GDPR and email marketing

Key points about General Data Protection Regulation and system changes to Anytime Booking to help with compliancy


GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. And non-compliance could cost companies dearly. Here’s what every company that does business in Europe needs to know about GDPR, regardless of Brexit.

The GDPR not only applies to organisations located within the EU but it will also apply to organisations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

It only applies to B2C communications, not B2B communications as its primary intent is to prevent mass spam emailing of consumers.

GDPR will apply from 25 May 2018.

There’s a wealth of information on the internet about becoming GDPR compliant for your business. Visitor the Information Commissioner’s Office website for the latest updates.

You may find the ICO’s 12 Step Guide to preparing for GDPR useful. Read here. 

We recommend that you consult with a lawyer about what your business responsibilities are and what you need to do to ensure that you are fully compliant by that point and time.

Anytime Booking update has focused around marketing and specifically, email lists.

What are the key changes to make in practice?

Anyone holding customer (guest) data will need to review how they gain consent to make sure they meet the GDPR requirements: on being specific meaning, granular, clear meaning, prominent, opt- in, documented and easily withdrawn. The key new points are as follows:

  • Unbundled: consent requests must be separate from other terms and conditions. Consent should not be a precondition of signing up to a service unless necessary for that service.

  • Active opt-in: pre-ticked opt-in boxes are invalid – use unticked opt-in boxes or similar active opt-in methods (eg a binary choice given equal prominence).

  • Granular: give granular options to consent separately to different types of processing wherever appropriate.

  • Named: name your organisation and any third parties who will be relying on consent – even precisely defined categories of third-party organisations will not be acceptable under the GDPR.

  • Documented: keep records to demonstrate what the individual has consented to, including what they were told, and when and how they consented.

  • Easy to withdraw: tell people they have the right to withdraw their consent at any time, and how to do this. It must be as easy to withdraw as it was to give consent. This means you will need to have simple and effective withdrawal mechanisms in place.

Here are some of the changes we’ve made.

This system change is focused around helping your guest consent to email marketing outside of the standard booking emails.  Here’s a summary of the change:-

The customer-facing booking form 

Once your customer has registered or logged in, there will be an additional area for Contact Permission. We have kept the wording very generic to help everyone.

You can formulate your own message in the Contact Permission area of the booking form, notifying your guest of the kind of additional communication you are likely to make. Go to Setup > Documentation > Terms and Conditions > Contact Permission. Only when there is text in this field, will the ‘Read More’ button appear live, see above.

 

The Customer Login area

When your customer next logs in to pay their balance, or simply view their details, a notification will appear asking the same question about whether they would like to opt in or out of your marketing emails. This will only appear if they haven’t yet updated Contact Permission. This is designed to help gather your guests contact permission ahead of the GDPR update on 25th May 2018.

Syncing to Email Marketing

If you are using our email marketing module, this information is automatically updated for you. Within your Anytime Booking Master List you’ll notice a new Custom Field called ‘GDPR compliant’, so you can start to send non-booking related information to them.

Using our email marketing takes the hard work out of emailing your customers; you can easily email a segment of your customer database quickly, like everyone who is GDPR compliant and brought a dog during August last year. Cool stuff really.

Read more about our email marketing module here.

Tell us if you would like to start using Anytime’s email marketing feature.

Exporting your Customer Records

If you are using an email marketing platform elsewhere, you can export your Customer Records as a .CSV file and you’ll notice an additional column for GDPR compliant = Y or N. You can filter and sort before sending a campaign.

The columns you’ll see in the .CSV file.

 

What happens when your guest makes contact and exercises the right to be forgotten?

GDPR is helping everyone to think about how their information is stored and who has access to it. They might make contact by phone to request that you unsubscribe them from future communications or have their contact details deleted.

You can easily unsubscribe this person within the email marketing module and/or remove the email address from the Customer Record.

If you delete the Customer Record completely from within your Anytime Booking account, you are permanently deleting the record and any historical bookings associated with this customer. This action does not affect your cash list and booking reports for tracking financials. The name fields will just be empty.

Anytime Booking and our commitment to Security and Data Protection

As a third-party service provider and booking management solution to you, we have long had a commitment to security and data protection. Our internal processes, both for the development of our system and every other aspect of the business, are all focused on keeping our customers’ data safe and secure.

Our databases are held within a London data centre and are ISO9001:2008, ISO27001, and SSAE16 / ISAE 3402 certified.

