The term GDPR has become a hot topic for discussion over the past few years, especially for small business owners, startups, and marketing professionals. If you are not complying with GDPR, you could face real threats to what you’re doing and could even find yourself in hot water.
This article will help explain how you can keep your company emails in line with the latest GDPR regulations when sending emails to potential leads, past customers, and more.
So, What Is GDPR?
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a data protection reform plan put in place by the European Commission that helped balance the rise of the ‘digital age’. It was initially agreed upon in January 2012, was adopted in April 2016, and finally became enforceable beginning May 2018.
This new plan is a set of rules designed to give Online users across the world more control over their online data and privacy. While created and adopted in Europe, the impact of these regulations goes much further and is applicable around the world.
The main goal of the new regulations was to help society fully benefit from the growing digital economy and all the possibilities it had to offer.
It makes sense that the Internet, a place where we spend so much time, provides us with up-to-date information, and allows us to earn money, has a specific set of rules and laws to make sure that everybody is protected and accounted for. GDPR is Europe’s attempt to get ahead of the curve and – so far – has done that, although there have been some major lessons to be learned by everyone involved.
And GDPR Compliance Means….?
GDPR compliance means (simply) that you are following the new guidelines set in place by the European Commission.
It means that organizations have to ensure they have permission to collect, use, and share personal data, which includes:
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Location data
- IP addresses
- Mobile device IDS
In the digital world, this is valuable information that needs to be protected and it can be easy for companies to use this information without consent and protection
Checklist to Make Sure Your Emails are GDPR Compliant
Here are some Dos and Dont’s of sending emails under GDPR:
1) Only send emails to people who have agreed to receive them.
You must have an updated agreement from your users before you can continue to send them materials related to your business.
2) Be able to explain how you received or found someone’s email.
If you find someone’s email on LinkedIn, their personal website, or on other social media platforms, you are allowed to email them. If you were given a list of emails by another company, this is against the rules and now allowed.
3) You can send a cold email to someone who you feel would benefit from your message.
But what you do after that could get you in hot water under the new GDPR regulations. Many marketers will set an automatic follow-up sequence to an original email that goes out every two weeks or so in the hopes that persistence will pay off.
The person will need to opt-in or choose to join a specific email list before you can add them to your follow-up list.
4) Protect your stored data.
If you have a huge database of past, potential, and current clients, you need to protect it from getting in the hands of someone else. It is not acceptable to have your stored data intercepted by someone outside of your organization.
5) Make it easy for the recipient to opt-out or unsubscribe from future emails.
By allowing email recipients the chance to opt-out or unsubscribe from future emails, you are giving them the choice to agree or not agree. Remember, no means NO and you won’t be able to contact them again in this way, but you will be following the new GDPR regulations.
Do your homework and research the latest GDPR regulations.
GDPR is a new set of standards for most people working in a marketing, sales, or Entrepreneurial role. It’s normal to be confused and intimidated by what you should and shouldn’t be doing. The only thing you can do is research the latest developments so you are more informed on the topic.
There’s tons of new content being published all the time that will help you get a grasp on how to make sure your customer emails are secure and GDPR compliant.