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How GDPR Will Affect Your Email Marketing

If you send email marketing newsletters you will want to reconsider the way you send your campaigns. Anti-Spam law is changing in the EU. A new set of rules called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is being introduced in May 2018. The rules affect any business that sends emails to people in Europe.

We all get spammy emails and get annoyed, so the EU decided to take drastic measures to eliminate it. This will help us (as users) to receive less unwanted emails.

Why should somebody follow the rules? Well let’s see what happens when you send spam email;

  1. In the US, you can receive a penalty of up to $16,000 for each individual law-breaking email you send.
  2. In the UK, you can be fined up to £5,000 (about US $6,500) by a judge or an unlimited fine by a jury
  3. In Italy, you can receive a jail term of up to 3 years!
  4. In Cyprus, if you know a person in the ministry nothing will happen. Of course I’m joking. I don’t know what will happen because I couldn’t find it online.

In the UK, Flybe Airlines was fined £70,000 in March 2017 for sending 3.3 million emails to people who had previously opted out.

The risks of non-compliance from the EU is if data breach is discovered, GDPR officials will call first upon HR for evidence on staff training. Brands should properly train their staff.

More alarmingly, a failure to comply could bring a heavy financial penalty to organisations – either 4% of turnover or a fine of €20 million, whichever is the larger.

With GDPR arriving on May 25th 2018, bosses must do all they can to seek professional guidance to ensure full compliance. Data security is about to catch up with the speed of business in the digital era.

Besides the anti-spam rules and the fear of jail I believe it goes beyond just emails and laws. As an ethical marketer and business owner

  1. You don’t want to annoy and lose customers
  2. You don’t want to damage the reputation of your company
  3. Won’t risk lowering your sender score and having your messages land in junk mail folders.

If the customer signs up for an e-book you cannot also send them marketing messages – unless you get separate permission.

Email marketing just got harder. Social media got harder (Facebook newsfeed changes).

Here is what you have to do;

  1. When you ask for permission to use their data you should avoid weighty terms and conditions; you should write in simple English language what they are signing up to.
  2. You need to have an active opt-in process for your email marketing. You can see how I do it on and Pre-ticked boxes will not be sufficient to confirm consent.
  3. Marketers will always have to tell data subjects the name of the data-handling organization (agency), along with the names of any third parties with whom the information may be shared.
  4. You will have to keep all evidence for consent given. This documentation will detail what the data subject has consent to, the information they were given which facilitated consent, and the method of consent.
  5. People should be able to take back their consent easily and quickly under GDPR. Marketing teams will have to make efforts to facilitate this option to withdraw in email transactions.

Basically, add more value to people, don’t sell all the time and people will want to read your content.

If you have any questions, you can always give me a call, email me on an or comment below. I will be more than happy helping you.

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