How has GDPR affected school marketing?


Last year (2018), data protection became one of world’s most discussed topics, hitting headlines as technology leaders were held to account about the issue in the US. Luckily for us this side of the pond, 2018 saw new legislation that helps protect our user data and privacy - the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR.

We cared about it so much that “What is GDPR?” became one of top Google searches in the UK last year. To give a simple overview, under GDPR law, anyone holding personal data must be clear in what data they hold, and what they do with it - this includes names, email addresses and any other data that is considered to be personal. It also gives consumers power to request all data that a company holds on them and also the right to be removed from databases - no questions asked.

There’s been a lot of information about GDPR - but what does it mean specifically for school marketing? Just before GDPR came into legislation, we published 7 priorities to make your #SchoolWebsite GDPR compliant, but now that GDPR has been in legislation for a while, here are a few trends we’ve noticed that may have affected you:

Your #SchoolWebsite became secure


One of the many benefits that GDPR gave us is the safety of browsing the web securely. GDPR made it essential that websites have an SSL certificate as a minimum. This means that your site, and data are encrypted. So rest assured, when anyone visits your site, they are doing so securely.

You had to get consent for sending Newsletters


Email marketing has been one of the biggest areas which has seen a lot of change since the introduction of GDPR. Under GDPR law, you must gain consent to send communications via email to your parents and alumni - using an opt-in field. You must also give the option for them to unsubscribe at any point - and honour this.

Luckily, many Email Marketing platforms including Mailchimp offer GDPR compliant services, making it easy to manage subscriber lists, so you can ensure you aren’t breaking any rules.

You may have found that you have lost some subscribers to newsletters since GDPR came in, but don’t worry - know that the ones that are subscribed, really do want to hear from you!

You had to update your forms and T&C’s


Like E-newsletter sign-ups, you had to ensure that anywhere you are collecting information, that forms were updated to make them GDPR compliant. Forms must be clear in what the data will be used for, ensuring email addresses are opt in for any information you send.

You also had to update those T&C’s that detailed what data being used, how it would be held and what the data would be used for. Transparency for all!

Your Google Analytics numbers looked a little odd


You may have noticed a drop in reported user numbers on your website within the last year. GDPR impact has shown a general trend across the web of users and web pages being down. However, in reality this may not actually be the case.

As you may have noticed, any website that uses Cookies to track its users must clearly state this and give the option for users to opt out of tracking. In some cases, users decide against being able to be tracked when using the website, and therefore their visit isn’t recorded in Analytics. As a result, evaluation of yearly web performance may not be truly accurate until May 2019, a year after GDPR legislation. We continue to monitor how GDPR has impacted your #SchoolWebsite and will report on this as new information becomes available to us.

GDPR has had a huge impact on school marketing, at @intSchools we take GDPR very seriously, and believe this is a great step forward to protect our privacy and digital footprint.