The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation is aiming to collate different email laws from across its member states. The new GDPR law is set to bring improved consistency to how businesses use and store information.
GDPR amends various fundamental aspects of email marketing including how the marketers request, collect and record users’ authorization. The unified regulations will allow organizations to optimize the Digital Single Market opportunities by enhancing consumer trust and simplifying the regulatory environment for global businesses. Overall, the passing of the EU’s new privacy and data protection legislation will have major affects on the email marketing industry.
Companies and groups that gather email addresses, keep customer details, contact lists, control HR records or send emails to EU citizens will be forced to change their data collection methods. Despite their locations, they must begin studying the provisions of the GDPR and align their processes to the legal requirements. GDPR is explicit regarding the penalties for non-compliance. Organizations that currently come under the jurisdictional scope of the DPA will automatically be subjected to the GDPR.
The new regulations have a variety of requirements for obtaining a user’s authorization. As per GDPR, email marketers will only be allowed to transmit emails to people who have opted in to receive such messages. In fact, opt-in consent will be a obligatory for all marketing communications. It is understood that the majority of EU member countries have been observing this provision. However, GDPR strengthens the rules by outlining the nature of consent needed for commercial communications. It will obligate marketers to receive affirmative consent that is specific, freely given and unambiguously informed.
The law brings in stringent conditions to the registration process. The subscribers will be entitled to information regarding the brands that collect their authorization and the purpose for personal data collection. Certain processes that email marketers use to obtain personal data under the current regulation will be now illegal and punishable under GDPR. For instance, using personal data to broadcast marketing messages to users who have not authorized it will be illegal. In addition, adding their email addresses to the mailing list without the users’ consent will be illegal.
The best guidance to all email marketers at this point of preparation is to make sure of the establishment of specialized signup processes for different regions. In this instance, EU citizens should have a signup process that adheres with GDPR requirements. As for people from other regions, organizations could maintain their current signup processes because the new law does not affect these people.
Brands will be obligated to show sufficient evidence of compliance with the new EU legislation if they are asked. GDPR tends to place the burden of proof of provided consent on the company that received it. Due to this, marketing companies should formulate consent forms and store them as one of their preparation plans. The consent forms will be useful when companies are required to demonstrate compliance when asked for it in court.
The time when brands would just send marketing messages to users without expressed permission will come to an end when the new law takes effect. GDPR will not allow companies to send emails to subscribers whose permissions were not received as per the standards of the law. Firms will also face sanctions when they fail to provide sufficient evidence of consent. This implies that email marketers have a chance to update their databases now before the final deadline. They can begin by ensuring that their databases contain subscribers whose permissions were gathered in compliance with the new GDPR requirements.
The law is also explicit regarding the protection of email inboxes of minors. Organizations will be obligated to obtain parental consent before transmitting email messages to consumers under 14 years of age. In addition, firms will be required to be transparent about the information they gather from the email recipients across all age groups.