Author: Brandon Olson

2 Rehearsal Secrets for Delivering an Amazing Performance Every Single Time

Everyday, you communicate with people — whether you’re speaking on stage to a live audience, presenting a webinar to thousands of online viewers, meeting one-on-one with colleagues, clients, or potential customers.

Many of these performances are high-stake situations. Your audience will enjoy your presentation or become bored. You’ll land a new client or lose a sale. You’ll make an important connection or alienate a potential partner. Mistakes during these moments can make or break your results.

That’s why rehearsal is so important. Practicing before you communicate can transform your presentation into a performance that affects the way people think, feel and act. It can also have a positive impact on your email marketing. You can make connections with people that’ll convince them to join your email list, engage with your messages, and eventually purchase.

During our recent webinar with speaking pro Amy Port of Heroic Public Speaking, she shared why rehearsal is an essential, yet often skipped, part of the performance process. And she then revealed her 7-step protocol to deliver amazing performances. 

After earning her MFA in Acting from The Yale School of Drama, Port spent years acting professionally in theaters such as Seattle Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare, and Yale Rep, and working consistently in commercials. She now applies the skills of performance that only well-trained actors know to the coaching of ‘non-actors’ looking to crush their next performance. Below, learn 2 of the top 7 steps to deliver an amazing performance.

(Want to learn all the rehearsal secrets of the world’s best performers? Below we share 2 of the steps from Port’s 7-step rehearsal protocol. Register here to watch the entire recording of the webinar and learn all 7 steps.)

Rehearsal tip #1: Do a “table read” on your own.

As a writer or marketer, you would never publish the first draft of a blog post, landing page, or book. Instead, you write it, read it, and revise it. You might even have someone else review it as well.

And yet, when we speak, we often publish our first draft. That’s why Port recommends leveling up your performance by doing a “table read” after completing the first draft of your talk. A table read is simply reading your draft out loud.

“When we’re creating our content for the spoken word, we’re creating it on our keyboard. But that’s very different than actually saying it,” Port said. “So in an table read, you take that language and, rather than reading it on a screen silently by yourself, you read it as if you’re talking to another human being.”

By reading it aloud to yourself, you get to experience your content in three different ways: seeing the words, speaking the words, and hearing the words.

And you begin to discover words or phrases that trip you up. Maybe your speech feels a bit robotic. Or perhaps your point doesn’t make sense, or your speech lacks a cohesive flow.

The AWeber team does table reads before nearly every video we produce. We sit around a table, script in hand, and read it out loud, noting words or phrases that are confusing, unnatural, or difficult to say.

To do a table read, you don’t need a polished script or a fully baked presentation. All you need is a first draft of your performance.

Before your table read, you should have already given some thought to what you want to say. Don’t sit down and start ad libbing.

And during your table read, have a pen or pencil in hand and circle the portions you want to review and revise. Don’t stop and edit in the moment. Keep reading. Then, once you’ve finished, return to the areas you highlighted during your read.

Rehearsal tip #2: Improv, record, and re-write.

With a table read and some revisions to your speech under your belt, it’s now time for an improv rehearsal.

Just like the table read, you do this on your own. But here’s where the improv is different: Your presentation is more complete, and you’re presenting it as if you’re in front of a live audience.

The key to this step is to record your improv rehearsal. So pull out your voice memo or video camera on your smartphone and start recording.

When you record it, you’ll capture everything you do and say. You’ll discover things you like and don’t like. You may find that you say something differently than you’ve ever said it before. Or, you might find that you’re constantly wringing your hands or bouncing up and down, or making other unconscious gestures that hurt your performance. You’ll be able to note these great moments and mistakes and rehearse your performance over and over again so you deliver it the same way every time.

Learn 5 more steps from Amy Port’s protocol

Don’t wait until you’re on stage or in the moment to discover that something doesn’t work. By knowing what works and what doesn’t ahead of time, you’re able to make adjustments, level up your work, and bring your performance to new heights.

