The GDPR and similar privacy laws around the world placed new pressures on business leaders. Marketing leaders now had to worry not only about attracting new leads, but also respecting customers’ rights to privacy or to be ignored. Some companies still struggle with this today. The introduction of these new privacy laws demanded—and continues to demand—vast, sudden changes.
However, marketing itself holds firm. New privacy regulations only restrict the usage of customer data. Your company can and should continue using proven marketing methods to draw in new leads. For an excellent example of this, let’s look at how you can leverage legitimate interest to make specialized marketing offers and attract new customers.
The GDPR lists six acceptable reasons to process a customer’s personal data:
For our purposes, the most important principle here is a legitimate interest. The European Commission defines legitimate interest in this way:
“Your company/organization has a legitimate interest when the processing takes place within a client relationship, when it processes personal data for direct marketing purposes, to prevent fraud or to ensure the network and information security of your IT systems.”
Conventional marketing measures would say that making a purchase or taking advantage of an offer demonstrates legitimate interest to be contacted frequently and for a long time. But a detailed understanding of most relevant legislation shows that’s not the case. Privacy laws are concerned with the customers’ interests above all else—and most customers don’t like fielding constant sales calls.
To stay within their legal confines, companies have to get creative. One excellent way to do this is to rethink the way we handle special offers.
In a post-GDPR world, companies can collect many customers’ legitimate interest through “segmenting” their offers. This ensures you’re targeting customers that actually want to hear from you, rather than just sending off mass emails.
The first, and perhaps simpler, way to segment marketing offers is to promote them specifically to their target audience. For example, a cybersecurity management firm might publish a blog article about recognizing phishing emails. The article could contain a link to purchase the firm’s specialized antivirus software. Anyone reading the blog is interested in safeguarding their computer and will be more likely to appreciate the offer.
A second way to segment marketing offers is to embed one offer within another that has already been accepted. Let’s continue the example of the cybersecurity management firm. A customer that signs up for their newsletter demonstrates an interest in computer security, and may also be interested in attending an upcoming security webinar advertised in the newsletter. The webinar itself may conclude with an offer of a free cybersecurity assessment. This is just an extension of the customer’s interest, and continually accepting offers within offers demonstrates continued interest—and more importantly, continued permission to be contacted.
Regardless of how you choose to handle offers, make sure to keep your promises! Failure to follow through on an offer will only hurt you.
Showcasing an offer is more than just presenting a customer with a link. What form does this offer take? Is it likely to draw the customer in? Here are a few tried-and-true offer formats to experiment with:
With new restrictions on advertising, companies have had to learn to balance zealous marketing with a healthy respect for customer privacy. Correctly understanding legal guidelines for sales tactics can be time-consuming. However, with the right approach, the results are more than worth it.
Naturally, we have to close this post with a marketing offer of our own for you. Is your system optimized for new legal requirements? We can help you find out! Get in touch today for a privacy assessment to keep your marketing strategy in the clear.
This blog post is an excerpt from our white paper “Reinventing CTAs in a Privacy-Conscious World”. Download and read the full white paper here.