How The EU GDPR Bill Will Affect Email Marketing

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.

It’s expected that by next month the final draft of the GDPR bill will be complete, and that once it 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!

It’s worth emphasizing how strict GDPR will be…  Just frustrating one list recipient could end up horribly wrong and result in a terrible fine. In March of this year, Canada’s anti-spam laws claimed their first victim, handing out a fine of over 1 million dollars! It doesn?t matter whether an email marketer is in the EU or not – they are still eligible for prosecution regardless.

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.

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!