GDPR and Business to Business Email Marketing

In May 2020 it will be two years since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force and even 21 months on, we still see and hear very misleading facts about this piece of legislation.

Only recently I saw on social media a company saying that you need to obtain a company’s written permission to send them some marketing information by email. This is simply not true.

Legitimate Interest

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent body set up to uphold information rights, a business can contact another business if they feel they may have a “legitimate interest” in their products or services.

If you then send them an email considering that they may have a legitimate interest, you do have to ensure there is an opt-out option somewhere in the email. If they select this option, you can therefore no longer send them any more information.

Automated email marketing software such as MailChimp will not allow you to send emails without an unsubscribe option in the footer of the email. When someone unsubscribes MailChimp ensure that you can never send further communications to the specific email address.

Screen shot of the unsubscribe section of an email created in MailChimp

What You Can’t Do

Something you definitely can’t do is to sell lists of email you have gathered to other companies. You also can’t pass lists between companies for them to use to market their products or services.

More information on GDPR and the use of data across marketing channels can be found on the ICO website such as this link which leads to a raft of pages covering this topic.

Our best advice would be to treat other people’s data like you would want them to treat yours.

In summary email marketing is far from dead you just need to follow some simple guidelines to ensure you don’t fall foul of the GDPRs.

Disclaimer – Foxxweb Digital Marketing are not GDPR experts and any information contained within this article is not specific advice, it is merely our understanding of the way GDRP works. Please check with the ICO before carrying out direct marketing processes to ensure you are compliant.

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