Hi, this is Jessica and I’m the marketing director here at TinyFrog. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about the GDPR and how it can affect your online marketing. If you haven’t heard of this, the GDPR stands for the Global Data Protection Regulation and it’s basically a European Union law that went into effect back in May. It has to do with how companies collect data and also track visitors on their websites. Even if you’re not located in the European Union, the law was actually written very broadly so it can apply to U.S.-based companies who have a website. What we’ve been doing is helping a lot of clients update their website for some of these best practices just as a new standard.
The GDPR & Newsletter Sign-Ups
In terms of your marketing on your website and the GDPR, one of the best practices is to look at how you have your email newsletter signup. If you have a form on your site where it says, you know, sign up for a newsletter and has a name and email field that’s perfectly fine under the GDPR.
What you want to be careful about though is having any type of form on your site where you’re collecting information for another reason. Say someone’s contacting you to get a consultation and if you have a checkbox at the end of that form that says, “Sign up for updates,” under the GDPR, you need to make sure that checkbox isn’t checked off by default. The reason for that is these new regulations just want to make sure a visitor are really consenting to giving their email address to you for you to email them in the future.
The other best practice you should think about for your email newsletter signup is to make sure it’s set to double opt-in. Double opt-in means that if I go to your website and there’s a form for me to sign up for your newsletter and I enter my information after I do that, I then get an email just asking me to subscribe and confirm that I want to join your newsletter. That’s typically a default with any email set up, but there are some sites that have switched it to the single opt-in. We’re now recommending with these new regulations that you definitely do double opt-in always.
Cookie Tracking & Notifications
Then the final piece with the GDPR that may affect some of your marketing is you may have noticed a lot of sites now have a cookie notification banner. This relates to how a website tracks a visitor and with the GDPR it’s now a best practice actually to have one of those banners set up on your site. Even if you’re not doing say advertising or a lot of tracking of visitors, every website has some essential cookies that have to get triggered just for the website to function.
It’s now a good practice to have this banner so that a visitor knows your site has cookies firing and we can set up a notification so that a visitor can actually consent to having even third-party cookies track them on the site. If you need help setting this up on your site definitely reach out to us. We’ve been going through all the latest WordPress cookie plug-in setups so we can definitely do that for you. If you have more questions about the GDPR and your specific website, feel free to reach out to us.