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Will GDPR affect your Email Campaigns?

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Email Marketing Campaigns | 2 comments

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation is the new legal framework in the European Union that will replace the current Data Protection Directive. GDPR is a regulation that seeks to guarantee European citizens’ privacy on the Internet. It focuses on protecting the subjects’ data.

Jump Directly to

1 . What is GDPR?

2. How will GDPR affect email marketing?

3. How to Optimize Your Email Marketing for the GDPR?

4. How can I do Email Marketing under GDPR?

5. Can I still send email marketing campaigns to my existing contact list?

6. Can I buy contact lists under GDPR?

7. How can I get my email unsubscription right?

It reinforces their ability to make decisions about their data, forces them to provide transparency about the collection and use of the same, and guarantees compliance by the norms established through severe fines. It replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive (95/46).

Unlike directives, they are recommendations to be taken into account and are not legally binding; regulations are laws and hold companies legally responsible. This means that the GDPR is a law and must be complied with by all European member states.

A regulation leaves no room for interpretation; rather it is a group of rules that must be complied with. You can check the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office (or ICO) to find out all the actions that were taken against the organizations.

How will GDPR affect your Email Campaigns?

Do you think GDPR affects your email campaigns?

It is crucial for email marketing campaigns to adopt the EU’s data privacy law. The European Union’s GDPR implemented a sweeping data privacy law that unifies all European Union countries’ privacy regulations. 

Each member state has its data privacy protection laws, which help gather, analyze, and store users’ data. When any company gathers, analyzes, and stores European users’ data, they have to abide by the GDPR laws.    

Interesting Read : How to Maintain Explosive Email List Growth in Post GDPR Era?

GDPR has impacted the marketing department as well as it has changed the working process of different companies. Marketing teams of different companies depend on the personal information of users to execute their activities and believe that GDPR affects the email campaigns.

The implementation of GDPR and compliance has positively impacted email marketing campaigns to target the right audiences. GDPR manages the work culture with the third-party service providers and organizes the internal hierarchies.

The main objective of GDPR is to protect European citizen’s personal information. So, the companies have to adjust their email marketing strategy to comply with the GDPR laws.  

With the help of GDPR, we will make the business databases less voluminous but more effective. We will really be contacting users who want to receive our information. This is ideal for our strategy to attract and retain customers.

1 . Consent

To date, our email marketing strategy could be directed to subscribers of whom we had express, tacit, or omission consent. All information collected tacitly or by omission will remain outside the legal scope (having to collect the express consent of said users again, accepting the possibility of continuing to receive our emails). Specifically, the Regulation emphasizes that, as a marketer, you must obtain consent in a free, specific, informed way and that does not present ambiguity.

Therefore, and as an example, if we want to obtain the express consent of a user, if we obtain their email through a contact form on our website, we will have to inform them of the possibility that they will receive commercial shipments so that the user accepts it freely. This will affect both personal and professional email accounts.

2. Modification of security levels

Although previously we distinguished between basic, medium, and high levels of personal data protection depending on the activity to which we are dedicated, with the GDPR, we find a generic category of personal data and another of especially sensitive data.

3. The double opt-in

When obtaining data from a contact in a form, these, in addition to accepting the consent tab for the processing of their data, must automatically receive an email to confirm said subscription through a link. Furthermore, in the case of those companies whose main target is minors (for example, video games), they must have at least one of the parents’ consent.

How to Optimize Your Email Marketing for the GDPR?

Here, we will look to achieve GDPR compliance in the case of email marketing. Before the big holiday marketing push, it’s crucial to get your email marketing campaigns. 

Let’s check out some of the steps to optimize email marketing for the GDPR:

1 . Search email marketing service: The email marketing platform offers some specific tools; you just need to find out to help your business. Well, many email marketing platforms have released GDPR-compliance guidelines to help the users. If your current email marketing services fail to ensure GDPR compliance, then move out to some other platform. 

2. Take consent from recipients: You need to take consent of the subscribers before storing the user’s data. Even GDPR requires consent proof for the data collection. So, you can send an email to take consent for keeping the subscribers on your contact list. 

Interesting Read : Optimize Email Marketing Budget with Hybrid Emails

3. Include opt-out to email footers: Most email marketing services have an unsubscribe button to clear out inactive recipients. Some service providers let the subscribers edit the unsubscribe page, encouraging them to stay on the contact list. 

4. Securely store user data: Basically, GDPR holds email service providers responsible for retaining and storing old data. Well, businesses need to understand the GDPR’s data retention policy for retaining any information. Companies need to have legitimate reasons for storing any data related to their users. 

How can I do Email Marketing under GDPR?

Under GDPR, email marketers need to collect specific, informed consent to achieve compliance. Let’s get started with GDPR’s checklist for accomplishing email marketing objectives: 

  • Audit your current data
  • Method to acquire new contacts and get familiar
  • Collect the consent and review data practices 
  • Check your upcoming initiative to ensure compliance

Can I still send email marketing campaigns to my existing contact list?

Suppose your contact list has opted-in explicitly and permitted you to send them email newsletters. Then you can continue the communication as you have obtained permission from the regular contacts.  

Can I buy contact lists under GDPR?

According to GDPR, you have to take the subscribers’ explicit consent before connecting with them for your brands. But when you buy a data list, you don’t take the individual’s consent for sending them email marketing campaigns. In that case, you are breaking the regulations and privacy policy of GDPR.  

How can I get my Email unsubscription right?

As an email marketer, you must provide an email unsubscription button to automatically remove people who don’t want to receive your newsletters. Ensure to provide it in the footer of the email to make it visible for the customers. If you have received an unsubscribed email, don’t try to connect them. It might affect your brand’s reputation. 

Here are some of the unsubscription link options:

  • Unsubscribe to all email communication
  • Unsubscribe to this channel
  • Please don’t contact me 


If you strictly follow the GDPR’s guidelines for your email marketing campaigns, then you can see a drastic increase in the open and click-through rate. GDPR has a positive impact on your engagement rates and enhances the customer experience. 


  1. Noah Kathryn

    Excellent article; I’m happy that you have shared detailed information on GDPR and how it will affect your email marketing.

  2. Terry Jacqueline

    I’m overwhelmed to see a helpful article on GDPR and how marketers can optimize email marketing for GDPR.


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