Watch the entire recording of Port’s webinar and learn all 7 steps of her rehearsal protocol to deliver great performances time and time again.

Need some more help with your public speaking? Join Port and her team at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE, October 1 to 3 in Philadelphia, PA. The AWeber team will be there as a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage.

The post 2 Rehearsal Secrets for Delivering an Amazing Performance Every Single Time appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The Simplest Way to Keep GDPR Records of Consent for Your Subscribers

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires that you can prove the nature of consent between you and your subscribers. That means you must keep comprehensives records of how subscribers joined your list if you want to comply with the law.

But keeping records of consent for your subscribers can seem daunting, no matter what your email list size. 

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.

Below are two simple ways you can keep records of how you collect subscribers’ personal data.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you.

Two key data points to record for GDPR consent

To prove you are GDPR compliant, you must be able to prove what a subscriber has consented to when signing up for your list. There are two parts to this:

  1. the sign up source (i.e. the webpage they visited to sign up)
  2. a copy of the form or mechanism they used to sign up at the time they subscribed

AWeber automatically records the sign up source within your subscribers’ records, so we have you covered there.

But it’s a bit more complex to record a copy of the sign up form. Why? Because you may have more than one sign up form on your site, or you may change your form from time to time, making it difficult to show exactly what the sign up form looked like at the time of signup.

The best way to record a copy of your sign up forms will depend on a few factors:

  1. Do you have have multiple email sign up forms?
  2. Do you regularly change your email sign up forms?
  3. Do you run split tests on your email sign up forms?

How you answer these questions will impact the way in which you keep records of your sign up forms.

Related: Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the EU Data Law

“I only have a single sign up form, and NEVER change it or run split tests on my form.”

If you have a single sign up form that never changes, you should be able to manually record it since all subscribers join your list the same way.

Simply take a screenshot of the form using any commonly available software (like the Snipping Tool for Windows or Skitch for Mac) or a built-in feature on your Mac or PC.

However, a screenshot doesn’t provide you with the destination of any links on the form, such as a link to a privacy policy. So note any such URL in an accompanying text file, or add it to the screenshot image using basic editing software (like Preview on Mac or Canva).

Another alternative is to save the underlying HTML or Javascript code from your AWeber sign up form. To do this, simply copy and paste the code into a plain text file.

Once you’ve created a record of your sign up form, save the file in multiple places, such as your computer, an external hard drive, and a cloud-based storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.

“What if I change the signup form later?” No problem. All you have to do is repeat the process above to make a new manual record, and add the details to your documentation. Be sure to retain the old record, too.

Related: 6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked

“I have multiple signup forms, I change my form regularly, or I run split tests on my forms.”

It would be a lot of work to manually record and manage multiple or changing signup forms, while also verifying which subscribers came through specific versions of the forms.

In this case, we recommend using a service like optinopoli™ to automate the recording process.

Note: In order to use optinopoli’s auto-recording feature, you’ll need to sign up for one of their paid accounts, which starts at $19 per month. AWeber is not an affiliate of optinopoli.

How to auto-record signup forms

optinopoli™, which integrates with AWeber, is a signup form tool designed to help you collect subscribers on your website and grow your list.

Unlike other sign up form builders, it has the ability to automatically record the version of the sign up form used by each of your subscribers.

Related: 9 Inspiring Sign Up Form Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Here’s how it works to record your forms:

For each new subscriber coming through an optinopoli™ form on your website, the app sends you a notification via email. These notifications are optional, but you’ll need to leave it on to take advantage of the auto-recording facility.

I recommend setting up a filtered folder in your inbox make managing all of the notifications easier (and to save your inbox from getting clogged!). You can receive and store these notifications in there.

Another alternative: Create a separate email account where these notifications can be sent and stored.

Within the notification, you’ll see a link for the sign up form used. If you click the link, you’ll see the exact form used by the subscriber displayed in a new browser window.

If you’re running a split test on your forms, the app will also record any variations of the form. You’ll get the record of the actual form used by the subscriber.

