How The EU GDPR Bill Affects Email Marketing
As a marketer, I’m sure you’ve heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is an EU regulation that aims to give EU citizens greater control over their personal data. It applies to all companies that process the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the company is based.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is Europe’s response to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which has done wonders to lower spam rates in the US (although not as much to lower them in Canada). GDPR are a set of privacy regulations that will begin to be implemented by many European countries in the beginning of 2016, and it will affect every email marketer sending out campaigns to European recipients.
One of the areas that the GDPR has a big impact on is email marketing. If you’re not complying with the GDPR when it comes to your email marketing, you could be facing hefty fines. In this article, I’m going to take you through what you need to know about GDPR and email marketing compliance.
Understanding Email Permission Examples
Before we dive into the specifics of email marketing compliance under GDPR, it’s important to understand what we mean by email permission. In short, email permission is when someone has given you permission to send them marketing emails.
There are two types of email permission: implied and express. Implied permission is when someone has given you their email address in the context of a transaction or inquiry, but they haven’t explicitly given you permission to send them marketing emails. Express permission, on the other hand, is when someone has explicitly given you permission to send them marketing emails.
It’s important to note that under GDPR, implied permission is no longer acceptable for email marketing. From May 25, 2018, you can only send marketing emails to people who have explicitly given you permission to do so.
It’s expected that once the final draft of the GDPR is enforced, there will be a short period of time in which email marketers can (and must) adjust to its regulations. GDPR is very much similar to CASL, in that it very much takes privacy and data storage into account, forcing emailers to make sure they have the proper permissions to send emails to potential consumers. One way to do this is to target members that have specified they are from the EU in your lists and ask them to re-opt-in (ask for consent) once more to your list. Furthermore, as you collect new subscribers, make sure they specify location!
The Importance of Email Consent in GDPR
Email consent is a key part of GDPR compliance. Consent means that the individual has given you clear and unambiguous permission to process their personal data. This includes their email address and any other information you may collect about them.
Under GDPR, consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. This means that you cannot use pre-ticked boxes or other methods of obtaining consent that are unclear or confusing. You must also provide individuals with clear information about what they are consenting to and how their data will be used.
It’s worth noting that GDPR applies to all personal data, not just email addresses. This means that if you collect any other personal data as part of your email marketing campaigns, such as names or addresses, you must also comply with GDPR in relation to that data.
Interestingly, GDPR will take a strong stance on protecting youthful email inboxes – companies will need parental consent to send email messages to consumers 13 years of age or younger. And for all ages, they will need to be more transparent about the data that they are collecting from their email recipients. Furthermore, data allows email marketers to create more personalized email campaigns catered towards their audience, and transparency can be crucial in email security if their is an unfortunate data breach.
Overview of Email Compliance Regulations Under GDPR
Under GDPR, there are a number of regulations that you must comply with in relation to email marketing. These include:
- Consent: As we’ve already discussed, you must obtain clear and unambiguous consent from individuals before you can send them marketing emails.
- Transparency: You must provide clear and concise information about how you will use the individual’s data.
- Data subject rights: Individuals have the right to access their personal data, have it corrected, and have it deleted in certain circumstances.
- Data breaches: If there is a data breach, you must report it to the relevant authorities within 72 hours.
- Accountability: You must be able to demonstrate that you are complying with GDPR.
GDPR and DirectIQ Email Marketing
If you’re using DirectIQ for your email marketing campaigns, then there is nothing to worry about since it is already GDPR compliant. DirectIQ has implemented a number of measures to ensure that its customers can comply with GDPR when using the platform.
For example, On features like Landing Pages, WordPress plugin or its forms, It provides a double opt-in feature that ensures that individuals have given clear and unambiguous consent to receive marketing emails. DirectIQ also makes it mandatory to include an unsubscribe link in your emails, which is a requirement under GDPR.
In addition, DirectIQ has implemented a number of security measures to ensure that your data is safe and secure. This includes using SSL encryption to protect your data in transit, storing your data on secure servers and allowing the customers to be able to request any type of data treatment all based on GDPR Compliance.
How to Obtain GDPR-Compliant Email Addresses
Now that we’ve covered the basics of email marketing compliance under GDPR, let’s take a look at how you can obtain GDPR-compliant email addresses.
The first step is to ensure that you have clear and unambiguous consent from individuals before you start sending them marketing emails. This means that you must use a double opt-in process or another method that ensures that individuals have given clear consent.
You should also provide individuals with clear and concise information about how their data will be used. This should include information about who you are, what you will be sending them, and how often you will be sending them emails.
Finally, you should make it easy for individuals to unsubscribe from your emails if they no longer wish to receive them. This is a requirement under GDPR, and failure to provide an easy way to unsubscribe could result in fines.
Best Practices for GDPR Email Marketing Compliance
To help you stay compliant with GDPR when it comes to email marketing, here are some best practices to follow:
- Use a double opt-in process to obtain clear and unambiguous consent from individuals.
- Provide clear and concise information about how their data will be used.
- Make it easy for individuals to unsubscribe from your emails.
- Regularly review your email list to ensure that you only have consent from individuals who have explicitly given it.
- Keep a record of when and how consent was given.
- Use secure servers and encryption to protect your data.
Examples of Compliant Email Permission Language
To give you an idea of what compliant email permission language looks like, here are some examples:
- “By clicking submit, you agree to receive marketing emails from us.”
- “Tick this box to receive our weekly newsletter.”
- “We’d like to keep in touch with you via email. Please check this box to confirm that you’re happy for us to do so.”
Remember, the key is to ensure that individuals have given clear and unambiguous consent to receive marketing emails from you.
The Consequences of Non-Compliance with GDPR
If you’re not complying with GDPR when it comes to email marketing, you could be facing some serious consequences. The maximum fine for non-compliance is €20 million or 4% of your global annual revenue, whichever is greater.
In addition to the financial consequences, non-compliance with GDPR can also damage your reputation and erode trust with your customers. This is why it’s so important to take GDPR compliance seriously.
Conclusion: Staying Compliant with GDPR and Email Marketing
In conclusion, GDPR has a big impact on email marketing. If you’re not complying with GDPR when it comes to your email marketing, you could be facing hefty fines. To stay compliant, you need to obtain clear and unambiguous consent from individuals before you can send them marketing emails.
You should also provide individuals with clear and concise information about how their data will be used and make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your emails. By following these best practices, you can ensure that you stay compliant with GDPR when it comes to your email marketing campaigns.
If you’re using DirectIQ for your email marketing, you are already at your best spot since it provides a GDPR-compliant environment, all the GDPR requirements are made mandatory unloading a heavy burden from its customers.
So, are you ready to stay compliant with GDPR and keep your email marketing in check? Start implementing these best practices today to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to comply with GDPR Or simply Sign up for DirectIQ today.
To read more about anti-spam laws, check out our all you need to know guide on Anti-Spam laws in the US and Canada!
Baris is the founder of DirectIQ with over 20 years of experience in email marketing campaigns. Baris is an expert in all aspects of email marketing, and he created DirectIQ as an alternative to mass marketing tools like Mailchimp because he knows how to deliver individualized experience en masse to niches like hotel and real estate marketing, where a personal touch means everything.