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How to make your email marketing ready for GDPR

New EU regulations will be coming into force in the UK on May 25th 2018 that will impact the way in which privacy laws are currently regulated, potentially having a dramatic effect on businesses and websites, and particularly email marketing campaigns.

The General Data Protection Regulation (also commonly known as its acronym GDPR) will mean that there will be stricter privacy laws enforced across Europe, as well as harsher fines put in place for those who do not comply with the new legislation. For example, businesses and websites now face fines of up to 20 million for failing to act in relation to GDPR. Previously, this fine was capped at 500,000 euros.

However, email marketing company Phrasee have highlighted a number of ways in which you can get your email marketing eady for next month's new regulations. We explore some of the ways in which you can make your campaign GDPR compliant.

Remove pre-ticked boxes

One of the things that GDPR will be cracking down on is the proliferation of pre-ticked boxes that you see on online forms. Under the ruling, these boxes do not equate to that actual consent of a user, and they are therefore no longer allowed, therefore your company could be at risk of receiving a penalty if it is deemed that it is adding people to the mailing list without the explicit permission.

Changing this in your email marketing is simple. Provide users a clear tick box that explains to them on your website that they have the choice to opt-in to receive marketing emails from your company. This should also be transparent in your privacy policy.

Procedures for removing customer data

It will become compulsory next month for all websites and organisations to delete a customer's personal data that is stored on their systems if they request for it to be removed. Whilst a similar regulation was implemented under previous privacy laws, there will be much more rigorous enforcement under GDPR.

This means that in order for your email marketing to be GDPR compliant, you should have procedures in place that means customers can easily be deleted from the company system, or be able to unsubscribe from emails easily if they make a request to do so. Users should also be shown how they can they unsubscribe, and this should be made clear in any emails sent to them.

Secure customer information safely

Making sure that any customer data you have on your systems is secured is important in under to be valid under GDPR. This may mean you will need to carry out a data audit on your mailing list records, and making sure things like email addresses, names or addresses are all stored safely. This could be through a password protected cloud-based storage or a password protected computer file.

Informing subscribers of GDPR

With your existing database, it is recommended that you inform subscribers of the impending GDPR ruling. You should detail in this email that they from now on, they will need to opt in in order to receiving updates and offers from your company. Having multiple calls to action, and giving users a clear chance to opt-in or opt-out in the email is important too.

Having a more detailed privacy policy

To be GDPR compliant, it is likely you may have to update your email marketing privacy policy that explains exactly what the user is signing up to, where their personal data is stored and what it is used for. GDPR wants to put an end to long and complicated terms and conditions that are often put at the end of online forms in emails that many users gloss over. GDPR wants to make privacy policies more transparent, concise, and shorter than they previously were.

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