Pro tip: Set the lead notifications to go to a cloud-based email account, such as Gmail, where the emails can be safely and permanently stored in the cloud.

Once you’re set up with optinopoli™, be sure to test your new form and lead notification. Make sure your notification contains the link to the auto-recorded signup form.

Following the steps outlined above enables you to keep comprehensive records of consent for your subscribers. Questions? Ask me below!

The post The Simplest Way to Keep GDPR Records of Consent for Your Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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3 Ways to Keep the Audience Hanging on Your Every Word

public speaking tips

Public speaking is a lot like email marketing. It’s a way to inspire action, garner attention, and create a remarkable connection with your audience through your words.

That’s why AWeber is teaming up with Michael Port, New York Times bestselling author of Steal the Show and co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, to offer a 3-part webinar series focused on helping nail your next speech, interview, pitch, or email. Port will tell you how to captivate and engage your audience — whether they’re listening to you on a podcast, reading your email, or watching you on stage.

In the first webinar of the 3-part webinar series — How to Crush Every Speaking Gig You Land — Port shares 2 of the biggest mistakes new speakers make and the 5 elements of the world’s greatest speeches. Here are 3 key takeaways from his presentation that you can apply to your own email marketing strategy.

(Missed Port’s first webinar? No worries. Register here, and instantly watch the replay.)

Write first, design second

We often fall into the trap of focusing on how our presentation or email will look before creating the actual content. What we don’t realize is that by doing this, we hurt our ability to create a powerful, motivating message, says Port. By focusing on design first, we put ourselves inside a self-imposed box, limiting our potential to get to the heart of the big idea we are trying to convey, and what we want the audience to think, feel, and do, he explains.

Port recommends resisting the temptation to focus on your presentation’s, website’s, or email’s design. Instead, start with the content and what you want your audience to think or feel, and what you want them to do. Then you can focus on which templates and images to use to support your message.

Related: Why This Art Director Is Ditching Design for Text- Only Emails

Rehearse the right way

Most new speakers don’t really rehearse, says Port. They usually run through their speech or pitch in their own head, perhaps muttering some sentences under their breath. When it comes time to give the speech, however, they’re not dialed in to the content. They don’t know the content well enough to recall it in the moment, explains Port.

If you want to nail your speech, you need to rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more.

The same goes for your email. You’d never walk up on stage without practicing your speech — and you shouldn’t send an email without practicing, either.

(Want to grow your audience? Try AWeber — a time-saving, easy-to-use marketing platform. Start your 30-day free trial.)

Always test your email before you hit send. Is the content appearing correctly on different Internet Service Providers, like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Outlook? How does your subject line and preheader text appear on mobile? Are your images rendering correctly? Are your links right?

Related: Don’t Crash and Burn! 3 Ways to Test Your Email before Hitting Send

With anything you create, whether it’s a speech, presentation, website, or email, it’s important to  gather feedback before you go “live.” Even if it’s just friends, family, or coworkers. As you get feedback, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, and you can make tweaks before you get up on stage or send your email to your entire subscriber list.

Picture yourself in underwear

Have you ever heard this advice? “Picture your audience in their underwear.” Port says this is a mistake.

“The truth of the matter is, it’s the performer who’s naked,” Port explains. “That’s why [speaking is] anxiety provoking. Our role is actually the one to be naked.”

One of the best ways to increase the level of your performance and create an strong connection with your audience is to demonstrate vulnerability when speaking. “A speech has nothing to do with you. It’s never about you,” he says. “It’s about the audience and what you’re getting them to think, feel, or do.”

Related: How to Get Free Media Attention for Your Small Business

Port encourages you to strip away your armor — a.k.a. your internal judgement about the way people perceive you — to truly connect with your audience. Take down the barrier. After all, you’re not there for the audience’s approval, he says. You’re there to serve the audience.

You should follow the same rule when writing emails to your subscribers. Serve them. Address their biggest pain point and offer them a solution. But don’t pretend to be someone else in your emails. Or be boring or bland.

