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No matter what your industry (and, we hate to break it to you, even if you’re based outside Europe) GDPR is going to affect your business on some level when it hits this May.

If you handle, hold, or use personal data in or originating from an affected country, your business is involved and will be liable to stringent penalties if it is not compliant. This data could relate to anyone, for instance employees, customers, or prospects, so it’s very important to understand what GDPR actually means for you – especially if your business is dependent on this information.

Don’t panic, however! Tightening data compliance regulations should instead be seen as an opportunity to learn what clean data looks like, and an impetus to sort out your lists well in advance of any changes. Given that we’re entering the time of year where thoughts of abstinence, discipline, and virtuousness start to occupy the mind of last year’s festive reveler, there’s no better time than the present to start detoxing your data.

It’s important to understand that a clean data list is about more than ‘being compliant’, and in fact requires you actually to come up with a working strategy for how best to reach out to your current subscribers, leaving you with highly-engaged, opted in individuals who have shared their information with you consentingly. A possible strategy could be along these lines:

 

Step 1

Check how many of your contacts have actually opted in; you will need to be able to prove this has not simply been done through a pre-ticked box, but instead through a form which explicitly states the type of communications which the subscriber will receive.

 

Step 2

Filter these contacts out and see how many of them opened an email in the past year – if they haven’t, chances are they are un-engaged and you could try a different approach to win back their interest (see below).

 

Step 3

As for those who have been opening your emails, you can send these contacts an email asking them to update their preferences or simply confirm they are happy to continue hearing from you.

 

Step 4

What about those who haven’t opened in the past year, or for whom you have no subscription information? May is drawing closer, so reach out now with a subject line such as “Last chance to stay subscribed”. You’ll need to let them know that you require them to confirm that they are happy to keep receiving your emails or else they will be unsubscribed. Keep it clear with a CTA along the lines of “Yes, I am happy to keep receiving emails from X.”

 

Keep checking in for our weekly thoughts on the importance of maintaining clean lists, and why now is the time to detox your data!

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