How to combat "formphobia" and generate quality leads post-GDPR

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GDPR legislation has changed the rules of marketing for many businesses. Gone are the days of buying customer data or using simple opt-ins to build up a list of leads. Instead, many marketers are looking to refresh their strategies and search for new ways to gather customer data for marketing purposes.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few ways that you can continue to generate high-quality leads while remaining GDPR-compliant.

Utilising Gated Content

Gated content is any content, whether blog posts, video, or other resources, that requires a user to hand over their data before they can access it. In contrast to ungated content, gates like this allow websites to collect the data of its readers with consent.

In the past, some marketers have advocated for the removal of gated content from websites, arguing that it acts as a barrier that dissuades customers - after all, the majority of customers are much more data-security conscious today than in the past.

But, if you’re willing to test that your readers are happy with opt-ins, gated content can provide a good method for GDPR-compliant lead generation. With a correctly designed opt-in that covers all the regulatory bases you can collect all the data you need in exchange for handing over valuable content.

You can even use gated content to segment your lead list, using the type of content that they sign up for as a hint about customer interests and intent - something you can later use for targeting emails.

GDPR Compliant Opt-Ins

One of the key elements of GDPR is that consumers must now unambiguously opt-in to businesses using their data. Additionally, companies must explain exactly what information they need to collect, how they plan to use it and must guarantee that they’ll only store it for as long as is strictly necessary.

Because of these stipulations, many marketers have been re-examining their online opt-in forms. Older forms quite often need to be rewritten to comply with new rules - they must be clear, in plain and unambiguous language, and set out exactly what data you need and why. Redesigning these forms can often be a good idea too - as consumers become more guarded about their data online, it pays to build a secure and professional looking form.

Many industry leaders also recommend that businesses now make use of ‘double opt-ins’ during their data collection. Already in use in many places, a double opt-in involves sending the customer a verification email after sign up, just to ensure that the correct person has been registered.

While it may seem that GDPR is restricting your business’s abilities to collect data, there are upsides to the new processes. By guaranteeing that every lead on your list has willingly handed over their data and is essentially a self-qualified lead, you can be confident that your new lists will be of much higher quality than any you held before.

Using Existing Tools

Aside from redesigning your opt-ins for compliance, and placing opt-ins on valuable content, it’s likely that you will still be able to use many of your older lead-generation tools without much change.

Provided your lead-gen methods adhere to GDPR rules, you should have no problem adapting to the regulations. Tools like social media are still great ways to get in touch with customers and to invite them to opt-in to your newsletters. Likewise, competitions are still excellent ways to gather data provided you fully explain the data you intend to collect and stick to the rules.

You can find out more about marketing under GDPR by checking out our guide to improving lead generation quality and battling "formophobia" post-GDPR.


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Matt Hodkinson

About the author: Matt Hodkinson

Chief Exec Agent, veteran inbound and social marketer, and the prior 17+ years spent in the Tech industry. Annoying colleagues with classic house music and 80's movie quotes. Family and friends delight in exclaiming... "Haven't seen you on TV for a while, Matt"!