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Tips for making your existing customer database GDPR compliant

There is less than a month left until the deadline for GDPR, so it is more important than ever to have your customer database in check for the regulations. Your customer database needs to be compliant in order to do any marketing with this data or to these individuals, which we are sure is something that you will want to take advantage of.

We’re sure you’ve all had a flood of emails asking you to “opt-in” to different marketing databases – this is the main way people are making their databases compliant. On the other hand you have probably seen the news of Weatherspoon’s deleting their whole database – this is a little extreme for the average small company, and it’s well worth becoming compliant before opting for this.

Here are a few tips and ways you can work to make your database complaint with the new regulations.

Clean your data

This is a great exercise to do for your business, even without the GDPR requirements. Cleaning your existing data will increase marketing efficiency in the future and also prevent any mistakes being made for individuals. You should look for any repeated data, this may be contacts, names, numbers – any data that is repeated is not useful for your marketing.

Check for obvious incorrect data, this is easy to do from a glance and will cut down time in the future. Once you have checked through for the obvious incorrect data it is worth confirming all data is correct with each individual on your database. This could be done via phone and in the process of the GDPR compliancy.

You should be deleting the data of any individual who has previously opted out of your database or unsubscribed. Check that all of this data is up to date so you are not breaking the regulations by marketing to someone who does not want this information.

Map your Data

This is a GDPR requirement on its own and means that you need to record all aspects of your data collection and processing. Work out how you get your data, where you store this information and most importantly what data you have and how you use it.

Once you have this map of your data process you can use it to improve your map and the efficacy of this process as well as having this record on hand for GDPR compliancy.

Refresh your method of collection

The method you use for collecting data on customers is the foundation of your whole customer database – set the right foundations and it will be smooth sailing from then onwards. Make sure you are gaining consent from these individuals in the correct way and you have all of the information that you need.

Encourage people to sign up to your database but remember they need to give consent so don’t force them. Try using different avenues to collect sign ups such as social media campaigns to reach new people. The same rules still apply to new additions to your database under GDPR!


Finally, the aspect of GDPR that I’m sure we’re all very aware of, the “opt-in” process is no stranger to any of us and is a really important element of the process. In order to even store an individual’s data, they must give their consent to this. The easiest way for this to be done is an “opt-in”, the individual can choose to opt in via email, phone or another method if they wish to stay on your database ad agree to how you are using their data.

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Tierney Crocker
Tierney Crocker is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, involved in all aspects of digital marketing and social media. You can email her at

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