crowdEngage includes all the tools you need for a customer-friendly, compliant approach to data protection. We're also always happy to offer guidance should you need it.

We've collected a few answers to some frequently asked questions about GDPR and PECR. If you've got a question that isn't covered here, please get in touch!

Do I need permission to send text messages to customers?
crowdEngage differs from most text message providers. Our focus is on improving customer experience, not annoying marketing messages. This means that the automated system can only be used to send messages to customers who have already booked tickets, and only in the 24 hours before and after the performance.

Example use-cases include improving the visitor experience by providing directions for navigation, and useful information such as performance running time or venue restrictions.

These kinds of transactional messages don't require prior consent from your customers because they can be classed as part of the service provision. Under GDPR, you may wish to base this processing on the fulfilment of your contractual obligations - the same basis you would use for order confirmation emails. PECR applies to marketing communication, and so doesn't apply to these transactional messages.

Can I send marketing messages through crowdEngage?
Sometimes, you might want to send a message to improve the customer experience with a view to encouraging a purchase - for example a targeted offer on pre-show drinks or a programme. crowdEngage can send these messages to people who have already booked to see the show, in the 24 hours before or after the performance.

Under PECR, these are classed as marketing messages, and so can't be sent without an opt-in. However because these messages are only being sent to your existing customers and are promoting services which are relevant to the customer's original purchase, it's most appropriate to offer a soft opt-in for these messages.

If you've got soft opt-in enabled, crowdEngage will automatically send a message to customers when their order is confirmed. This message is customisable, but should explain that you'd like to send them relevant messages near the time of the performance. It also gives the customer the opportunity to opt-out by replying STOP. This fulfils your PECR obligations for a soft opt-in, while keeping the process as easy as possible for customers.

crowdEngage lets you define which messages contain marketing content, and will only send those messages to phone numbers which have previously been sent a soft opt-in. In addition, opt-out instructions are automatically added to the end of these messages.

To comply with GDPR, we'd recommend using Legitimate Interest as your basis for this data processing.

Can I decide which customers receive each message?
Yes! As well as personalising messages, you can define who will receive each one with our smart templating engine. For segmentation, you can use contact preferences, tags, attributes, membership subscriptions, or anything else that your ticketing system exposes via its API.

Using tags and autotags in your ticketing system, you can create advanced groupings of customers and use those tags in crowdEngage to determine whether messages are sent to customers, or to customise content so that you're able to address each segment of your audience in the most relevant way.

For example, you could decide not to send messages to customers with a particular tag. You could then use different message content or language depending on whether the customer is a first-time visitor or a regular attendee.

Where can I learn more about GDPR and PECR?
We recommend having a look at the handy guide put together by Spektrix (one of the ticketing systems integrated with crowdEngage). They've got a great GDPR toolkit containing helpful advice as well as sample documents for a customer-friendly approach to GDPR and PECR.

If you have specific questions about crowdEngage and your obligations under GDPR and PECR, please drop us a line.

Although we're happy to help, the content on this page is not intended as legal advice.