In spite of all the noise around GDPR at the moment amongst the business community, one thing to us seems clear…that people are still not clear about what it all means to them, what needs to be done and by when.
One of the biggest areas of confusion is around email marketing. Email marketing is NOT AFFECTED BY GDPR. Because email marketing is a digital form of communication and it falls under the regulation of PECR which stands for the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation.
PECR was due to be updated and become the new e-Privacy Regulation at the same time that GDPR is coming into force (25th May 2018). However, it has now very much come to light that the new regulation is not ready. Some estimates suggest the end of this year, others put it at ‘sometime during 2019’.
What this means is that you can continue to send emails under your existing consents (business to consumer), or just as part of a legitimate sales and marketing initiative even without consent, if you are business to business.
This gives companies a much bigger window than they thought, to get their customers and prospects consent to continue to receive email marketing in the future. You do not need to stop on May 25th 2018. In fact, it would be wise to continue sending really useful content over the next few months to demonstrate your worth to these people –to prove to them that it is in their best interest to opt in to continue receiving electronic communications from you. To future proof this – build something into the emails that encourages people to overtly opt in to future emails…the good news is that people who are using email marketing now, do not need to panic if people haven’t opted in by May 25th – you have more time.
The reason for the delay of the implementation of the e-Privacy legislation is unclear…let’s hope that when it does come out, it is a little more lenient than it is currently suggested it will be…but we are not holding our breath.