The best email marketers have their own tone, look, and feel — and they don’t waver from it. They’re true to themselves. They’re authentic. And their subscribers love them for it.

Join AWeber and Michael Port for the 3-Webinar Series

Next up: Mark your calendar for Port’s second webinar of his 3-part series with AWeber — The Rehearsal Secrets of Great Performers — on August 16, 2018 at 1 p.m. ET.

You can also join Michael at Heroic Public Speaking LIVE from October 1st to 3rd in Philadelphia, PA, where AWeber is a sponsor. Come meet up with us to learn how to use email marketing to reach and connect with your audience off stage. 

 

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6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018.

Thousands of sources have published their “expert” advice about the law and how it applies to email marketing over the past several months.

But here’s the thing: Much of their advice is wrong or misleading — and it’s causing a lot of misunderstanding, confusion and fear among small businesses and entrepreneurs around the globe.

So, we decided to set the record straight.

We’ve already covered the steps you can take to help prepare for the GDPR. (Great news! If you’re an AWeber customer, you’re probably already doing a lot of those things.)

In this post, however, we’ll dispel some of the most common myths about the GDPR and email marketing. Use this information so you can confidently move forward.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you.

Myth #1: “I need to send a re-engagement email to all of my existing subscribers to reconfirm consent.”

One myth we see everywhere is the idea that you must have all of your subscribers reconfirm their consent in order to be compliant with the GDPR.

This is false. Sort of.

Here’s the deal: It all depends on whether you can prove consent from your subscribers, or you have other lawful grounds for processing data, according to the GDPR.

If you are relying on consent to determine lawfulness, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Did my subscribers opt in to my list, and can I prove it?
  2. On my sign up form, did I clearly explain how I’d use subscribers’ data and what content I’d send them? Can I prove it?
  3. Can my subscribers unsubscribe from my list as easily as they subscribed?

To prove you received consent, you should use the following three data points:

  1. The date and time the subscriber opted in
  2. The source of the opt-in (e.g., www.mywebsite.com, “Added via API”)
  3. A screenshot of the data collection mechanism (i.e., your signup form or landing page)

You can easily find the date, time, and source information in your subscriber details within your AWeber account. Just look for the date and time when they opted in as well as the source of signup.

To prove you clearly explained how you’d be using data and what content you’d send to subscribers, save a copy or screenshot of the signup form you used to collect their personal data.

Now, let’s say you imported your list from another email service provider (ESP). In this case, you won’t have the source information within your AWeber subscriber details. However, you’re confident your list subscribed in a compliant way through your old ESP. If you don’t have this information available in your previous ESP, you probably can’t prove consent and should consider sending a re-engagement email.

Finally, let’s quickly touch on the third question: “Can my subscribers unsubscribe from my list as easily as they subscribed?”

The short answer: If you’re using AWeber, your subscribers already have the ability to unsubscribe on their own using the “Unsubscribe” link in the footer of all your emails. You can also make the unsubscribe option more obvious by adding it within the text of your email messages.

Here’s an example from Ann Handley’s newsletter, which I shared in my previous post with her bi-weekly:

“I can prove consent. Hooray!” 👍

If you answered “yes” to all three of the questions I mentioned previously, thumbs up, you’re able to prove consent and you can continue to engage your subscribers.

“I can’t prove consent. Bummer.” 👎

If you answered “no” to any of the three questions, and you can’t prove consent otherwise, then you should probably send a re-engagement email or delete those subscribers from your email list.

Here’s a sample re-engagement email you can send your subscribers. You can use AWeber’s Click Automations to tag subscribers who click the link to confirm their consent.

Subject: Still interested in receiving emails from me?

Hi there!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the content I have sent you, like {Insert all of the types of content you send (e.g., newsletters, sales, product info, etc.)}.

If you’d like to continue receiving emails from me, click the link below:

{Keep me on the list – LINK}

By confirming your subscription, we’ll continue sending you:

  • {Insert a list all of the things you plan to send to subscribers on this list}

Not interested anymore? That’s alright. If you don’t click the link above, we’ll take you off our list and stop emailing you. You can also unsubscribe here. (Note: Hyperlink the word “here” to the personalization token {!remove_web} in your email message.)

