Navigating GDPR: A Guide to Email Marketing Compliance
If you’re a marketer in 2021, you’ve likely heard of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This regulation has been in place since May 2018 and has had a significant impact on the way marketers handle email marketing. In this guide, we’ll explore what GDPR is, why it matters, and how you can navigate it to maintain email marketing compliance.
What is GDPR?
GDPR is a regulation that was implemented by the European Union (EU) to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It applies to any company that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where that company is located. This means that if you have EU citizens on your email list, you must comply with GDPR.
Why does it matter?
Failure to comply with GDPR can result in hefty fines of up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s global annual revenue, whichever is higher. This means that compliance is not only important for ethical reasons but for legal and financial reasons as well.
How can you navigate GDPR to maintain email marketing compliance?
1. Obtain explicit consent
Under GDPR, you must obtain explicit consent from individuals before you can add them to your email list. This means that you cannot pre-check an opt-in box or use a default opt-in. Instead, individuals must actively opt-in to receive your emails.
2. Be transparent
When obtaining consent, you must be transparent about how you will use individuals’ personal data. This means that you must clearly state how you will use their data, who you will share it with, and for how long you will keep it.
3. Provide an opt-out
Individuals must also be given the option to opt-out of receiving your emails at any time. This can be done by including an unsubscribe link in every email you send.
4. Keep records
Under GDPR, you must keep records of individuals’ consent and how you obtained it. This means that you must keep track of when and how individuals opted-in to your email list.
5. Secure personal data
You must also ensure that individuals’ personal data is secure. This means that you must take steps to protect their data from unauthorized access, loss, or misuse.
Navigating GDPR can seem daunting, but by following these guidelines, you can maintain email marketing compliance while keeping your subscribers happy. Remember, GDPR is not only a legal obligation but an opportunity to build trust with your customers and demonstrate your commitment to their privacy.