Under the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communication, EU (spam regulations in the European Union) differs from county to country. While this directive basically outlines the overall goals, each state has the freedom to translate these goals into local laws. Here comes the issue, all the 28 EU member states have different email laws. Under the new privacy law, the main goal is to bring order to the privacy rules across the EU.
So what is actually GDPR? It is a new law that will be put to action from May 25, 2018, it will bind the legal force among all EU members as a directive and not as a regulation. This will bring in better consistency and is great news overall but these changes will impact the email industry.
How? GDPR will affect those companies that use the personal data of the citizens of Europe. You will have to comply with the GDPR, this new law is not just important to marketers but also to protect the privacy of the large number of citizens who are involved in a better way.
With the new GDPR considers into 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 implemented, under the new directive the nature of consent is also taken into consideration. From May 2018 the brands will have to collect affirmative consent which is “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” to the new GDPR. Also during the signup process, one must be clearly explained the reason and purpose for collecting the personal data. That’s just not it, the companies must also keep these consents recorded. This could be a real challenge for some companies.
Well, the catch here is these rules don’t just apply to new data, the companies will also have to change the existing data. If your existing database includes subscribes whose permission has not to be collected as per the GDPR standards and you don’t have sufficient proof of consent then you might not be allowed to send emails at all. Hence many companies will have to re-permission their campaigns before the GDPR hits in May 2018.
Growing the database won’t be as easy as it was, so what are the options we have now? Considering the size of the European market excluding the European customers would be nearly impossible if you are planning to engage brands internationally. Here there is no other option rather than reviewing the email process.
Here are two options that you could choose from Setting up different signup processes for European customers while for the others it may remain the same is an option, but then again setting up two different signups is not an easy task as it is complex and more costly.
Change the whole database to the GDPR standard. but here the time taken for the change ay slow down the database growth for a short time but on the good side marketers can know and target those who really wouldn’t receive the campaigns. This can improve the overall quality.
Now the final question, what happened if we just ignore the GDPR and go ahead with our current way?
GDPR does not just come along with consent and privacy but with a very strict high-end penalty for those who don’t follow. Not following the GDPR could give you a penalty of €20 Million or 4% of the global turnover of the company which is much higher. The actual penalty amount will be based on the reports of breaches by consumers.