Did you notice an increase in the number of data privacy and terms of use emails in your inbox over the last few months?

It’s because of GDPR.

GDPR is the most complex—and most far-reaching—online change that I’ve seen in recent years, so let’s take a look at what you need to know and do about GDPR.

The best explanation I’ve found about GDPR and how it applies to our organizations is this article from marketing expert Amy Porterfield, which I’ve also quoted from below. Thank you, Becky Muldrow at Dual Credit at Home, for sending it to me!

Also, if you are using an online marketing service such as Mail Chimp, ConvertKit, OptinMonster, LeadPages, DonorPerfect, GivingFuel, etc, check with them to see how they are preparing for GDPR and what you need to change in your accounts, forms, and landing pages.

What is GDPR?

“GDPR stands for “The General Data Protection Regulation” a privacy law from the European Union…Even though it’s a European Union law, all online entrepreneurs need to be paying attention because the GDPR will mean major changes for the way we operate.”

Why does this affect me if my organization is in the USA or a non-EU country?

“The GDPR will apply to any relationship or transaction (commercial or free) where one of more of the parties is in the EU. It is not based on citizenship, it’s based on where they are when you are interacting with them.”

“If you are an online entrepreneur or marketer based outside of the EU, you must comply with the GDPR when we are interacting with or collecting data from people in the EU.”

How will this affect my lead magnets, pop-ups, donation forms, landing pages, etc?

“This new standard means we can’t automatically add everyone who grabs one of our lead magnets to our general marketing email list.

We must get a separate consent to add them to our marketing list. You can’t require them to give this consent as a condition for getting your freebie.

You have to sell prospects on the benefits of your list to get them to voluntarily sign up (not just as a requirement to get your lead magnet, freebie, or webinar registration).”

As you can see, GDPR is forcing organizations to change their list-building and email marketing approach, so I want to make sure you understand this clearly.

If a person in the EU wants to download your free e-book or checklist, they MUST be able to get it without receiving additional marketing emails from you.

Even though you have their email address, “once you have collected the necessary data, you can only use it for its intended purpose.”

You can deliver to them their free resource….and THAT IS IT unless they voluntarily and separately give consent to join your list.

When did it go into effect?

May 25, 2018

What should I do to become compliant?

Is your head swimming yet? Don’t worry, this is what makes Amy Porterfield’s article “golden” to borrow one of her buzzwords. The article tells you how to become compliant and includes a great example of how you can use your lead magnet delivery email to give your new contact in the EU the opportunity to voluntarily sign-up for your list.

Is this as simple as segmenting my email marketing efforts differently for EU visitors vs the USA and other countries?

Yes and no. Fortunately, we can take advantage of geotargeting to adjust how we capture and communicate with our leads. For example, you can place your EU leads in separate funnels in your email marketing service that complies with GDPR.

However, these sweeping winds of data privacy changes may start to blow across the Atlantic.

Right now, the GDPR only applies to EU website visitors, but who is to say that the USA in the wake of its own user privacy fiascos won’t adopt its own form of the GDPR, too?

This is what I’m also keeping in mind as I rethink our marketing strategies. Change is likely coming, so let’s get ahead of it.

In the long run, I think GDPR will make us better marketers and communicators.

Valuable content and clearly communicating your brand’s vision and mission are what will prompt people to voluntarily join your list for the long term. When you succeed in that, you don’t just get an email address to use for marketing.

Instead, you receive the priceless gift of a new online follower who believes in you and what you have to offer.

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.

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