Thanks, and have a great day!

{Your Name}

In addition to confirming consent, you can also use your re-engagement email to create better segments of your subscribers, using AWeber’s Click Automations feature.

For example, let’s say you send a newsletter as well as product information to your subscribers. You can add multiple links within your re-engagement email to allow them to opt in to receive different types of content. When subscribers click any of the links, you can tag them appropriately and send them more targeted emails.

Here’s a sample re-engagement email that has multiple options:

Subject: Still interested in receiving emails from me?

Hi there!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the content I’ve been sending you, like {Insert all of the types of content you send (e.g., newsletters, sales, product info, etc.)}.

If you’d like to continue receiving emails from me, click one of the links below:

  • Keep sending me the newsletter {tag with gdpr-newsletter}
  • Keep sending me product information {tag with gdpr-productinfo}
  • Keep sending me both {tag with gdpr-newsletter and gdpr-productinfo}

Not interested anymore? That’s alright. If you don’t click any of the links above, we’ll take you off our list and stop emailing you. You can also unsubscribe here. (Note: Hyperlink the word “here” to the personalization token {!remove_web} in your email message.)

Thanks, and have a great day!

{Your Name}

It’s a best practice to generally wait about seven days after sending a re-engagement email before deleting any subscribers who do not click the link(s) to reconfirm their consent.

Myth #2: “I need to add GDPR checkboxes to all of my signup forms.”

Another rumor floating around is that you need to add checkboxes to your signup forms in order to be GDPR compliant. Some are even calling these “GDPR-friendly signup forms.”

This is false. Checkboxes are not required, and are completely optional.

Nowhere in the GDPR does it state that you need to add checkboxes to your signup forms.

What it does say, however, is that you need to clearly communicate how you will be processing subscribers’ personal data, whether using a descriptive sentence or two, or using a checkbox, if you so choose.

One reason to go the sentence-route? Unnecessarily adding multiple checkboxes to your forms may introduce the possibility of click fatigue and lower opt-in rates.

Here’s an example of a signup form that is GDPR compliant and does not include checkboxes:

So, when is it appropriate to use checkboxes? The GDPR requires that consent must be freely given by subscribers, and cannot be bundled with unrelated actions. Keeping this in mind, here are two examples where checkboxes are required to be compliant with the GDPR:

Example #1

Let’s say you’re a retailer and you want to send marketing emails to your customers after they make a purchase, as well as share their data with other companies within your retail group. Under the GDPR, you cannot bundle their purchase with consent to send marketing emails.

Instead, a separate consent should be captured at the point of purchase that is specific to the purpose of sending marketing emails or sharing their data with partner companies. You might decide to use a separate checkbox to capture this secondary consent.

Example #2

Let’s say you’re a financial institution and you want to allow third parties to use customers’ payment details for marketing purposes. Under GDPR, this type of processing activity (i.e., the sharing of payment information for marketing purposes) is not necessary for the performance of the contract or agreement with the customer. Consent must be freely given, and if a customer refuses consent, the institution would not be able to deny services or increase fees. That would be a violation of the GDPR.

If you would like to share subscribers’ data with other parties, you should use a checkbox to allow them to give their consent freely. And keep in mind that these checkboxes cannot be pre-checked.

Myth #3: “I need to use double opt-in to be compliant with the GDPR.”

Double opt-in (a.k.a confirmed opt-in) is when your subscribers sign up for something — like a newsletter — and then they’re asked to also confirm their subscription.

Some “experts” are stating that the GDPR requires double opt-in to prove consent.

This is incorrect.

As I mentioned in myth #1, the GDPR simply requires that you can prove the compliant consent. The act of entering personal information into a signup form and clicking “submit” can be considered an affirmative action, as long as the subscriber was clearly and directly informed of what they are accepting.

