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GDPR: The dos and don'ts of data capture

Published on 26 June, 2018

You may feel that the dust has settled following GDPR, but there are still a lot of questions being asked, and consumers are more cautious than ever now they know they have more control over their data.

Let’s face it, we’re all sick of being spammed by companies and contacted by mailing lists we’re sure we never signed up to. So, how can businesses make sure they are not falling foul of the law and the customers they are trying to engage?

If you want consumers to choose to opt-in and stick with you, you need to follow our dos and don’ts of data collection.

Do: Be honest and open

Phone screen newsletter sign up

Honesty and transparency are the two cornerstones of GDPR, so they should sit at the heart of your data capture processes. When entrusting you with their data, consumers want to know four things: why you want their data, how you’ll use it, how you’ll protect it and what they’ll get in return.

You don’t need to go into great detail, but you do need to make sure these questions are clearly answered, and show you’re open to further queries. Do this and you should win even the most sceptical shopper’s trust! Plus, you’ll have a more valuable database, as you’ll know that every contact in your database is engaged and wants to hear from your brand.

Don’t: Rely on sneaky tactics

Pre-ticked boxes are no longer allowed under GDPR, and any tactic that ‘tricks’ someone to consent is unlikely to build up the level of trust needed to keep them opted in. Remember, everyone you contact has the right to opt out at any time, so there really is little point trying to fool them into consenting, as they won’t stay on your marketing lists for long!

Do: Make it worth their while

Woman using smartphone

Why would someone sign up to be contacted by you? What can you offer? Exclusive discounts, tailored content and competitions can all encourage consumers to opt in and spend money with your business. Over time, these engaged customers could become brand advocates and will tell their friends to sign up and hear from you too!

Do some research into what your audience wants from you, set realistic expectations, and make sure you deliver what they’re after.

Don’t: Spam them

You could be their favourite company in the world, but we guarantee they won’t want to hear from you every day. Resist the temptation to contact your customers too much – otherwise you risk them hitting the dreaded ‘unsubscribe’ button. Only get in touch when you’ve got something interesting to say, and make sure you’re providing tailored offers and content.

Do: Let them control their experience

Registration form mobile

The more control someone has over their own data and how it’s used, the more they’ll trust your business. You must let them specify how they want to be contacted, but you can also ask how often you should get in touch, and what sort of content they want to receive.

Most importantly, make it clear they can opt out at any time!

Don’t: Ask them for information you don’t need

The fewer personal details you ask for upfront, the more likely someone is to sign up to your communications. Decide what data you need (such as name, phone number, address, etc.) and only ask for this information initially. You can choose to ask them to supply more personal details later down the line, but make it clear why you need this information (e.g. to better personalise the offers they receive).

Have more questions about GDPR?

You’re not alone! Our clients are still enquiring about GDPR best practise. Fortunately, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions in our free guide – click the button below to find out more.