There has been much talk about the General Data Protection Regulations and the final version of the text has just been published and they have softened the rules around B2B marketing. Here is an overview:
- Employees of corporates, ie. limited companies, publically limited companies, limited liability partnerships and government departments, can be emailed without prior consent.
- Employees of corporates must be given the option to easily unsubscribe or opt-out from receiving email marketing.
- Sole traders and partnerships are treated as consumers and will require opt-in.
Will these rules apply to your existing customers and prospects?
Where you obtain an email address for a sole trader or partnership whilst negotiating the sale of a product or service then you can use their email for unsolicited direct marketing purposes provided:
- Your marketing is for similar products or services offered by your company to those already purchased
- Your company has told the recipient at the time of collecting their email address that it would be used for unsolicited email marketing and you provide a clear provable unsubscribe/opt-out at the same time
- Your company provides a clear unsubscribe/opt-out option every time you send an email message if the recipient did not unsubscribe/opt-out at the point of data collection.
Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the Direct Marketing Association said of this final version, “…the possibility of email marketing for these businesses (corporates) moving to opt-in… caused serious concern across the B2B marketing industry. If they had gone ahead, these alterations to the law could have had a profound and negative effect on the UK economy, so we welcome today’s announcement from the European Commission.”