However, double opt-in is not necessarily a bad thing. There are lots of great reasons to use it, including better subscriber engagement and deliverability. You just don’t need to use it to be compliant with the GDPR.

Myth #4: “Subscribers’ personal data thats already in our database isn’t subject to the GDPR.”

This one is closely related to myth #1.

The GDPR applies to all personal data — even data that was collected prior to May 25, 2018.

If you cannot prove consent for all of your existing subscribers, you should send a re-engagement email to obtain that consent.

Myth #5: “My data is stored with my service provider, so it’s their responsibility to remain compliant with the GDPR, not mine.”

We touched on the relationship between data processors (e.g., AWeber) and data controllers  (i.e., you, the one sending the emails) in our previous GDPR blog post. But let’s dive deeper to dispel this myth.

Data processors and data controllers share responsibility for complying with the GDPR requirements. As an AWeber customer, you are still considered the data controller. You maintain control over how you use that data. AWeber is simply processing the data at your request.

So, it’s not an option to pass responsibility to a service provider who is processing data on your behalf. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly your role and relationship to the data being processed.

Myth #6: “If I’m not compliant by May 25, I’ll get hit with huge fines.”

Anyone reading the GDPR fine print is likely nervous when they see the hefty fines associated with not being GDPR compliant. (Enough to make your palms sweat!)

However, EU officials indicate that fines would likely be a last resort.

Here’s what Elizabeth Denham, the U.K.’s information commissioner, had to say in a recent blog post:

“It’s scaremongering to suggest that we’ll be making early examples of organizations for minor infringements or that maximum fines will become the norm,” she said. “The ICO’s commitment to guiding, advising, and educating organisations about how to comply with the law will not change under the GDPR. We have always preferred the carrot to the stick.”

“While fines may be the sledgehammer in our toolbox, we have access to lots of other tools that are well-suited to the task at hand and just as effective,” she continued. “The GDPR gives us a suite of sanctions to help organisations comply – warnings, reprimands, corrective orders. While these will not hit organisations in the pocket – their reputations will suffer a significant blow.”

If you’re taking the necessary steps to understand and follow the GDPR regulations and engage in good email marketing best practices, you are on the right path to protecting yourself.

Keep calm and email on

On the surface, the new GDPR may appear scary and ominous, but it’s actually pretty straight forward. And it’s a good thing for email marketers, too.

It really comes down to doing the right thing with the personal data you collect. Only send emails and information to people who’ve given you permission to do so for the purpose you told them.

To learn more about the GDPR, visit www.eugdpr.org.

Have questions? Comment below, or contact our team, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Not an AWeber customer? Get the peace of mind of working with a trusted provider. Try AWeber free for 30 days.

The post 6 Myths about the GDPR and Email Marketing Debunked appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the New EU Data Law

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only, and you should not consider it legal advice. We recommend that you seek legal and other professional counsel to determine exactly how the GDPR might apply to you.

A new law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect on May 25, 2018 — and it will impact email marketers around the world.

The good news? If you’re using AWeber, you’re probably already doing many of the things required.

Keep reading for a walkthrough of the GDPR, what AWeber is doing to prepare, what it means for your email marketing business, and how you can prepare for the changes.

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR is a European privacy law approved by the European Commission in 2016. Its purpose is to “harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

This is fantastic news for EU citizens. The GDPR will hold businesses and entrepreneurs more accountable for data breaches, require them to not only keep records of a person’s consent to disclose personal information, but also clearly state what the data will be used for up front.

Why the GDPR is a good thing for email marketers

The goal of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world.

While it requires a bit more effort on your part, it can also lead to some pretty important benefits to your email marketing.

Here’s why…

By taking greater measures to protect and use subscriber data correctly, you’re more likely to send more relevant, targeted, permission-based emails to your subscribers. And that can translate into more trust with your subscribers, fewer spam complaints and unsubscribes, and better email deliverability.

Win. Win. Win!

Who does the GDPR affect?

The GDPR applies to any data controller or processor who collects, records, organizes, stores or performs any operations on personal data of those who live in the EU — even if you don’t reside in a European country.

