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This December’s General Election will be the first in the UK since the much discussed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came to fruition in May 2018, giving individuals greater control over their personal data held by third-parties. GDPR doesn’t have to be an obstacle; instead it is an opportunity to build better relationships with supporters and potential voters. At NationBuilder, we have developed a suite of tools to help our European customers do just that. 

The idea of owning your own data has always been at the heart of what we at NationBuilder believe in. As a result, when the GDPR was introduced last year, we were well placed to serve hundreds of our European customers as they make the most of this opportunity. We ran an event to discuss the opportunities offered from the regulations, developed a suite of advanced privacy tools to help customers not just remain compliant but to actively strengthen their supporter relationships, and shared best practice examples on how these tools can be best used.

This year’s UK General Election will once again see the GDPR in the spotlight, with the ICO writing to all major political parties to remind them of the need to comply. Many commentators see the GDPR as a restriction, but we see it as an opportunity to build trust, confidence and relationships. As Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, put it:

“I do not believe data protection is standing in the way of your success. It’s not privacy or innovation––it’s privacy and innovation.”

Here are some of the ways that we’ve seen preparation for GDPR turned into an advantage and top tips for candidates, parties, charities, and advocacy groups ahead of the forthcoming General Election: 

1. Capturing and tracking consents in one, central and dynamic place: Having previously worked on political and charity campaigns, I’ve experienced first hand how arduous it can be when someone unsubscribes from communications from your organisation. I’ve had to go into multiple databases used by different functions of the campaign, plus mark opt-outs in various spreadsheets. Even then I couldn’t be sure that someone else wasn’t using an out of date spreadsheet that was exported from a database. 

With NationBuilder consents, when someone opts out it’s automatically logged in your database, meaning that there’s no manual work to mark people accordingly, given the website and database are integrated. It also means that any communication from broadcasters can immediately take these into account by using saved filters directly and dynamically linked to these consents. Not only does this save a huge amount of administrative time but it also removes a significant headache from any compliance team as they are able to keep track of where the data is and audit log of consents, all in one central place.

2. Use granular consents to develop relationships: Key to the GDPR is giving citizens the option to control how they are communicated with. This is important for any movement—not just for remaining compliant but for building a relationship with supporters at a time when many organisations are competing for their attention. By collecting granular consent using NationBuilders tools, you can learn what supporters are interested in, how regularly they want to hear from you, and through what medium (email, text, call, whatsapp etc); this will go a long way to help you stand out from the crowd, ultimately, leading to more and better engagement, better delivery, and higher conversion rates in the long-term.

3. Get your messages into inboxes: In today's age, competing for space in your supporter’s email inbox is a crucial piece of getting your message through. In order to get there, email reputation is everything and email providers like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail look at previous behaviour from other users in relation to emails you’ve sent  to decide what is spam. 

Therefore, by using consents to target emails; supporters will expect your emails containing content that they are interested in, and thus be more likely to open and click their links. Previous historic engagement is the basis of your future email reputation. This means the more people that open and engage with your emails, the more likely those emails are to show up in the inboxes of other supporters.

4. Easily process ‘right of access’ requests: Right of Access is a central part of GDPR as it dictates that any individual who you hold data on, has a right to see that data and request deletion. This election campaign, we expect citizens to access this right more than ever as organisations compete for their attention. With NationBuilder’s data download tool this can be exported at the click of a button and processes as necessary.

5. Use google analytics with consent: Google analytics is a valuable tool for understanding where traffic from your website is coming from and where there is drop-off; plus, it’s  key to maximising user journeys and driving users to action. But in order to be GDPR compliant, you should be asking for analytics consent. This can be done by setting up an analytics consent banner for your website using NationBuilder tools.

These are just some of the ways that customers are using NationBuilder privacy tools to maximise their engagement. For more information about the NationBuilder Europe team’s work, please visit our webpage here. 



The information offered here and other NationBuilder GDPR and data privacy-related pages is not legal advice for you or your company to use to comply with the GDPR or other (European) data privacy laws. NationBuilder cannot offer legal counsel. Instead, we are providing information about the steps we have taken to become GDPR compliant ourselves and the product features and services we offer (and will offer in the future) to help our customers use our products in a GDPR compliant manner.

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