Preparing For GDPR: Creative Ways To Use SMS To Gain Consent

26 February 2018

By now you would have heard that on the 25th of May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect in the UK. With only 3 months to go until the deadline organisations should be preparing now to ensure compliance in good time. At the end of last year, we put together a brief guide highlighting some of the common questions and how your business should start preparing for the GDPR. In addition, we have listed some steps and approaches you can potentially use once GDPR takes effect in May 2018.

Defining your audience!

There are 3 key categories your data should consist of which are prospects, customers and lapsed customers.

  1. A prospect is someone who has provided you with their details but hasn’t taken the next steps in using your product(s) and/or service(s).
  2. A customer is someone who is using your product(s) and/or service(s).
  3. A lapsed customer is someone who was a customer but isn’t a customer anymore. This definition will vary from business to business, depending on the industry and nature of what you sell.

The Direct Marketing Association states legitimate interests are only valid when you can demonstrate an “existing customer relationship”, which means that gaining consent will be most appropriate when communicating with a prospect or lapsed customer.

Moving forwards with GDPR individuals must opt-in to receive messages from you at the point of gathering data. They cannot be pre-ticked and must be separate from other terms and conditions they may agree to. For further clarification and inspiration, eConsultancy lists some great examples from different retailers, media companies and charities getting this right.

Creative ways to use SMS to gain consent

Before taking any step to obtain consent you must ensure that the individuals you are contacting haven’t unsubscribed, as you can’t contact people who have already done this.

In addition, your previous method of collecting the data was in line with PECR’s guidelines. If you’re unsure about this, it’s probably better to refresh consent.

1. SMS Surveys

Text message surveys can be a great way to refine consent. With a reported, you are bound to get a positive response rate. With TextSurvey, you can clearly refine the different areas of SMS consent the individual would like to receive such as updates on new products/features, customer feedback surveys, customer support updates. You can download the report from TextSurvey which will show the timestamp of the message and the responses to each question, which is an excellent way to show proof of consent

2. Shortcode and Keyword

Using a shortcode and keyword is a good way to demonstrate that people have positively opted-in to your SMS service. For example, you could advertise for people to receive promotional offers via SMS, by texting to a shortcode number along with an appropriate keyword.

Remember that if a person opts in for promotional offers, you can’t send them messages of a different kind e.g product updates. With our shortcode and keyword service, you could categorise different areas of consent and integrate this into your software or CRM database. Our reporting tool logs the time that the messages have been sent and received.

3. Personalised Bulk Campaigns

If you are looking to re-engage consent of individuals, our bulk text campaign service can be used. Simply upload the data using an Excel file and include personalised variables such as a name or a product to increase engagement. You can send a message that includes a URL link to a webpage for people to re-engage consent or accept various terms and conditions. You can also send a bulk SMS campaign asking people to reply back if they want to continue receiving messages.

4. Allow users to opt-out at any time

This rule has always been around however it’s more important than ever to ensure you have this right. With every message you send, make sure the recipient knows how they can easily opt out. TextAnywhere offers a free opt-out option using our reply service; the recipient just has to reply to your message with the word “STOP”. If your originator is set to alphanumeric – you can use a short-code keyword which we offer as a service. It is simple to set-up, and the recipient will need to text “STOP” with the chosen keyword to your shortcode to opt-out.

For more information in text messaging for your business or if you would like to know more about our services talk to our friendly customer care team on 0845 122 1302  or email [email protected].

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