May 25, 2018 @ 2:52 pm in Google analytics by 0

GDPR Compliance for Google Analytics : How To

Google Analytics is by far the most popular web analytics application that is used across the world. It is used both by individuals and small companies to large Fortune 500 brands. As per this study in 2015, almost 70% of Fortune 500 used Google Analytics as their web analytics platform. If you are one of those millions of Google Analytics users and you are in Europe or deal with clients/ visitors from EU, you need to ensure that you are GDPR compliant.

While we love to rely on Google and think that they will take care of everything for proper GDPR compliance there are few things that you need to do too.

At a very broad level GDPR asks you not to collect and process any personal data without the consent of the data subject (user). Now before you tell me that Google Analytics data is anonymized and aggregated, let me show you couple of personal data points that could be captured in Google Analytics and put you on the wrong side of GDPR.

  • Google Analytics captures IP addresses which is considered as Personal Data under GDPR
  • Also, if you are passing any PII through your URLs ( typically happens when you are using GET method to submit form data or you are trying to personalize user experience) you might end up with URLs looking like . Now all these URLs are captured in Google analytics and you are necessarily sharing this PII with Google. This is against Google’s T&C as well as could mean serious trouble for you from GDPR perspective.


May 23, 2018 @ 6:34 pm in Digital Marketing by 0

GDPR Checklist for Marketers [Infographic]

With GDPR coming into play from 25th May, 2018, both marketing and IT teams across organizations are trying their best to be compliant. If your company is in the EU and / or process information about EU citizens you need to be GDPR compliant. Many companies based outside of the EU may also hold / process data relating to EU citizens and they need to consider GDPR too.

As marketers, we collect enormous data about every individual user / prospect through sophisticated CRMs, marketing automation and analytics systems. Consequentially GDPR will have tremendous impact on how marketing processes run and in many cases will need significant overhaul of entire marketing function. We have created this simple GDPR Checklist for Marketers which will help understand the requirements and be compliant.

Click image for larger view

GDPR Checklist for marketer

Click image for larger view

GDPR Checklist for Marketers

Start with Privacy Policy

Review and update your existing privacy policy. Ensure –

  • It is concise, transparent, easily accessible and written in plain language
  • It provides a clear overview of how you will use the data
  • Provide the identity and contact details of the data controller and   data protection officer
  • Clearly identify all third-parties who have access to the data

Review existing contact database

  • Check if the existing database is completely opt-in and if the opt-in consent has been recorded
  • You need to re-confirm opt-in for emails where
    • contacts are sourced from third-parties
    • No opt-ins are recorded
    • unspecific opt-in
    • No opt-in for certain ways you wish to use the data

Get opt-in from existing subscribers

  • It is advisable to run a campaign to get opt-in from existing subscribers and record them
  • This might require a series of emails and the opt-in rate is typically very low, unless your existing list is already a solid opt-in
  • Make sure your opt-in email clearly mentions how you will use the data
  • If user do not opt-in it is advisable to delete the users from your database

Review all website forms

  • Forms are the primary point of data collection on any website and you need to ensure your forms have the relevant explicit opt-in mechanisms, for collecting new user information
  • Ensure opt-in consent is recorded explicitly for each purpose for which you want to use the data.

Get your sales team onboard

  • In most cases it is your sales team that reaches out to your customers that the marketing team collects
  • Educate your sales team on the implication of GDPR. You can reach out to a user only for the purpose he has given the consent.
  • So if a user has subscribed to your newsletter while downloading a whitepaper – he has not consented to receive emails/calls from your sales team.
  • Establish a process to record consent for contacts your sales team sources from trade-shows and other channels

Review third-party data sharing

  • Review all third-parties who has access to your data. Do they need access to all of it? What do they use it for? Revioke access where possible.
  • For all external partners / vendors who access your data, confirm that they are GDPR compliant, ask them on what they are doing to ensure compliance
  • if you are using Google analytics, anonymize IP addresses and ensure you are not collecting or sending any PII to Google

Audit and sign-off from legal

  • Document everything that you have done to be GDPR compliant.
  • Ask your legal team/counsel to conduct a thorough audit of all your marketing assets and processes and sign off on it
  • While involving legal is expensive, the fines involved are way heavier, so better be safe than sorry.

