Email marketing can be very useful, especially for small businesses because it is a low cost way of potentially reaching a lot of customers.
However, spam (the unsolicited sending of emails) and legislation is in place to deal with email marketing.
In May 2018, the former Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) was replaced with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). Broadly, GDPR is an EU regulation which applies to all EEA member states, including the UK (regardless of Brexit) and DPA 2018 is the UK data protection law which mirrors the majority of the GDPR requirements.
GDPR applies to anyone processing personal data. The definition of personal data is wider than under the DPA 1998, and includes data held manually as well as electronically.
The GDPR has the same key principles as the DPA 1998, There are, however, changes and additional requirements that the GDPR imposes. An ‘accountability’ principle has been introduced, as have higher standards for consent as a legal basis for data processing. Individuals have been given more rights, including the right to be informed, to access data, to object and to restrict data processing, as well as the right to data portability and the right to be forgotten.
The main rules are as follows…
There are many providers of email lists where you can select potential customer email data for sending of emails to them. Such lists can also provide other useful marketing data.
It is important to ensure that the data you purchase has been acquired in accordance with the law. You should check how the data was collected and if consent was given by the individual. If not, not only is the law being broken but the list is probably also a waste of money.