Rebuild Your Lists Post-GDPR: Offline Data Collection

by Joanne Dolezal on 1st July 2019

Offline Data Collection

In your business you’ll have a lot of data: emails that you’ve sent and information the accounts team has about customers. You may have collected business cards that you’ve never added to an Excel spreadsheet or uploaded to email software, and the people who gave you those cards have never been communicated with. All of this offline data collection can be an asset to your email marketing list.

As you worked through your GDPR compliance last year, you will no doubt have conducted an audit of the personal data you have and whether you have permission to use it.

Don’t assume that you have permission to send email marketing messages to prospects, or customers. But do invite them to join your mailing list.

1. Personal Invitation – contact data sitting within an email, a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper but not in your email marketing system, is potentially a wasted opportunity.

Don’t send blanket emails, but why not contact these people 1-2-1 via email, phone or social media and ask if they’d like to be added to your mailing list. Better still, share the sign up link with them to make it as easy as possible. Most people will be happy to hear from you, if they are interested in what you do or are happy with the goods and services you’ve provided.

2. Customer Data needs Customer Insight – each team within your business will have customer data. Customer care, customer services, sales and account management will not only have data, but also valuable customer insights – they know who these people are, which questions they ask and what problems they face.

Even if you can’t use their personal data, talk to your customer-facing colleagues to find out as much as you can about the people you serve. The more you understand them, the easier it is to send messages and information that are relevant to them.

This is true customer care – not personal data abuse.

3. Trade Shows and Conferences – are another way to build your lists and gather data but bear in mind that the contacts we make while networking tend to be quite cool, unless you’ve had a conversation with them and exchanged information. They tend to be the hardest to convert in any real sense.

When you build your lists ‘ethically’ this is the reward…

Your list can become your biggest asset, and many marketers would agree “the money’s in the list”. You can design your marketing (both online and offline) to grow as big a list as possible, whilst staying on the right side of GDPR.

GDPR – all you need to know – can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/ – no need to recycle their guidelines.

In the next article, we’ll explore more ways of winning with email marketing.

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