If you’ve been doing business in the United States and don’t understand what all the recent buzz about GDPR is all about, you certainly aren’t alone.
The kitchen table version of the story is this: businesses in the EU region must now tread lightly when it comes to collecting personal data of website visitors. Requiring consent and putting more power in the average consumer versus businesses, those who fail to comply with the seemingly complicated legislation.
Here’s the deal, though: GDPR has long-term implications on all business, not just those in the EU.
How so? Perhaps Reciprocity Labs puts it best: “Because the GDPR is a citizens’-rights law, its mandates affect every enterprise around the world doing business with EU citizens.”
In other words, businesses are large are being forced to rethink both how they collect data and approach people in general online. Between security concerns and the distaste for excessive data collections, modern companies therefore must revamp how they market to customers accordingly.
And so the question remains: what should you do to establish that much-needed sense of a trust in this post-GDPR world? While there is no “one size fits all” answer, we’ve outlined four strategies below.
Embrace the Principles of Permission Marketing
If you’ve been doing business over the past two decades, you’re probably already aware of Seth Godin’s classic concept of permission marketing. Simply put, permission marketing emphasizes the idea of opting-in and warming up to prospects who want to hand over their contact information versus trying to pry for it.
This is why content marketing and lead magnets have become so powerful for marketers who want to kindle relationships with prospects rather than selling from the word “go.”
Rethink How Often You Ask for Information
When it comes to opt-ins, “the more, the merrier” isn’t the way to go. While marketing tools such as lead capture forms and pop-ups can be incredibly effective, they can also be a huge turn-off. Same rings true for sales emails for subscribers on your list.
Remember: pushing too hard with modern buyers is a dangerous game. Making small changes to your marketing campaigns such as exit pops (as opposed to pop-ups that occur as soon as you land) or fewer sales-related CTAs in your emails or copy can instantly make your business seem less spammy to strangers.
Avoid the “Hard Sell” When Possible
The principles of effective soft selling in the real world can be translated online through avenues such as blogging and email marketing. Rather than push for people to buy, you should instead push them to learn more or educate themselves via a case study. Pointing people directly to education versus product pages might seem roundabout, but it works.
Educate, Don’t Manipulate
On a related note, anything you can do to position yourself as a teacher or influencer is a huge plus. Think about it: when people peek at your Twitter or Facebook page, what are they seeing? An educator or a salesperson? Boosting helpful content and interacting with other industry players isn’t just fluff: it’s a surefire way to signal yourself as a helping hand.
You can’t blame the average web user for being wary of modern businesses: instead, you need to find ways to build trust with them. Through the strategies outlined above, you can do exactly that to ensure your bottom line doesn’t take a hit in the face of a more skeptical consumer base at large.