5 Marketing Automation Mistakes to Fix so Your US Business is GDPR Compliant

Since May 25, 2018, businesses can be penalized for as much as 4% of their annual revenue if they violate laws set within the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Marketers, especially those focusing on email marketing, need to understand the changes in EU data collection that have been implemented due to GDPR rules and likewise, how data can now be managed using marketing automation platform.

With the risk of strict penalties and fines, marketers need to assure that their data privacy practices meet standards in order to avoid maximum fines of 20 million euros or 4% of global annual revenue, whichever will be higher. Even companies that are outside the EU (European Union) will not be spared fines in case they fail to comply with GDPR rules when marketing to EU residents.

With GDPR in full effect, marketers need to adapt and build marketing automation processes to audit and ensure complete data privacy and transparency for the customers they target when marketing products. Likewise, marketers must guard their campaigns against these five most common marketing automation mistakes and dangers:

1. Reverse IP tracking

With the rise of marketing automation and the critical place it has in the industry, the practice of reverse IP tracking has emerged to be necessary in prospecting. With the implementation of GDPR, marketers must get consent from their customers before they start collecting, storing and processing data on each customer’s IP address.

2. Automated data management campaigns

For the last few years, marketing automation platforms have enabled systematic data enrichment thus enabling marketers to ‘to create new data leveraging data,’ but from May 25th and onwards organizations have to ensure that all their data management activities will be declared. Marketers should audit previously stored data for valid opt-ins as they will be accountable for the outcome of all automated data (whether new or existing) and if data was gathered with the customer’s consent.

3. Reactivation programs

Marketers should create consistent and systematic processes to run reactivation programs for customers who are inactive for a set period of time. Due to GDPR rules, customers who have been inactive in all marketing communications should be removed no longer be sent any communications by the company or be considered for any type of reactivation programs.

4. Removal of Records

In addition to the restriction on reactivation programs, marketers also need to delete records from their database if they did not previously have the prospects consent in collecting, storing and processing their data. For old data that may not have required a consent or don’t have current consent, marketers must remove those contacts (and the associated data) from their database as well as remove prospects/customers who have withdrawn their consent for communication.

5. Lead scoring program

Lead scoring programs within marketing automation platforms feature ready-made lead segmentation that can help efficiently transfer highly engaged leads to your sales team for outreach. According to the GDPR, this method of processing involves profiling wherein marketers need to seek individuals’ content to perform the process. And if specific leads are to be considered for pursuing for sales, then organizations must once again ensure they have consent for profiling and follow-up before sending those leads to the sales automation systems.

Due to the necessary consents and limitations GDPR poses in order to protect consumers, marketers may feel challenged on how to now target their audience. Marketers living in the GDPR era must start innovating creative techniques to connect, engage and interact with their audience leveraging marketing automation platforms by merging outbound and inbound strategies. After marketers receive an individual’s consent they can use marketing automation to improve personalization and data management by leveraging automated processes within their marketing automation tool. Thus, marketers and organizations can achieve more impactful and multi-channel engagement programs that are perfectly tailored to their target audiences’ interests.

Is your US-based business GDPR compliant and able to dodge the fines set if in violation? Review your current marketing automation strategy & GDPR compliance status with our marketing automation experts to find out what passes and what areas need improvement. You can connect with our team by phone (408.502.6765), contacting us or through our social channels via Twitter and LinkedIn.