Blogging Corner: Understanding GDPR and How It Will Affect Your Site

Understanding GDPR at Mustard Seed Sentinel
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Understanding GDPR and How It Will Affect Your Site

by Joanne Troppello

The General Data Protection (GDPR) regulation was designed to ensure a simplified and unified approach to how personal data is protected by companies located in Europe—as well as companies or brands that do business with any EU residents.

With the enactment of the updated GDPR EU regulation, you may be wondering what this has to do with your blog or website—especially if you live in the United States.

Review the following information to better understand the relationship between GDPR and online content so you can be ready to handle any impact on your brand as a professional blogger.

GDPR and Enhanced Lead Engagement

Don’t view the new GDPR EU regulation as a stumbling block for marketing your online content and implementing lead generation strategies. Of course, you must make sure you comply with obtaining definitive permission from leads that decide to opt-in to your lead funnels and lists.

Internet privacy expert Simon Carroll said, “When someone grants permission they are acting consciously, becoming an active participant rather than a passive source of data to be pillaged.”

A central factor in content marketing for your blog, is to get a lead’s permission to interact with them through further engagement. You need to respect the lead and treat them as if they were already a paying subscriber to your blog or educational content. Since more personal data is freely provided rather than you having to gather it online through searches—you can enhance the way you engage with them.

Three Important Factors with GDPR

It may seem a bit overwhelming to ensure that your online content strategy is compliant with the updated GDPR EU regulation. Focus on three important factors regarding the way data is used. You can positively impact your brand as a professional blogger through improved lead and subscriber engagement.

Get Specific Permission – You must make certain that you have specific opt-ins in place before sending any email content to leads or subscribers. Of course, this GDPR only applies to your interactions with European leads and subscribers. However, it is still a good practice to have opt-ins in place on your lead generation forms and subscribe boxes.

All lead forms must include an opt-in box for leads to check off clarifying they agree with your privacy policy and terms—so you can be GDPR compliant. Use an opt-in box for promotional materials you send such as email newsletters and other brand information. You cannot simply include a note under the contact information that the lead agrees to your terms and privacy policy when they respond to your free trial. That is not GDPR compliant. They need to check an opt-in box.

Make Data Easily Accessible – One of the ways to comply with GDPR regulations is to ensure that any leads and subscribers have the “right to be forgotten.” The updated regulation gives leads and subscribers the chance to maintain control over how their personal data is obtained and used. This means people have easy access to their data if they want to “invoke their right to be forgotten” and have their data removed from your databases.

According to the “right to be forgotten” ruling from EU Justice Court, you need to give your leads or subscribers easy access to their data. For example, make sure you have a user-friendly unsubscribe link in all emails to leads and subscribers. A second way to comply is to integrate links to user profiles. With this access, subscribers can easily manage email preferences like opting in or out for promotions, special offers, invitations, and important messages.

Simplify Data Collection – You need data from leads, who then become subscribers, in order to thrive in the blogging industry. You will have a harder time of increasing your conversion rates and cultivating positive engagement with leads and subscribers if you don’t have an easy way to obtain personal data like contact information and what they like etc.

By complying with GDPR, you must streamline data collection—so you only collect necessary relevant data. You can’t begin collecting all types of personal data you think you need, but which is not proven relevant to current and future engagements with the lead or subscriber. You may think this is overkill. However, if you are not able to provide a relevant reason for obtaining that data, you should not collect it. Focus only on data you specifically need and forget about extraneous details.

Make sure you comply with these regulations. Do not contact leads or subscribers who haven’t specifically opted-in to receive your brand content.

Flybe sent emails to over 3.3 million people who had been listed in their database. They wanted to identify whether or not they had the correct details. However, the Information Commissioner’s Office fined them since these subscribers had previously unsubscribed from any contact from the company. Once they had unsubscribed, these people should have been removed from the database.

Make sure you keep up with having only active leads and subscribers on lists in your database. Follow the basic rule of only communicating with leads or subscribers who have opted-in for communication with you and you’ll easily comply with the updated GDPR. Ensure that all data like their usernames, passwords, and email addresses are easily accessible in your database—and that they can unsubscribe if desired—to ensure compliance.


About the Author

Understanding GDPR at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.

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