How will GDPR affect affiliate email marketing strategies?

How will GDPR affect affiliate email marketing strategies? Parallax Image

Affiliate email marketing gives you a unique opportunity to tap into a larger audience, paying based on the results your campaign achieves. If it’s a marketing tool you’re regularly deploying, it might be time to reassess your current approach to ensure you’re compliant with new EU-wide legislation. You only have until 25th May 2018 to research, test, and deploy new your affiliate marketing strategies that are GDPR compliant.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to strengthen and unify data protection for all consumers living in member states of the EU. Following a two-year transition period, it comes into force on 25 May 2018 and applies to all businesses that are established within the bloc. It will impact how businesses store, collect, and use data, with potentially hefty fines for those that don’t meet the new standards.

But how does this relate to marketing?

Data driven marketing is a fast growing digital marketing trend, allowing brand’s to personalise campaigns to improve conversion rates. In fact, personal data is one of the most valuable resources a marketer has in their toolbox. From using cookies on websites to tapping into the potential of the internet of things, data no doubt plays in role in your marketing strategy.

Despite the huge impact, many marketing departments are unprepared for GDPR. In a survey, a quarter of marketers stated their companies are not yet ready for the regulations and a staggering 68% stated they will not be ready in time for the May 2018 deadline. Worryingly, around a third of marketing professionals aren’t aware of how GDPR will affect their current models.

How does GDPR affect email affiliate marketing?

Every day over 205 billion emails are sent but with more people than ever before using email as a primary method of communication and picking up messages on smartphones, it’s a vital tool for marketers around the world. Affiliate email marketing allows you to reach new leads by using lists curated by your partners.

But GDPR means that you’ll now be equally responsible for meeting private data protection laws. Over a third of marketers name affiliate marketing as their top lead acquisition method and it’s an area that many professionals want to increase their use of. With this in mind, you’ll need to review and, in some cases, adapt your current email affiliate marketing approach to meet the regulations.

So, what questions should your business be asking in relation to affiliate email marketing?

Does the affiliate have a clear opt-in procedure?

In order to start receiving emails, individuals should have clearly opted in and consented to receiving the type of marketing materials you intend to send. Best practices should involve a double opt-in step, such as sending a confirmation email to follow-up. With the right processes in place, your marketing campaigns can also improve their conversion rates, as you’ll know you’re targeting consumers that are interested in your content, offers, and more.

Is there a method for opting out?

All individuals will have the ‘right to erasure’. As a result, any partners you work with should have a simple, accessible way to opt out of receiving all forms of communication. They should provide a direct way to be contacted should a consumer wish to get in touch. If you’re collaborating with partners that fail to meet this obligation, you could be liable too.

Is your affiliate reviewing legacy marketing lists?

Existing marketing lists are unlikely to have been obtained meeting the new GDPR standards. It’s vital that an audit is performed to assess how affiliates are going to address this issue. Continuing to use legacy marketing lists without obtaining consent could result in fines.

How often is the affiliate email database reviewed?

The rules around storing personal data, including email addresses and names, is changing too. This means it’s more important for email lists to be regularly cleansed and it’s an aspect you should check your partners are staying on top of. Where a recipient hasn’t given consent, has no ongoing activity, or an existing customer relationship, unnecessary details should be deleted. It might result in your lists being smaller, but they’ll be more engaged.


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