Home » Blog » Will GDPR Harm Email Marketing?
GDPR Harm Email Marketing

Will GDPR Harm Email Marketing?

Organizations have witnessed innumerable changes in their business process, since few years.

And it is due to introduction of new technologies, trends, laws, etc., that led to massive disruptions in the email campaign. Just as marketers are skeptical about artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and other industry 4.0 technologies, they were also puzzled how new laws like GDPR (implemented in 2018) would help their email marketing campaign.

During last year 2021, many adapted completely and delivered good results, concurrently safeguarding customers’ data.

If you want to know what’s the buzz about, let’s dive in…

Email marketing has been functioning sans any restriction for many years. You can say marketers were at the driver’s seat, but with implementation of GDPR, now customers are at the driver’s seat.

Brands need to follow specific rules while handling any personal data from European region and check whether emails are aligned with the law.

First, let’s understand:

What Is GDPR?

It is a privacy law that came into effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation governs the customer data across the entire European region. And it doesn’t matter whether the organization that is handling or processing customers’ data isn’t in the European region; if they are processing any personal information of European individual, they should follow these rules. Personal information includes anything that uniquely identifies a person, such as email address, name, biometric data, web cookies and many more.

GDPR significantly impacts the way an email campaign is executed. The law gives more power to an individual whose data has been collected. They can ask how their data is used by organizations and businesses are obliged to provide absolute details. This way, individuals are relieved that their confidential data isn’t misused.

While some businesses stated that this law could harm their workflow, but in reality, it won’t. Instead, the law indirectly helps email marketing processes of businesses. Acknowledge, when customers see, you’re abiding by the law and want to safeguard their interest, they trust your brand.

Isn’t that what marketers want?

Let’s Understand The Current Scenario In Email Marketing:

The common scenario that you see in email marketing, is marketers sending emails to customers to increase sales. They explore this platform for business purposes. But sometimes in the quest to meet target, they ignore specific safety measures- safeguarding personal data. One can say, GDPR resolves this challenge.

How Do Organizations Ensure Email Marketing Aligns With GDPR?

The law ensures that you don’t overlook essential measures by guiding on right path. It helps to map company’s data where you need to see where personal data is coming from. You need to check further who all have access to information. Later you can analyze the data that you think is the most crucial for your process and retain it, while removing unnecessary ones. This way, you can ensure safety of data.

In future, if any individual asks for deletion of data, then you need to do that as per the law.

As a marketer, you might look into these as setbacks, while it isn’t. You need to make a new way to strike a balance so that it makes both customer and you happy.

Also, it would help you not to pay hefty fines. Yes, it’s a reality some brands paid fines for violating the rules. On February 12, 2021, Vodafone was found to be violating the articles mentioned in law.

The company received a fine of €120,000 that was reduced from €200,000 for immediate payment. This isn’t a good sign for any organization.

Here, we need to understand while we wish to increase customer base , overlooking customer priorities isn’t the right thing to do.

What Are The Best Practices That You Can Follow Under GDPR?

The other details that you need to consider under GDPR, emails should be sent, only if the customer wishes for the same. For this, you can follow specific practices.

The best practices that you can follow are:

Asking for opt-in: Businesses can send emails to recipients, where they can confirm consent of individuals. They can ask recipient to tick the checkbox.
Opt-out option: Here, organizations can provide the opt-out option, where recipients if not interested, can opt out. It should be made easy, with just one or two steps.
Clearly stating terms and conditions and consent: You should clearly state terms and conditions in your email, so that recipients aren’t left in the dark. They should be aware of all the procedures after they give the consent to brand.

Email Encryption And GDPR:

This is a method where email messages are encrypted so that only the recipient can read the content. Many recipients faced the challenge of phishing emails, in the current times, where hackers stole confidential information. Now imagine, personal information of European residents getting stolen because of this malicious act. You would be forced to pay a fine with no fault of yours. Organizations can now opt for end-to-end encrypted email services to eradicate chances of any information leakage.

GDPR has made the entire process organized, leading to more data security and professionalism.

It just holds your attention and conveys the message clearly.
Likewise, you can add the visuals related to email promotion in the content:

How Is GDPR And Email Retention Related?

We know what customer retention is: this is where you want to hold on to existing customers so that they don’t go for your competitor’s service. But what is email retention all about?

It’s simple. The word means retaining emails for future references. With the implementation of GDPR, it is a challenge to keep a huge number of emails safe. And now, as per this law, you should delete personal information that isn’t needed. But some organizations are still tempted to hold onto this information, with the hope that it might help their future business purpose. In case of any data breach, the organization might have to face challenges.


Email marketing is here to stay. Yes, marketers need to refine their approach in connecting with customers. They need to abide by the laws and check that customers’ personal information isn’t leaked.

Also, they need to respect customers’ decisions whether they wish to receive emails or want to opt- out. This blog helps you understand the absolute impact GDPR has on email marketing and how you can align your process with the law.

Scroll to Top

get a quote