before marketing to them. It’ll also allow you to capture their communication preferences so you can send them tailored messaging.
A word of warning: Don’t be fooled by “GDPR opted-in data”. GDPR rules not only apply to contact data collated by yourself, but also to those purchased from other companies. Whilst under the current law you may be able to market to purchased lists, post-GDPR from May 25th 2018, you may not be able to. The likelihood is that because of the extra work that needs to be done on these lists to ensure compliancy, the costs of purchasing data will be significantly higher post-GDPR. And if you get caught out, you’re at risk of fines of up to €20 million – or 4% of your global annual turnover for the preceding financial year; whichever is the greater. As the marketer, the buck stops at you; if questioned you’ll need to prove your compliance with GDPR.
Should you find yourself being pursued for damages, you will be able to claim back all (or some) of the money you pay out from your data processor – if your data processor is in fact wholly or part responsible for the breach. Equally if the data subject pursues the data processor for the full compensation pay-out, data processors will have the same right to claim back money from data controllers (or any other data processors involved), whose fault caused or contributed to the damage.
Be Seen As A Trusted Brand
As a natural by-product of complying with GDPR, you’ll increase customer satisfaction and retention rates. This is because you’ll be sending marketing communication out to qualified contacts, i.e. people who will have an interest in what you have to say. In turn, this serves to boost your reputation as a brand that provides excellent customer experience by taking your customer’s privacy very seriously.
Whether it’s junk mail through the letterbox or spam mail cluttering up your email inbox, we’re all fed up of being on the receiving end of unsolicited marketing. As a result, people are getting more aware when it comes to increasing privacy levels and filters. Gaining consent means you can talk to your customers, safe in the knowledge that your messages will reach them and not their junk folder.
Keep in mind though that whenever you get an opt-in, it’s never for life. People move roles, leave companies, companies fold…. In the world of B2B, industries with higher employee turnover rates suffer from as much as 70% contact data decay per year. Checking and cleansing your data should be a continual process and you should be aiming to review your database every 12 months.
Using GDPR as a best practise guideline will get you in the good habit of setting a time limit for your opt-ins. Based on how often you intend to communicate with your contacts over a one-year period, you can set reminders that ensures you opt them in again after a certain period of time. Plus, if they show continual interest, you get a great indicator of how much better your sales conversion will be.
Use The Human Touch
Post-GDPR, you won’t be able to rely solely on computer-automated lead scoring. Human interaction will be essential in order to ensure focus is on real opportunities and to really understand your customer’s interest or need. This not only means you get deeper and more meaningful customer insight and further qualify leads, it enables you to maintain your data’s quality throughout the pipeline and build a much stronger relationship with your customers.
By keeping regular contact you get to develop this relationship over a longer period of time, vs focusing only on one-off sales-orientated touchpoints.
All this may seem like a daunting task, and no doubt you’ll have a lot of work to do in the year ahead. If you’d like advice on how to ensure your contacts are securely opted in using GDPR compliance and data protection best practise, talk to us; we can help turn your potential data migraine into business growth. Feel free to contact us today. In part two we’ll be focussing more on permission to market, and how anything less is nothing but a false sense of success.
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