This is a basic step by step guide that will help your marketing function to be ready for GDPR compliance, however, this is not legal advise, nor is this exhaustive. It is advisable to go through GDPR – in details and understand the full extent of this regulation and take professional legal advise where needed.

Apr 4, 2018 @ 7:36 pm in Paid Search by 0

AMP Landing Page Builder Tool – Instapage Launches a Killer Feature

AMP Landing Page Builder

I have been a fan of Instapage for long and have recommended this as a landing page solution to many. In fact I wrote a detailed Instapage review sometime back. But today I came across an update that is nothing short of a brilliant good news for any marketing professional.

Instapage is now partnering with Google to create AMP landing pages. For those of you that are still not initiated to AMP,  Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a framework for publishers to create fast-loading web pages. Google announced this on October 2015 and since then more than 4 billion AMP pages have been published. In this mobile-first world, AMP is the perfect solution for delivering a fast loading, great user experience.


Mar 27, 2018 @ 6:14 pm in Email Marketing by 0

Affordable Marketing Automation with Active Campaign

Affordable HIPAA Compliant Marketing automation

I have written about several email marketing tools like GetResponse and others before this and while some of them do have some automation capabilities they are not really a full blown marketing automation solution. In most cases, marketing automation tools are prohibitively expensive for small businesses and finding a relatively affordable marketing automation tool is no easy task. I have been researching some of the marketing automation tools recently, right from the major enterprise platforms like Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot etc to the much smaller ones. I have finally found a tool, Active Campaign, that is affordable as well as offers the full blown feature set of a marketing automation platform Read More >>

Jan 2, 2018 @ 2:35 pm in Digital Marketing by 0

8 Prominent Trends from Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey

As the year comes to an end, it’s the time for those surveys, trends and similar posts to crowd up the blogosphere and I thought let me do my bit too. Gartner recently released their CMO Spend Survey 2017-18 ; like any other Gartner report, it is extensive and takes quite some time to read but I did the hard work for you and here are the curated key trends and insights from the report for your easy consumption.


  • Growth in Marketing spend has stalled after three consecutive years of growth. In 2016, marketing spend was at its peak at 12.1% of company revenue, which came down to 11.3% in 2017
  • Martech Spend has fallen by 15%. CMO’s are reconsidering last year’s high spending commitment and how to manage technology effectively.
  • Two-Third of CMO’s plan to increase their spend on Digital Marketing, while traditional marketing faces budget cuts.
  • Over 50% of the overall marketing budget is spent on Services and Labor and CMOs are constantly struggling to balance between in-house and agency resources.


Oct 27, 2017 @ 4:51 pm in Paid Search, Google Adwords by 0

12 Powerful Ways to Reduce Adwords Spend, Lower CPC and Wasted Spend

To reduce Adwords spend, lower CPC and maximize the number of conversions – that’s the standard mandate for every Adwords consultant. The success of every Adwords campaign lies in meeting your campaign goals at the lowest possible costs.

The goals can be varied, but irrespective of the goal, the mandate for a professional Adwords consultant always remains the same – get as many conversions as possible at the lowest possible cost and often reduce Adwords spend . And rightly so.

When you have an unlimited budget ( which is never ;)), it is still relatively easy to generate leads. But delivering conversions at a minimal cost and keeping it that way requires some serious skill. You need to have a well thought out strategy. Continuously monitor your campaigns. optimize keywords, ads and be mindful of so many other nuances to make this happen.

Lower CPC Reduce Adwords Spend and Wastage


Whichever business you’re in, whatever may be your budget, there are some standard processes that can help you optimize your campaigns to reduce wasted spend on Adwords, lower your CPC and get better ROI. Here are 12 things you can do today to optimize your cost..


