Has GDPR Affected Contact Relationship Management?

This time last year businesses were beginning to panic about GDPR compliance and the effect that 25th May might have on contact relationship management, if the deadline was missed.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have been so concerned? Apart from Google’s 50M euro fine by the French in February, there have been no major cases or breaches yet. ‘Yet’ is of course the key word as due process means time must elapse, before the fines start coming.

Good Practice Benefits of GDPR

From a contact relationship management perspective, GDPR was always a good thing. Everybody should expect the data they have knowingly shared to be kept safe. Equally most data not actively shared should not be accessible and usable by others. The exceptions here are around the greater good such as terrorism and criminality.

With advances in technology enabling the use of real-time processing of large amounts of data the move back to a compliance-based regime was overdue. Everybody should now know what is acceptable use as opposed to ‘could be used for’.

Persuading organisations to delete thousands of names wasn’t an easy task, because many saw that as throwing away an asset. But out of date or never used information is not the basis of a relationship.

Proactive consent empowered by systems and processes is a marketing essential. This ensures that relationships flourish as the prospect journeys through the sales funnel for mutual benefit.

Bad Practice Continues

GDPR has not made the world perfect as the following three examples show:

  • ‘Can you just send this out to your members please’ was something that could be previously considered. Now the system has to be in place that the members have consented to receive third party information and that it follows the flow of when that information is sent.
  • It is not legitimate interest for a business growth organisation to be sending the same daily email advertising their event for a fortnight. The first time was of genuine interest, I put aside to consider later. The second was a reminder and a little annoying. The third stupid but I only lost patience and marked as spam on the 10th day! A case study in how to lose a client.
  • If the recipient follows the company system requesting the right to be deleted and separately the right to be forgotten, but continues to receive offers, why does it take the threat of referral to ICO to stop the letters. This was a multiple marketing fail. The letters encouraged the recipient to take up cancelled insurance and referred to a call-out that was so bad it led to compensation!

Email Marketing Lives On

GDPR has not stopped email marketing. Systems like Constant Contact are still valuable tools to actively take a contact from that initial consent to send more info, through to a client and beyond.

The management enables the efficient processing of individuals at a common stage in the process that has been created for particular campaigns. It enables their questions to be answered or for buying to be rewarded. It gives the tools to understand where an individual is in the process and therefore the best active response.

These systems then allow the systematic responses of:

  • We only send out as a newsletter link in the first week of the month.
  • He’s opened it and read it, but not booked, wait x days and send a different email.
  • If we compensated this individual; he’s not a realistic prospect so don’t mail and put on the not list to clean any future lists.

If you need help with your contact relationship management or email marketing please email us to arrange a suitable time for a phone call.