GDPR – What you need to know about re-permissioning

If you collect, store or use client and customer data, you’ll have heard of re-permissioning already. In fact, with the GDPR coming into force this May, getting your head around re-permission and what it entails should be a priority. But if you’re struggling to get your head around it, we can help…


What does re-permission mean?


Well, all that information that you’ve collected from your customers, the data that you use to target your campaigns and send communications about your brand? That data needs to have been collected with permission. What’s more, you’ll need to have proof that the customer consented to your collecting, storing and using it.


Like many retailers, if you had a pre-checked box on your website or as part of your communications, this will no longer count as consent under GDPR. Under the new regulations you must clearly tell the customer how and why you will be using their information, gain consent for that use and let them know just what they need to do should they wish to retract that permission and/or opt out.


How can you get customer consent?


Simply put, you’ll need to ask for it.


Yes, it’s a daunting thought – especially if you need to gain consent across the majority of your customer database. But at Pimble, we like to focus on the positives.


Think of this as your chance to finely tune the data you hold. By asking for customer buy-in you’ll instantly be highlighting which of your customers want to interact with you and genuinely want to keep in touch. You’ll also be able to weed out all those who don’t. Cleaner data going forward means a greater understanding of your customers, increased engagement and a better customer experience.


Where to begin


Initially, we’d suggest starting by looking at your current data and working out which information will need to be re-permissioned. Remember if you have proof of consent, you don’t need to include them in the re-permission campaign, but for those who you aren’t sure about, consider breaking it up, if you can – pulling out customers who engage with your brand regularly, those who are more intermittent and those who haven’t engaged at all for a length of time, for example. By doing this, you’ll not only make re-permissioning more manageable, you’ll also be able to communicate with those groups in a more targeted way.


Next, think about ‘how’ you can ask for consent. It doesn’t have to be limited to just email campaigns, you could make use of your website, social media, posted mail such as brochures or printed look-books, or even by text. There is no right or wrong way, choose whichever medium works for you and your customers.


Don’t forget your timings. The GDPR comes into force in May, and the likelihood is your customers might need more than one nudge to encourage them to interact. Schedule your campaign to gain the best impact – and not annoy your customer base with a bombardment of communications.


Finally, put thought into the campaign itself. We’re seeing lots of different campaigns starting to go out now, many with lead magnets of some kind – a discount, upgrade or incentive. You’ll want to stand out from the crowd, but still add value to your customers.


And our final piece of advice?


Getting fully prepared is important, but there really is no time like the present. As we venture nearer to the compliance deadline, more and more brands will be initiating their own re-permissioning campaigns. Leave it too long and you may lose the opportunity to engage with your customers.