Caravan and Motorhome CL Sites

Anytime Booking is on a mission to help the small campsite market

Online connectivity is king, and small campsites should be no less visible than the big players. Some booking system operators don’t want to touch small campsites but we think they need an online presence more than ever and we’re passionate about helping them to adopt online booking technology.

Smaller campsites often give the more unique and precious experiences to the holidaymaker and we want to help people find them online. We have already changed the fortunes of many small campsites, including numerous existing CL sites.

Every customer is important to Anytime Booking; our support is on tap, no matter what the size of your business.

Test Anytime Booking for yourself

Log in to the ‘Caravan and Motorhome CL Site Demo’ account and have a play!

 

 

Web Address: https://306053.anytimebooking.eu/back_office/
Username: testuser18
password: testuser18

This is an open test account for CL owners to try out the booking functionality – just make sure you don’t enter in any personal information in this account! Please note, the Setup section is hidden so that the settings remain the same for everyone during testing.

 

Take a look at the customer-facing booking form: 

 

You can create a button or link on your website that will redirect to a booking form similar to this: https://306053.anytimebooking.eu/place_booking#forward for your customers to complete their booking.

Your address link will be unique to your campsite and you can customise the booking page a little more, learn how here.

 

The Customer Login area

Similar to above, you can create a button or link on your website to the customer login area https://306053.anytimebooking.eu/my_account which is great for customers wishing to view their booking details and make any additional payments to you.  You can read more about the customer login area here. 

Why choose Anytime Booking for your CL site? 

We were delighted when the Caravan and Motorhome Club chose Anytime Booking as their service provider over all the other system suppliers in the market. We have been working hard since 2012 to help campsites, big and small, to have an online presence. We help them take direct bookings, manage their arrivals and departures, track revenue and put time-saving automation into everyday admin tasks like emailing confirmations to customers.

We have also developed some features specific to the Caravan & Motorhome Club like being able to track the CAMC membership number of visitors. What’s more we give you control of your tariff so you make can changes at any time and you can customise the automated emails. We also roll out new and improved software features all the time for the benefit of all system users at no extra cost.

Anytime Booking is a team with a drive to get you up and running and taking bookings online. We have a collective passion for providing you with a platform to enable you to give great customer service to your visitors; from you being able to deal with their enquiries through to taking payments quickly. In turn, we offer you, as our customer, unrivalled support on how to get the most out of your booking system once you are live.

How many will Anytime Booking cost you?

It’s £10 plus VAT per month. 12 month minimum contract, 30 days notice to leave. That’s it. Nice and simple.

Ready to get started? Get in touch

Drop us an email on support@anytimebooking.co.uk and Becky, our HelpDesk extraordinaire, will give you a new account that’s already pre-populated (but don’t worry, you can change the settings!) so you can be up and running really quickly. We really hope to start working together soon.

Letting Status

You can indicate whether a sub-unit is public, sublet, or private for reporting purposes. 

Go to Setup > Configuration > Units > Choose your categories and units > then go to your sub-units

Once you are there, go to Options and you can assign the sub-unit a letting status.

Using the Bookings Report, you can hide or show each of these letting statuses for your needs. Great if you just want view the current and expected revenue on everything you are sub-letting.

The letting status column is also displayed when the bookings report is generated.

Automatically Cancel Provisional Bookings After a Certain Time Period

This is a feature requested by many Anytime users who wanted the system to automatically cancel a provisional booking after a defined time period set by themselves.

This feature will only cancel bookings made online by the guest who have not paid within your defined time period and does not affect any telephone bookings you make in a provisional state. 

Go to Setup > Configuration > Units > Choose the unit you’d like to set this for > Then tick the ‘Automatically Cancel Provisional Bookings’ to enable > Then define the number of hours you prefer. There is a maximum of 100 hours, or just over 4 days.

You will need to have both the Provisional and Cancelled booking email templates enabled to use this feature. 

 

How an Agile workflow at Anytime affects you

So how does Agile affect you?

Development of our system is largely driven by Help Desk and the tickets that you submit and we might get a lot of tickets in one day for all manner of reasons!

Several people are helping

It is important to note that the whole team may be involved in Help Desk in some shape or form. From the technical team, customer success team or the communication team we may all have a say in how to deal with your ticket.

When you submit a support ticket, the team here will first determine the nature of the ticket, if it is general help, a bug or a feature request. We will also determine the priority of the ticket and for this we use a traffic light system.