Personal data is any data that can be used to identify a person, including email addresses.

Data Controller? Processor? What are those?

Here’s a quick definition of each:

Data Controller: Any individual or business who determines how an individual’s personal data is processed.

Data Processor: Any individual or business who processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

As an AWeber customer who collects EU resident data, you would more than likely be considered a Data Controller. AWeber would be considered a Data Processor.

How does the GDPR affect me?

To understand how the GDPR will affect you, it’s first important to understand the key rights the new law protects and how these rights apply to you:

  • Right to be informed: Your EU subscribers can ask about personal data, how it is used, and why it is being used at any time.
  • Right of access: Your EU subscribers can request a copy of personal information at any time.
  • Right of rectification: Your EU subscribers can update (or request updates to) personal information at any time.
  • Right of erasure: Your EU subscribers may request that you or AWeber erase their personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data.
  • Right to object: Your EU subscribers may unsubscribe from any of your emails at any time.

Knowing these rights allows you to better understand your responsibility in protecting these rights.

How to prepare your business for the GDPR

There’s a lot to think about with the GDPR, and we understand that it can feel a bit overwhelming. So we’ve outlined four steps you can take to help prepare for the GDPR.

1. Continue to abide by AWeber’s terms of service and privacy policy

We recently updated our privacy policy and terms of service for customers, affiliates, and developers who use our API. These updates reflect what we’re doing to be compliant with the GDPR.

Be sure to continue abiding by these terms of service and privacy policy:

2. Get explicit, opt-in consent from subscribers

The GDPR describes consent as “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”

Translation: You must explain how you will use a person’s data before he or she gives it to you. If you plan to use a person’s data for multiple reasons, you must disclose all those purposes from the get-go.

For example, imagine you have a weekly blog newsletter. Once a person subscribes, they’ll receive a weekly newsletter from you, as well as an occasional email promoting your product. To be compliant with the GDPR, you must explain on your signup form that subscribers will receive both educational newsletter emails and promotional emails.

There’s been a lot of talk about the need to have checkboxes in your signup form to be compliant with the GDPR. However, checkboxes are not necessary to comply with the GDPR, but are simply one of many ways to prove consent.

Another way to prove consent is by adding simple language to your signup form that clearly explains how you will use a subscriber’s personal data, what kind of content you will be sending them, and how often you will be sending it.

If you do, however, decide to use an optional checkbox on your signup form, make sure your checkbox is not pre-checked. To get affirmative consent, subscribers need to check the box themselves.

Here’s an example from outdoor enthusiast Paul Kirtley that demonstrates how to clearly explain how a subscriber’s personal data will be used:

As you’re reviewing your signup forms, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Have I made it clear to the subscriber what information I am collecting?
  • Have I made it clear to the subscriber why I am collecting their information?
  • Have I made it clear what information I will be sending them?
  • Have I made it clear how often I will be sending them information?

Another common question people have is this: Do I need to have double opt-in (aka confirmed opt-in) now with the GDPR?

You don’t need to have double opt-in to be compliant with the GDPR. You can still use single opt-in and be compliant if you can prove informed consent in another manner. However, there are benefits to using double opt-in, including a more engaged list of subscribers and better deliverability.

For the subscribers who are already on your list, you can send a re-engagement email prior to the GDPR taking effect to confirm continued consent to receive your emails.

You can use AWeber’s new click automations for broadcasts to tag subscribers who click the confirmation link in the email.

2. Create or update your public-facing privacy policies

Along the same lines as gaining explicit consent, it’s a good practice to create, review, and update your public-facing policies around data collection and usage.

As mentioned above, your subscribers have a right to know how their personal data is being used, so make that clear and easy to understand in your policy.

Also, make sure your policies are easy to find. You can do this by adding a link to your policies within the footer of your signup form, emails, and website.

3. Document and communicate a process for data requests from subscribers.

The GDPR requires that you document and communicate a process for subscribers to opt out, make changes to their personal data, request copies of their personal data, or request that their data be deleted entirely from your records.

