We are approaching the deadline of 25 May 2018 when all companies controlling and/ or processing data for marketing purposes will have to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The main concern that keeps marketers awake is ‘Consent’.
The GDPR is clearer that an indication of consent must be unambiguous and involve a clear affirmative action (an opt-in). It specifically bans pre-ticked opt-in boxes. It also requires individual consent options for distinct processing operations. Consent should be separate from other terms and conditions and should not generally be a precondition of signing up to a service.
Many marketers are worried that the consent rule will ruin their email marketing.
Six reasons to lawfully process data
Not everyone knows that, apart from consent, there are other reasons why a company can process personal data.
As stated in Article 6 of GDPR, there are six lawful bases for processing data and at least one must apply whenever you process personal data (personal data also includes work email!):
- Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose
- Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
- Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations)
- Vital interest: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.
- Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, ant the task or the function has a clear basis in law.
- Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if you are a public authority processing data to perform your official tasks.)
This means, as long as you can prove you have a legitimate interest, you can continue with your B2B email marketing.
The one this to remember is that your B2B email marketing is restricted by your suppression list. If you send email campaigns to your prospects, who have been qualified and may have genuine interest in what you are offering (strictly services and products), then you don’t have to worry about consent. You do have to respect their decision to opt out and if they want to find out what data you hold on them, you need to provide it as well as how it was obtained (phone conversations, email etc.) They can also request to be removed from you database. Make sure your GDPR procedures and policy are transparent and you are prepared for every situation. Complying with GDPR can only strengthen your email marketing and help you create more focused email campaigns.
Is the new GDPR keeping you awake?
When working on email campaigns for our clients, we always ensure we have a lawful reason to contact the prospects and respect their wishes to opt out. What does it mean for your business? We don’t email people just to make up numbers. We select our data and segment it to ensure they reach appropriate prospects thus helping you to find fully-qualified leads.
Talk to us. We are proud to be fully compliant with DPA and ready and compliant with GDPR.