GDPR Explosion

GDPR has been in the wings for a while. But most businesses and websites have waited until the last minute to do something about it.

Me too!

I started with finding out what is what. Here’s a potted unofficial version of GDPR.

You should only keep information that is necessary as per existing data privacy.

If you collect emails for a mailing list then the bottom line is that you have to tell people what you’re going to do with it.

The other thing is that a lot of people use a lead magnet approach to getting people interested in what they do. It’s a legitimate approach but it needs changing for GDPR.

If you ask for an email in return for a product of some kind, then you can’t automatically add the person to your email list any more. They have the option to go on the mailing list or not.

In truth they always did, on all emails from reputable email list manager sites (aweber, mailchimp etc) there was an unsubscribe link. If you click it, you get unsubscribed from the list. The list manager companies pride themself on honouring that request. Some naturally make it more awkward by giving you lots of options, but with 30 seconds of thought you can stop them sending emails. And that’s a good thing for the list too, if you want to unsubscribe then you aren’t their ideal customer.

Back to the lead magnet. The way to do that now is to make the freebies the thing that you give your subscribers. Make that clear along with exactly what you will do with the email address and you’re in. It’s OK to say that you will use the email to offer products and keep people up to date with your website content. People are not stupid, and many are interested in the special offers for products. The tire kickers, the ones who used to get your lead magnet on a whim, those people will never be potential customers anyway.

Read around the marketing experts and you will find what it’s all about.

Cookies are a potential minefield.

If like me you use WordPress for your website, then some plugins set cookies and you don’t know about them. If you use adverts then you will get cookies by the barrow load.

Again get honest. If you’re clear about what the cookies are used for then people can make a realistic decision. If there’s cookies there that you don’t like then get rid of them. It really is down to you. If you’re leading people in to a site full of tracking cookies then do it knowing what you are doing.

Get a cookie manager, there’s a google extension called Awesome Cookie Manager and it seems pretty good. In firefox there is one called Cookie manager that shows more cookies.

Check a few out and see which shows you what you want to believe. I kept looking until I found ones that showed a lot of cookies.

You need a good cookie policy. These go from the short and to the point up to ones that say so much that they wear you out just remembering what they are talking about (the BBB approach, Bulshit Baffles Brains).

It’s a personal thing which way you want to go.

I chose minimal for now. WordPress management session cookies plus another that says whether you’ve agreed to the cookie policy or not.

Does anyone ever read that stuff?

Who knows. But if you’re confident you put effort in to being honest then it’s got to be a solid start.

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