You may need to document a process for subscribers to make such requests.

Once you have this process documented, you can communicate it through your public-facing privacy policy as well as within your emails.

Here are the types of requests to document and communicate, and how to fulfill them:

Unsubscribing from your list

Under the GDPR, subscribers have the right to object or opt out of your communication at any time.

Your subscribers already have the ability to unsubscribe on their own using the “Unsubscribe” link in the footer of your emails.

However, you can also unsubscribe them manually if they request it, either on a list-by-list basis or by bulk unsubscribing someone.

You can also make this option more obvious by adding it within your email messages. Here’s an example from Ann Handley with her bi-weekly Total ANNARCHY newsletter. You’ll notice she added an unsubscribe link following her signature, with some playful language.

Updating personal data

Subscribers also have the right to rectify or update their personal data at any time.

Similar to the unsubscribe link in your emails, subscribers already have the ability to update their personal data on their own using the “Change subscriber options” link in the footer of your emails. However, you can update their information manually upon request.

Requesting a copy of personal data you maintain

With the GDPR, your subscribers have the right to access their personal data you maintain.

Unlike opting out or update personal data, your subscribers won’t be able to access this information on their own. Instead, they will need to request it from you.

AWeber makes this easy for you to find this information within subscriber management. Using the filters, you can search for the subscriber’s email address. Then using the “Export CSV” option, you can export your subscriber information in a format you can deliver to your them.

Deleting subscriber data entirely from your records

Under the GDPR, your subscribers also have the right of erasure. In other words, the right to be forgotten. That means you must delete their personal data upon request.

Deleting subscribers is easily done within your AWeber account using the “Search All Lists” feature. Simply use the “email” filter to search for the subscriber’s email address. Then check the box(es) next to their name and click “Delete.”

When you delete a subscriber from your list, that subscriber’s personal information will be deleted entirely from your reports and your list. However, deleting a subscriber will not affect your reporting data; you’ll still be able to view anonymous, aggregate reporting data in your account, but the deleted subscriber’s name and email address will be removed.

4. Begin keeping comprehensive records of how you collect personal data.

The GDPR also requires that you can prove the nature of consent between you and your subscribers. This has two parts: showing the signup source in the subscriber data, as well as a copy of the signup form or data collection mechanism from which they provided that consent.

You can accomplish this by either saving the underlying code, a screenshot or PDF you used to collect their information.

Remember: these tips are not intended to be legal advice and in no way represent a comprehensive standard for ensuring the GDPR compliance.

Download our GDPR checklist

Whew! That was a lot of information. Fortunately, we’ve boiled it down to a one-sheet checklist for a quick reference as you prepare for the GDPR.

What is AWeber doing to prepare for the GDPR?

AWeber is already self-certified with both the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield, and we comply with lawful transfers of EU/EEA personal data to the U.S. in accordance with our Privacy Shield Certification.

Additionally, we are actively preparing to be fully compliant with the GDPR by May 25, 2018.

To help us do so, we formed a dedicated, cross-functional team to organize, lead and carry out the work that needed to be done to bring AWeber into compliance with the GDPR.

Here’s what this team has been working on:

  • Developing a comprehensive strategy to comply with the GDPR
  • Conducting a detailed audit of our personal data and processing practices
  • Updating our terms of service and privacy policy to include the GDPR changes
  • Review our services to ensure we protect the rights of EU citizens mentioned above
  • Developing Data Processing and Security Terms for our customers

Moving forward, we will hold regular training sessions to ensure our team members are always up-to-date on our processes and best practices for helping our customers.

What’s next?

In the coming weeks, we’ll be making Data Processing and Security Terms available to AWeber customers. Keep an eye on this blog post and our help article for an update and link to the terms. Or contact us to request it.

To learn more about the GDPR, visit www.eugdpr.org.

Have questions? Comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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The post Your GDPR + Email Marketing Playbook: How to Prepare for the New EU Data Law appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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