The General Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR is a body of data protection policy rules and regulations governing the use of customer data and working to bring order to the data privacy rules in the European Union.
The GDPR has a significant impact on how firms carry out email marketing and marketing campaigns.
Under the spam regulation authority in the EU, Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communication, the actual extent of the regulation and the working of the law differs from country to country. The GDPR acts as an overall guideline with overall target goals. Each of the 27 member states has the freedom to translate these goals into local laws.
What is GDPR ?
It is a new law that came into effect from May 25, 2018, and it binds the legal force among all EU member states as a directive and not as a regulation. It aims to bring in better consistency and is positive news overall, but these changes have impacted the email industry.
What is the importance of GDPR ?
GDPR has affected those companies that use personal data of European citizens. If you are such a company, you will have to comply with the GDPR. The new law is not just crucial to marketers. It is also vital in protecting the privacy of the large number of citizens who are involved.
The new GDPR laws take into consideration various marketing fields, such as how to record, seek, and collect consent. The marketers can only send emails to those who have chosen to receive the mails. While this has already been in place for some time, the new directive also considers the nature of consent. From May 2018, brands have collected affirmative consent which was “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. Also, during the signup process, it now required to explain the reason and purpose for collecting personal data. That is not all; companies must also keep a record of these consents. All these regulations have become a real challenge for some companies.
The GDPR extended the rules all data that companies have stored on their databases from before May 2018. Companies are not allowed to send emails to subscribers whose data were collected without permission or with dubious consent records. As a result, many companies had to rush through to get re-permission for their existing campaigns.
Amidst all the tightening rules, it has not been easy for many companies to grow their database. But many others who were quick in adapting to the new laws have seen their efforts bear fruit. You must review your email policies as soon as possible to gain maximum engagement with subscribers within the European Union.
What do I do ?
The easiest option is to set up different signup processes for European customers and international customers. However, this can be complicated and costly.
Alternatively, you can change the whole database to GDPR data protection policy standards, but that may consume time initially and slow you down. However, in the long run, as many companies and firms have reported, it has helped marketers to target genuine customers and has improved over quality.
What if I ignore the GDPR ?
Besides its strict policies on consent and data privacy, the GDPR comes with a stringent penalty for those who do not follow. Failing to adhere to the new laws can cost you a substantial part of your annual turnover, and the penalties can quickly amount up to millions of dollars. However, the actual liability would depend on the reports of breached by consumers and the local data protection laws of the GDPR countries.
The GDPR commenced amidst a lot of chaos and confusion in 2018. Two years later, it has been adopted by an overwhelming majority of companies doing business within the EU. Almost all EU member states have implemented the guidelines effectively. Doing so has ensured rapid organic engagement for the companies and a feeling of safety for consumers. The GDPR can act as inspiration for similar data protection and data privacy policies for other regions of the globe, and it has the potential to revolutionise the email marketing industry for the better in the long run.