Oct 27, 2017 @ 4:28 pm in Email Marketing, Reviews by 0

GetResponse Review: A Robust & Affordable Email Marketing Tool

Whether you want to engage your clients with a weekly newsletter or use targeted campaigns to drive conversions or to nurture not-yet-ready-to-buy audience with drip campaigns – you need an efficient email marketing platform to ably complement your marketing strategy. There are hundreds of email marketing tools – from lightweight tools that could cost you a few hundred dollars per year to the all-in-one platforms that would bill you a few thousand dollars a month.

Over the years, as a marketer, I have come across many email marketing platforms, used a few of them and also reviewed some email marketing tools in this blog. Choosing the right email marketing tool that fits your needs and budgets definitely requires some effort. There are various factors that comes into play, the rule of thumb is to understand your requirements – what is the primary use, list size, third-party integrations, budget etc., and then pick one that best suits your needs.

I heard about GetResponse before but a friend of mine recommended it again a couple weeks back. He was impressed by its pricing and features. The list of features on their website, especially the one to set-up webinars and manage it from one place, the pricing etc., was tempting enough for me to get a free trial of the software.

Email Marketing Tool Get Response Reviews

Here’s my experience with GetResponse email marketing platform.


Oct 27, 2017 @ 4:39 pm in Paid Search, Reviews by 0

Instapage Review : A Comprehensive Landing Page Builder You Will Love

Landing pages are an essential part of most digital marketing campaigns and particularly for businesses investing into paid search, the success of campaigns are often highly dependent on landing pages. While conversion optimization takes the center stage in any landing page development, the ability to quickly create and test multiple landing pages is also a key challenge for most marketer.

While I have not been a big fan of landing page builders myself, the need to scale my campaigns quickly and create custom landing pages for each of my service offerings kind of pushed me to explore the options and glad that I did so.

I was looking at some of the leading landing page builders today – Instapage  is one that I tried long back and was not at all happy with the platform but then I read a few positive Instapage reviews again today and decided to give the platform a shot. Lo and behold, in less than 15 minutes I had a test landing page live on my site ( including 7-8 minutes I had to spend to figure out the WordPress Integration process).

instapage review

From whatever, I have seen so far Instapage looks like a must have a platform if you need landing pages  – it’s quick, efficient and has all the features required for an enterprise grade landing page builder. Here’s my review of Instapage –


Aug 12, 2017 @ 6:15 pm in SEO by 0

How to Track Google Algorithm Updates

It’s been pretty long that I wrote something on SEO, though this blog was started as a SEO blog long back on good old Blogspot ( – doesn’t exist anymore) . I entered the world of digital marketing with SEO and though this days I spent reasonably more time on Adwords and various other aspects of marketing, SEO has been with me like the unforgettable first love.

SEOs have always tried to keep track of Google algorithm updates, one of the most common question discussed in every SEO forum and blog is that when did google change its search algorithm.

Google algorithm updates


Jul 29, 2017 @ 6:21 pm in Paid Search, Google Adwords by 0

How to Stop Competitors from Clicking my Adwords Ads

While Adwords has been the most popular platform for businesses to advertise on the web, there are concerns that every advertiser has. Beyond improving campaign performance in the ever changing and highly competitive space, a common concern that many advertisers share is what if my competitors are clicking my adwords ads ? The savvy advertisers and particularly the ones with big pockets do have strong systems to identify such fraudulent clicks and also it is considerably difficult to make any difference to their campaign performance with a few competitor clicks here and there but for smaller advertisers it could be a bigger concern.I have specifically seen a lot of first time advertisers asking this questions – what if my competitor clicks my ads ? How can I stop competitors from clicking my adwords ?

While a mature advertiser or competitor would not resort to a tactic like clicking the competitor ads ( for the purpose of burning their budget, could do that to view your landing pages though).