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GDPR Shorts – Part One


What you may have gotten wrong about GDPR

GDPR is complex, that's a fact. And that means that people are bound to draw the wrong conclusions at times. So what have you gotten wrong about it? Maybe it's one of these 2:

1. You MUST have an "I agree" checkbox

2. Let's just block everything from the start



Forbes has lots of resources, they know how to get stuff done and loads of staff to get it done. Then, WHY did the Forbes front page on May 25, 2018 look like this if you came into the EU?:

That's the FRONT PAGE.

As a matter of fact, that's any page you first land on. I wonder what that cost them in lost revenue...

While they probably didn't do this because they were misinformed, many other companies take the comparably draconian measures exactly because of not understanding GDPR.

The problem is that these measures could prove to be costly. Another example is the LA Times, if you're coming in from Europe, this is what it looks like:

Imagine the cost!

So, are you sabotaging your website as well?


If you've ever worked with landing pages, you know that the smallest change could have the largest effect. And that's why the path to conversion with the least resistance has the most chance of being successful.

So what do people do under GDPR?

A whole bunch of things that get in the way of a good customer experience. Have you ever met anyone that liked the cookie policy pop-up on every site. It's usually ok on a desktop or laptop, but phone users really suffer from this. Thousands of euros invested in a site to be mobile friendly, only to ruin it... what a pity.

The same goes for the sign on experience. You want to be able to market to people you capture on your site. If you don't, you go out of business, plain and simple. But now, people have to tell you up front they want your marketing emails, and you can't make it easy for them and pre-check the checkbox.

So there are two main trends going on everywhere: 1. Always add a checkbox and risk losing a huge portion of your audience for marketing
2. Always block traffic first to ask for permission to use cookies and all your intelligence goodness

Both, are completely unnecessary.

1. Checkboxes galore

Look, how many people do you know that will go out of their way to check a checkbox to receive marketing? Especially when they don't know you yet ... not many.

I know that many people will argue that if they didn't click it, they're not the right kind of customer anyway... But that's just idiotic. The reason you're asking for their email is to give people value so they will start liking what you're saying, and THEN start paying attention to your mails.

That's the game.

If you're playing it to trick customers into giving you their mail, get out of the marketing game, NOW.

So no, it's not "for the better".

Luckily there are ways around it. Here's a little story:

Two years ago, or something like that, I loved Hubspot's blog. As a matter of fact, I read every single one that they brought out. Why? Because it was valuable. So much free content and advice. See, I went to their site, looking for a signup box to leave my email with them. Now that's good marketing.

So you shouldn't be asking: "how can I get people to allow me to market to them"; instead, you should be asking: "how can I give enough value that that's the thing people want from me".

And this is exactly how you tackle the first issue. You don't give people an ebook, you give them your content and an ebook on top...

2. Thou shalt not pass

Blocking people from entering before getting consent is even more idiotic.

Here you are, beautiful site, lots of value when suddenly BOOM "WE NEED YOUR CONSENT". So horrible.

But you need consent ... right?

Yep, as soon as you load a pixel or anything that tracks personal data, you need it. For a normal cookie, you just need a warning.

But this is the process people go through:

A. They arrive at your website, hoping to see something they like
B. They see a consent form
C. .... Wait what??
D. I don't know, you guys ...

Before they've even had a chance to be persuaded by the value you have to offer, you're asking something from them. In sales world, that's a big No No.

Instead, convince them first of being awesome and then ask for permission. All you have to do, is not track their personal data for a moment.

And that's the gist of this GDPR short.

Sales first, consent later.