Well, I don’t know about you but I am so relieved that all the GDPR build-up, hype and hysteria is finally over. Just how many emails did you get last week?!
I like you have been working hard on making sure I am compliant. It’s been hard and often difficult to work out exactly what to do. In essence I think the rules are quite vague and so we ended up with about a million different explanations, hundreds of suggested actions doom and gloom predictions and a whole load of fear mongering. Trying to see the wood from the trees has been a challenge hasn’t it?
I still haven’t finished all my compliance updates and I guess you might still be working your way through them so I thought it would be useful to share my experiences and understanding with you. I am no GDPR expert but I’m a small business owner just like you and if my research and understanding can help you in any way then that is just cool!
Today I want to share my 8 point GDPR checklist. These are the actions I have taken with regards to my website, my email lists and my opt ins. Hopefully they will provide a guide if you are still working your way through the minefield, or, make you feel pretty smug if you’ve done it all and are sitting pretty already.
Next week I am going to bring you my take on the positive side of GDPR, (oh yes! There is a positive side and I’m super excited about it!) why it is a gift for indie brands like us and how you can market your business in the post GDPR world.
In essence GDPR is all about respect; Treating your customers and followers in a transparent, open and honest way. You know the way that you want to be treated.
Indie brands are very good at this anyway. It’s at the heart of our values and missions so really we don’t have many tweaks to make and nothing we have to do is new to us. Great news!
So, here is my GDPR checklist
- I completed an audit on both my website and social media to identify all my opt ins. These are things like posts where you ask people to sign up for your newsletter or blog and the freebies you give away to get people onto your email list. Once I had identified them, and I had over 20! SERIOUSLY!! I deleted any that were redundant and then redirected any that I wanted to continue to use to a GDPR compliant list inside Mailchimp. Mailchimp have launched GDPR sign up forms with the required tick boxes. You can customise them to fit with your brand and you can change the wording to make them sound more you. If you don’t use Mailchimp check with your platform provider as I am pretty sure they will have done the same.
- We have to be really clear from now on what our followers are signing up for. We can no longer offer a freebie and automatically add them to our mailing list. We can still offer the freebie and then we must ask them if after receiving and enjoying the freebie they would like to stay in touch through our newsletter or blog. If they choose not to join your newsletter list then you cannot continue to email them. This is the part of GDPR that hits us hardest. But don’t worry about it. If your freebie is impressive then even if they don’t opt into your newsletter you will have made a lasting impression on them. So that was rather a long winded way of saying the second action I took was to add the additional opt in into my website opt in, my Beauty Brand Starter Pack.
- I culled my email list. It was a scary thing to do. My list had taken me 3 and a half years to build and in the space of an hour I deleted half of it. YIKES! Using Mailchimp I identified all the active members of my list. Mailchimp grade list members 1-5. 5 being those who read your emails the most. I deleted everybody with a score of 1,2 or 3! My list is now lean and packed only with people who are actively enjoying my content. That is going to do wonders for my open rate and I’m pretty sure my mails will make it into more inboxes so it will have a positive impact on my sales. Much better to have a list full of people who open all your emails rather than a list full of unopened emails half of which are sitting in spam folders!
- I identified any people on my remaining list where I was uncertain their original sign up was GDPR compliant and I emailed them to ask them to re-opt in. Phew! It was hard work but most people signed up again and now I feel so great to know that I have a fully engaged list. It’s quite liberating and rewarding actually!
- I ran a re-engagement campaign. I saw GDPR as a real opportunity to get back in front of as many people as possible and remind them about all the incredible content I share. As a huge thank you to all my loyal email readers I sent out my Beauty Brand Starter Pack. You should have received it over the last 2 weeks. I wanted to really say thanks and provide you with some incredible information with serious value. I hope you enjoyed it and have put much of it to use in your business already.
- And finally I have my thinking cap on. I am brainstorming exactly how we can all move forward and market effectively in the post GDPR world. I have already had some great ideas! I am going to share them all with you in my blog next week. Watch this space.
There we have it. My simple guide to how I dealt with GDPR. I hope you find it useful. If you are struggling through compliance updates and want a chat to someone whose been there and shares your pain then just use the button on the right of the screen to book a free chat with me.
Just remember no one is seeking you out to check how compliant you are. All you need to do is treat your tribe with respect and do your best to complete a few simple updates and changes. Don’t panic, don’t worry and don’t overcomplicate it. Do the best that you can and that will be good enough!
Watch out for next week’s blog where I am going to share my ideas on how you can market your brand going forward. I promise you that regardless of GDPR there are still tons of ways you can build meaningful and engaging relationships with your tribe. In fact I am going to show you how GDPR is going to make you more successful.
Rachel ‘keeping the difficult stuff real’ Whittaker
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