Ultimate guide to: GDPR And Email Marketing

Successful email marketing 2019

With the new general data protection regulation (EU GDPR) put in place, this directly affects all marketing practices which also includes email marketing.

Last year the GDPR was in effect and all affected marketers need to quickly change how they obtain, seek, and save consent.

Email Marketing Under GDPR: How Its Done

It’s still feasible to run email marketing campaigns even though the European regulation changes the marketing environment.

Below we’ve generated a GDPR checklist to assist with your email marketing goals and for your reference.

Auditing Your Current Database

  • Do you know geographically where your contacts are?
  • Do you capture an audit trail of consent?

Knowing Your Contacts & Acquiring Them

  • Did you follow a double opt-in practice?
  • Do you keep track of where and when your contact’ information is coming from?
  • How did they end up in your database?
  • Do you have enough information on permission and source to hold up in court if needed?

Disclose And Review Your Data Practices

  • Do you ask for consent at the point of collecting the data?
  • Do you have a privacy policy that details how you collect, store, transfer and process your data using clear, concise language?
  • Do you communicate this data privacy policy to your recipients?

To Ensure Compliance View Your Upcoming Initiatives

All new projects/initiatives have to take into consideration compliance so that you don’t ought to retroactively pass back to alter your strategies.

GDPR: How It Affects Email Marketing?

Under the guidelines of GDPR, email marketers need to collect freely given, unambiguous, specified and informed content. In order to achieve compliance, it is necessary to adopt the following new practices:

  • New consumer opt-in permission rules
  • Proof of consent storing systems
  • Methods through which consumers can ask their personal information removed.

In relation to the impact of EU GDPR on B2B and B2C in 2018, the current European regulation is applicable to both B2B and B2C business methods. The following two approaches are not allowed: soft opt-in, nor soft opt-out.

It is recommended to use double opt-in in order to align with the compliance requirements for GDPR.

It is vital to maintain interest in taking care of your third-party data, in addition to the manner in which you achieve consent in your business.

Further under the umbrella of regulation is profiling – relating to the clear definition of profiling, ranging to subject’s rights, it is critical to note that GDPR has clear requirements that are mandatory to comply with in order to avoid the risk of a fine.

Buying Contact List Under GDPR

While certain purchased lists with a clear affirmative statement of consent within the original subscription may be allowed under the GDPR.

However, we strongly recommend against this in every way possible for deliverability concerns. What are accredited won’t be good in your email methods or strategies.

Email Marketing: Sending To A Current Contact List

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), does not singularly apply only to the collection of data on the date it went into effect (May 25th, 2018), but rather it applies also to the data gathered before.

It is worth reviewing if the consent record of your existing contact lists clearly indicates that you had clear authorization to send email marketing campaigns to each of the contacts.

Any records that are not clear would indicate that you would need to gather new and expressed permission from the outdated contacts, allowing you to send email marketing communications properly.

Send Personalized Taregt Emails Under GDPR

You MUST comply with the new European regulation in order to send targeted & personalized emails, especially with the big impact it has made with profiling.

More information on GDPR and Profiling.

Check out the email marketing checklist to make sure you’re working with 3rd party providers correctly as your business transitions to GDPR.

Correct The Email Unsubscribe Process

In order to be compliant for the EU GDPR, each email marketer is required to ensure an established and accepted format for their contacts to unsubscribe.

The process related to unsubscribing under the GDPR needs to be unambiguous and straightforward.

The following should be made possible via a visible link in each marketing email:

  • Unsubscribe to the marketing communication
  • Unsubscribe to all of your communications
  • Contact a return email address

By providing your contacts with the possibility to easily unsubscribe, you are closer to achieving compliance with the EU GDPR.


Email marketing continues to be the most preferred marketing channel for B2B firms/corporations.

This means that it’s necessary for you and your business to induce email marketing right in a very post-GDPR world, as a result of it shows no signs of becoming irrelevant as a communication and marketing channel.

On the face of it, GDPR could appear sophisticated and maybe a bit daunting.

So you’ll have to remove the group of subscribers that no longer opens your emails, but that’s OK. You don’t want them on your list anyway, right?

Individuals that have expressly opted-in wish to open and take action on your email campaigns.

This means better email marketing KPI’s, as well as higher response rates and raised revenue. So, don’t be concerned about GDPR and instead, start enjoying the better marketing campaigns that will come with it!

Credit to the Mailjet and please follow them on twitter @mailjet