GDPR Guide For Email Marketers: Use Smart Marketing To Stay Compliant

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of seeing privacy policy update emails and hearing about the dang GDPR compliance crap.

It sucks but unfortunately it’s a necessary pain-in-the-behind that us marketers are forced to deal with.

I’ve spent the last two weeks reading posts, watching videos, and trying to decipher what’s actually required from a GDPR compliance perspective.

Basically, I’m lazy and I want to know the easiest way to be “compliant” without changing my entire business around.

For our online gardening business, we mostly only sell products to people in the United States.

But… we have people on our email list(s) from all over the world.

We have more than 1,000 pieces of content online in that niche. We attract people from all around the globe to our sites and in turn, they join our email list to receive our freebies and our email newsletter.

Folks who are members of my Newsletter Academy have been bugging me to put together a “GDPR Guide for Email Marketers”.

So, in this post I’m going to show you three different methods to make your email marketing GDPR compliant. These are all examples from my own personal businesses.

Method #1: Use Smarter Language On Your Squeeze Page

First off, don’t read this method and think I’m telling you to deceive or mislead your visitors. In actuality, this method is all about being completely transparent upfront.

After reading this article by Shane Melaugh at Thrive Themes, I decided to use one of his methods for our gardening business.

The short-version of his article goes like this:

Change the language on your optin forms to something like “Subscribe to get…” so they know they’re subscribing to something by entering their email address.

And tell them exactly what to expect like this… “Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you’ll get instant access to this awesome PDF!”.

See how that changes the reason why they’re entering their email address?

They’re no longer giving up their email to just get the awesome PDF… they’re entering their email to receive the newsletter and as a bonus, they also receive the awesome PDF. Very smart.

Since we already operate a pretty large email newsletter in the gardening niche… I decided to use this method on the squeeze pages for that business.

We currently have four different squeeze pages. One offers a bundle of 10 Free Gardening Gifts and the other three offer one specific video from that bundle.

When the visitor clicks the orange button on these pages, a pop-up appears where they can enter their email address to receive access to the lead magnet.

It’s tough to see those images above but none of them even mention our email newsletter.

To make these pages GDPR compliant following the method above, all I had to do was change the headline on the pop-up box.

Here’s what it looked like before I changed it:

And here’s what I changed it to:

See the difference? They’re no longer entering their email address to just get gardening gifts.

They’re signing up for a newsletter and they know in advance that they’re going to receive emails every week.

You might be wondering why there are no required checkboxes or double-optin procedures happening.

No where in the GDPR rules and laws does it say anything about having to use checkboxes or making people opt in twice.

All it says is you need the person’s explicit consent to send them emails. If they’re entering their email address based on the headline on that second pop-up above… they’re giving you explicit consent to send them emails.

Now, if you think this might lower your conversions on your squeeze page, then you’ll want to pay attention to Method #2.

Method #2: Use OptinMonster’s Display Rules For Pop-Ups

After reading this post by OptinMonster, their third method is a pretty cool way to keep your business the same for everyone outside of EU countries.

If you use exit pop-ups or timed pop-ups on your site, you can use OptinMonster to either display a pop-up to EU visitors or not display a pop-up to EU visitors.

Inside the settings for your pop-up, go to Display Rules and then down to Visitors from a specific physical location (see below).

This method works great for pop-ups but what about squeeze pages?

Method #3: Show a Different Squeeze Page to EU Visitors

This was my biggest struggle. Trying to find a way to redirect EU visitors to a totally different squeeze page.

I wasn’t worried about it in the gardening niche because our main business revolves around a newsletter anyways… so adding that language to my squeeze pages is fine. It won’t affect conversions too much.

But in other businesses where I promote affiliate products or sell internet marketing products I didn’t want to have to mess the structure of the squeeze pages if I didn’t have to.

I have conversions where I want them. The easiest way around that is to just show EU visitors a completely separate page from everyone else.

That way, if it does hurt conversions it will only affect those visitors those visitors.

So, here’s how I did it:

  1. Determine if the visitor is from an EU country.
  2. If they are, redirect them to the EU squeeze page.
  3. If not, do nothing.

With a few lines of javascript code I’m able to accomplish those three steps above.

<script type="text/javascript">
$.getJSON("https://json.geoiplookup.io/8.8.8.8").then(function(addrInfo) {
if (addrInfo.continent_code == "EU") {
document.location = "https://newsletter.academy/eufreereport";
} else {

}
});
</script>

Just change the URL out to whatever page you want to redirect EU visitors to and put it in the <head> section of your existing squeeze page.

You might need to include a link to the jQuery library. If you find that it’s not working, try adding this line of code BEFORE that redirect code above:

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.3.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

Here’s my main squeeze page:

And here’s my EU version of the same squeeze page:

Hopefully this helps you figure out how to make your online business GDPR compliant while still keeping conversions in mind.

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