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Cold emailing is now ILLEGAL in Europe

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TheKing

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If you are currently using cold emails as a way to get customers, you might want to think again.

As of the 25th of May 2018 you need to be compliant with the so called GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), a new regulation passed by the EU last year that
  • Makes it illegal to email personal business addresses without them opting in.
  • Gives customers the "right to be forgotten", which means that you need to delete all information you have on your customer if requested.
  • Increased fines for companies that don't comply with up to €20 million or 4% of the companies world-wide gross revenue.
Personally, I think this new regulation is total BS, and it probably won't be successfully enforced.
However, I think it's always good to know about these things - that's why I'm sharing it with you!

So what can you do to be compliant with this new regulation?

Before this new regulation, you were able to cold email businesses as long as you gave them the opportunity to opt out in your email.
As this is no longer the case, the most important part is getting consent before emailing, and having proof that you got consent.

An important part of this new regulation is that implied consent is not longer accepted.
This means that you can no longer send marketing material to a customer without explicit consent.
You need to be able to prove that the customer agreed to receive marketing material from you by selecting this as an option.

If I've understood this correctly, simply having a customer give consent in your purchasing agreement is not enough - the customer needs to have the option to explicitly select to receive marketing material from you.

So to be safe, you need to update all your forms to make sure that the customer is giving consent before being added to your email list.

I haven't had the time to dig deeply into this subject, but according to this article other areas of marketing are affected too, including cold calling and social media marketing.
Here is a screenshot of a summary from the article I found useful:



I want to point our that I am not a lawyer, and I am not in any way certified or qualified to give you legal advice. Take this with a grain of salt!

I found out about this from a thread on the "Sales" subreddit on Reddit here:
B2B cold emailing prohibited in Europe from 2018 due to GDPR. Anyone aware? • r/sales

The thread on Reddit links to this informative article:
What does GDPR mean for B2B companies?

Best of luck!
 

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Last edited:

Denim Chicken

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If im not mistaken, that's how it is right now int he US with SPAM law. Its one thing to emai marketing materials, it's another thing entirely to inquire about an introduction and seeing it's there's a potential fit for business together. Otherwise, it'd be illegal to email anyone you don't know ever.

But yes, sending mass email coupons and landing pages to email lists compiled by scrapers should go away and this is a positive thing. Those types of abuses are what causes real, potential connections done thru email to be diluted.
 

jpanarra

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Damn, thank god I'm in the US.

This would be a massive inconvenience for me because as of now I'm pretty dependent on cold emails because I can't do cold calls appropriately.
 

GatsbyMag

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*Bump* it's been a couple of years and I'm wondering if anyone has found a way to overcome this?

I've had 2-4 people in the past complain about my cold emails and even threaten legal action.

I feel like I must be dumb, because I'm not sure how you can do business without reaching out to people that don't know you.

Am I supposed to rely only on marketing now? Or is there something people know that I'm just being dumb to?
 

Paul David

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*Bump* it's been a couple of years and I'm wondering if anyone has found a way to overcome this?

I've had 2-4 people in the past complain about my cold emails and even threaten legal action.

I feel like I must be dumb, because I'm not sure how you can do business without reaching out to people that don't know you.

Am I supposed to rely only on marketing now? Or is there something people know that I'm just being dumb to?
I've been cold emailing businesses for the last 12 months. Never had a single issue.
 

Fox

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I've been cold emailing businesses for the last 12 months. Never had a single issue.
This.

If you write normal cold emails this very likely won’t ever be an issue.
 

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