The GDPR Opportunity with SMS

In only a few short months, new GDPR regulations will replace the current Data Protection Directive. Although there have been many different opinions and scaremongering rumours around, we’ve been reflecting on the golden opportunities GDPR will bring…

The new GDPR regulations, which come in to force 25 May, are the most important changes to data privacy regulation in 20 years, and mean that some businesses across Europe may need to change the way in which they collect, handle and process customer data.

The ICO believe that 50% of businesses will not be fully GDPR compliant by the 25 May – but, again, this should not be a cause for panic! The process of becoming compliant is excellent practice and can lead to even better results.

Constructing opted-in lists and building a marketing approach of managing communication preferences is vital in creating a company culture of valuing customers.


As well as using SMS for marketing, many of our customers rely on text as an effective customer service tool. It’s ideal for delivery updates, booking confirmations and other service notifications. So long as business has a ‘legitimate interest’ in communicating with the customer they can continue to do so, post-GDPR.

At Textlocal, we’ve long advocated marketing to opted-in contacts. In our experience this provides the best experience for recipients, and delivers the best ROI for businesses. In fact, SMS is an effective way of growing an opted-in contact list. Businesses can use keywords on short numbers to encourage new customers to opt in to marketing messages, and adding an inventive can really boost opt-in rates, for example:

If you’ve enjoyed your meal, text DINING to 60777 to join our VIP club and receive texts about early bird offers, special events and more.

A business could even use multiple keywords such as use ‘Dining’ ‘Hotel’ and ‘Spa’ to automatically create segmented contact lists. This makes it really easy for the business to send targeted offers to their contacts.  Just remember to be clear that the customer will receive on-going marketing texts, and make it easy for them to opt out if they want to.

Of course, it’s not just new contacts who might want to choose the types of messages they receive. SMS surveys are a simple way to connect with existing customers and gather feedback on their interests.

The golden opportunity

We believe that GDPR should be viewed not as a burden and source of concern, but as a golden opportunity. Although businesses will need to re-assess and construct new compliant means of data collection, it also means that your business will be able to truly connect with customers.

Consumers will only receive the type of communications they really wish to receive, which will bring higher levels of brand trust. In our State of SMS research, we found that 50% of opt-in users questioned said that their loyalty to a business increased after having received a helpful or informative text.

As well as building relationships with customers and increasing brand trust, there are also financial benefits to working with a reduced, but opted-in list of users. A reduced list of users who are more likely to take engage with communications sent is far superior to a large list mix of users including those who will simply delete upon receiving.

Want to know more about how you should be preparing for the new GDPR regulations? See our GDPR compliance statement, or speak to our team.

open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.