Sales outreach & Who should use new rules - GDPR for Automotive Part 6

In the last post in this series we looked at 'updating your existing contacts'. This time I'm looking at what to consider when you're approaching new sales leads so you're being GDPR-friendly and ethical in your sales activity. If you missed the first post in this series then take a look here to for the GDPR overview.


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GDPR is NOT the death of B2B sales in Automotive. If you're super targeted in your sales activity and you always research each company so you can customise your outreach then you won't need to change very much now that we're in a GDPR world.

It's also worth taking a mini step back and considering who should use new rules. My answer to this is EVERYBODY. And, when I say everybody I'm talking about Automotive and B2B companies as that's where we specialise. Why? Because it's impossible for you to know 100% if somebody is or is not an EU citizen. I cover this more in this previous blog post. If you're unsure, take a look at our main GDPR page and book a free consultation.

The first time you email new contacts, it’s important to explain why they’re being contacted, the Lawful basis for processing their data (such as legitimate interests), where you found their details (if they haven't opted-in), and give them the opportunity to opt out, request data, or ask for data to be deleted.


Here's what we do to make this easy for our clients


To make this simple, we use a feature in HubSpot called Snippets.

Snippets in HubSpot is a feature that allows you to create short 'snippets' of text that you can easily drop into emails when you're sending emails from Outlook or Gmail, using the HubSpot inbox extension, or when you're sending emails from inside HubSpot CRM. Here's a screenshot of where this lives in your inbox:


Using HubSpot Snippets in Gmail


We create this Snippet to use on the first outreach to a new contact:

I'm contacting you because __________. I found your details on __________ and thought you'd find this email helpful for your work at __________.


We also create this Snippet to use before adding a contact to an email marketing list for monthly newsletters etc:

Can I add you to our mailing list so you get the latest updates on __________ (you'll always have the opportunity to unsubscribe and request/modify/delete your data)?


By using those Snippets at the right time we get a lot of good responses and 'thank you for asking'. Why? Because most salespeople in Automotive don't both to tailor their outreach to each contact. Most salespeople don't take a Proactive Prospecting approach (more on that in a future blog post). Most salespeople just send the same generic message to every contact. That's easily deletable, not adding any value to the recipients, and just spam that can result in complaints. Taking an ethical approach to your sales activity will help you be GDPR-friendly and will improve sales and brand image.


Making it easy to opt-out


I'll start this part with a question. Do you include an unsubscribe link in your sales emails? I'm not talking about marketing emails sent from tools like HubSpot Marketing or MailChimp, which always include links in the footer or every email. I'm talking about your one-to-one sales emails.

I'd bet 99% that you don't. And my feeling is that's a problem. To be GDPR-friendly you need to make it easy for people to opt-out of your emails. Even if they're just one-to-one sales emails.

We make this easy for our Automotive clients because they all use HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Sales that includes an unsubscribe link in the footer of every email that's sent from inside HubSpot CRM and also for every email included in a Sequence (Sequences is the feature where you can write up to 5 different one-to-one emails, schedule them at different times and HubSpot will send them automatically until you get a reply). Then, for our clients that are using 3rd party email marketing tools like MailChimp, we use a cloud sync tool to synchronise any unsubscribes with those 3rd party tools.

That's it for this blog post. Next in the series I'll cover 'GDPR considerations for future outreach'.


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About the author

Picture of James Walters

James Walters is the Commercial director at The Tree Group, a Business Growth agency that helps Automotive companies with at least 10 staff and a desire to grow by 15% in the next 18-months.