Well the GDPR date hit and the opt-in emails are starting to slow down. Phew! There was a lot of hype, as well as myths and confusion. (If you’re still working through it, you can use our checklist to help).
Basically the new law changes the way you handle the personal data of people who visit your website and that you hold in your database. You need their explicit consent or you can face hefty fines if you don’t follow the new rules with all your data.
It’s not all doom and gloom! As a matter of fact, your firm’s database is going to be full of people who actually want to hear from you. Warmer leads, rather than some contacts who will never use your firm. In some cases you may be left with a small (but valuable) base to work from.
If you’re only using direct marketing tactics (email marketing) you’ll really struggle to engage with people as it’s unlikely you’ll have developed a relationship, so are they going to opt back in? Probably not.
If you’ve already embraced content marketing and are drawing clients in via your amazing fresh content, they’re definitely heading in the right direction. Some of your contacts will have opted back in already, and will continue to as you work through your opt-in campaign. It’s helpful to add a note in the footer of all your emails to remind people to re-opt in.
How do I build up my accounting firm’s database after GDPR?
Although the buzz around the 25th of May has been and gone, your data is a work in progress.
For those of you already producing content, who have put in place the extra steps to get full permission, your list of people who want to hear from you will continue to build – and best of all, it will be a much warmer list.
If you’re new to creating great content for your firm, there’s great news.
This is where content marketing saves the day. It brings your prospects to you rather than you having to contact them directly.
Whether it’s a guide, a video a blog post, as long as it’s of value to them, it will begin to build trust. They’ll either give their consent to contact them going forward – or it won’t matter, because they’ll be following you everywhere!.
How do I share my content after GDPR?
For the content you’ve created, you’ll want to get it out digitally for your target audience to find.
Your firm’s website.
This is the perfect place to host your new piece of content. If it’s a guide or something to download, you may want to build a specific landing page. Be sure to comply with the new information that needs to be added for people to consent to you contacting them. It can be as simple as adding in a check-box (un-ticked) to the data capture form on the landing page that explains what you’ll use the data for and if they consent to further contact.
SEO is key (and the basics are not difficult). Your audience will find your content when they search online: so your topics, titles and tags are critical. We’ve a few blog posts on SEO here.
Don’t be put off, you can still email your clients and prospects who have opted back in to receive specific content. Keep building up that relationship.
This is more important than ever! We’re beginning to see a massive reduction in the requests for email addresses from those who share content – after all, why would your prospect bother giving your email address if they’re worried they will be spammed by constant emails?
Social media allows you to share great content with your audience on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind. It almost doesn’t matter if you send emails or not, because they’re going to continue to see content you’re creating. When they’re ready, they will know how to get in touch.
Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at a minimum. Share the link to your content far and wide, with text and tags that will catch the attention of your audience and prospects.
To boost your list of prospects a little quicker, you can use a small budget on Facebook Ads. Target people who fit your profile, and provide them with your content – a link to a video or landing page, or whatever useful content you’ve created.
Working with other companies whose values and purpose are similar to your own is an extremely powerful way to get your content out to the right kind of people.
Ask your partners to share the link to your content on their social media profiles or email newsletters (so it’s still you that’s asking and gaining permission to contact the prospect).
Remember when you’re connecting with other companies, you have to think about what’s in it for them. Don’t simply ask them to share your stuff: make sure you’re sharing theirs. Keep an eye out for their great content that would be useful for your clients. At PF, we’re constantly sharing great ideas and videos and webinars from companies like Xero, GoProposal, ReceiptBank, Hubdoc, and others who are truly helping accountants.
Let the relationship build naturally, and if there’s an opportunity to work together on an event, a webinar, a guest post, a video – take that opportunity in order to be helpful to your clients. Not for what you get out of it.
Data capture at events will change in a big way. If your firm’s got an exhibition stand or a speaking slot at prospect events and you plan to collect data, you’ll need to build in a few additional steps.
You can’t take for granted people want to hear from you in the future about your services just because they give a business card to enter a prize draw. You need their explicit consent that they want you to keep contacting them with marketing.
If you have a hand-out, add in a tick-box that explains why you want their data and ask if they consent. If you’re giving content away on the stand which will be sent by email, build a form to capture data which also asks for consent. It’s the same process you would follow with a landing page on your website.As for the data scanners i’m not sure how these companies plan to operate but i’ll update this post when we find out.
Online events are a fantastic way to capture data and build a relationship by sharing further related content: you have the initial sign up opportunity, the actual webinar and then the follow up. But you can only follow up with those that want to hear more from you so it’s important you build in the consent request right at the start. Otherwise you’ll lose the chance to send them further content.
It’ll soon become second nature for us all and our marketing will be a lot more powerful. Best of all, you’ll connect with the right kind of people who will come to you at the right time.e
Rather than seeing GDPR as a burden that makes your marketing more difficult, look at the opportunities available: and the reminder that your prospects are connecting with you in far more ways than simply giving out their email address. That’s great for your firm.