  •       Green Support Tickets

General questions or requests to make changes or amendments to your account either through the support or technical queue. With a green ticket, you can still use the system to take bookings, run reports and function normally.

  •       Orange Support Tickets

These are potential issues preventing you from carrying out a specific task that may involve a technical fault. The support team will give you a work-around in the meantime until the issue can be resolved.

  •       Red Support Tickets

We are likely to know about these types of tickets before you do – this is where the entire or part of the system is offline due to a technical fault.

Ticket Triage

After receiving your ticket one or more of us will triage your ticket and then decide on its path through our workflow.

  •       General help

If you get stuck adding rates or can’t remember how to set deposits or just can’t seem to get something to work then there is a good chance the answer is in our knowledge base. We will point you to the most appropriate article or if not we will reply with a solution to your enquiry after working through the issue ourselves. For general help tickets, once investigated, we can usually come up with an answer within 24 hours.

  •       Feature requests

Agile really begins to kick in here. Typically, if your ticket is a feature request, a physical card is created and added to our candidate board. At set times of the week we will review the feature requests on the candidate board, decide on their impact on all our customers and whether they are of benefit globally before being added into what we call the backlog.

From here the task will be sized up in terms of estimated time to action and priority before being passed into an iteration. Once the work is completed and the iteration comes to an end, we pass this task into Quality Assurance and Testing before it is deployed to the booking system. This ensures nothing is made live until we are 99% sure it works.

  •       Bugs

Inevitably with such a large amount of code to manage, it won’t always go according to plan no matter how much we plan and test before we deploy. It is simply impossible to account for every scenario.

Bugs again are prioritised based on how able you are to use our service. We might well have to look at our iteration and quickly adapt our position so that the bug is dealt with immediately. Or, if it is a cosmetic issue, such as a button not displaying correctly in your admin area and is therefore a lower priority, the corrective task might be slotted into this iteration or even the next before being completed. This ensures that more pressing tasks take priority. Thankfully bugs are becoming fewer and further between thanks to our new working practices!

A little beg: If possible, please use our submission form to submit your enquiry and give us a much detail as possible with the area of concern and detail such as actual booking references, customer ids and so on so we can quickly handle your ticket.

Print Booking Summary

Coming Soon

When you load a booking, you may want to print the booking summary for your own records.

The current layout of this print summary option is a default template that’s un-editable. Soon you will be able to edit the template to suit your own requirements.

Go to Setup > Documentation > Booking Summary

Within the editor, you’ll be able to define your own layout using our new WYSIWYG editor. You can either insert our default template, or you can create your own from scratch.

By clicking on the tokens buttons, you’ll find all the same data fields you’ve used in editing your email and/or invoice templates.

 

Channel Management for Anytime Booking Users

What is Channel Management?

Channel Management allows you to hook up your website to third party booking providers to flood your business with new bookings.

To provide you with the maximum value, we’ve prioritised working with camping, glamping and self-catering related travel websites, to help you share your real time availability with potential customers and drive new bookings directly into your Anytime Booking diary without you needing to lift a finger.

How Does Channel Management help? 

Our Channel Management offerings will help make you money by booking your business to capacity fast.

Channel Management will also save you considerable time and effort by importing your bookings from channels automatically, rather than having to import each booking into your booking system by hand.

Online Travel Agents, like AirBnB, Pitchup.com and Cool Camping market your property to people visiting their website, selling your remaining availability for a commission.

If you use an Global Distribution Network (OTA) like Rentals United or Propsync, these continuously sync (exchange information) between all the multiple Online Travel Agents they connect with to ensure that bookings coming from multiple sources don’t overlap and cause double bookings.

Depending on the channel and the type of connection they have with it, they may also be able to automatically put these bookings into your Anytime Booking system for you and sync your online and telephone bookings you’ve taken back with all the channels you connect with.

What does it cost?

If you choose to use it, you should see Channel Management as your main marketing cost, other than building and maintaining your website.  It’s certainly not free!

The Online Travel Agents providing your bookings will typically take a cut of between 2.5% – 25% of the value of each booking.

Global Distribution Networks will make additional charges according to the number of units you’re promoting through them. Please note the channels also take their cut on top.

Lastly, as Channel Management creates extra work for us to maintain the booking system and support you with queries, Anytime Booking reserves the right to make a nominal charge of £10 +VAT a month to link your booking engine to any number of third party channels.

Email Delivery

There are three options for email delivery: default, email forwarding and dedicated delivery.