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Are you ready for GDPR? Do you even know what GDPR is? Well, if you use email marketing to promote your business, listen up. GPDR is being implemented on May 25, 2018. If you have ANY European customers – you need to know about this.

The General Data Protection (GDPR) is a new Europen Union data protection and privacy regulation. It specifically protects the export of personal data outside the EU. The intention of the new law is to give Europeans more control over their personal information. How this affects American businesses is that our email marketing practices must now take into account these regulations.

One component of the regulation is that you MUST have verifiable consent for any European email subscribers on your list. This means you need written documentation on when and how your European prospects and/or customers agreed to be on your email list.



For the most part, if you are already working with a professional email marketing provider they’ve probably got your back. As a MailChimp customer, the Launch4Life team has already received several emails and blog posts alerting us to this new regulation. Since MailChimp already has strict rules in place about having verifiable consent for all email subscribers – for us it’s business as usual.  However, if you haven’t heard anything from your email marketing provider, we suggest you get in touch with them ASAP. You just want to make sure there’s no change to your standard email marketing protocol.

The implementation of GDPR next month is is just another reason to make sure you never manually add people to your email list without their consent. With all the SPAM regulations that are currently in place in the U.S. and Canada, and soon Europe, there is obviously a growing need to protect people’s privacy.



Last week I received an email from a business colleague I know in Toastmasters. He sent the email to me and 148 other people. He used his Gmail account and put all of our names and personal email addresses in the TO field. I let him know how upset I was with what he had done. He not only gave my email address away to 148 people I don’t now, but also made me vulnerable to any SPAM bot programs residing on their computers. Doing things like this is not cool.

Always remember that if someone gives you their email address it should be treated with confidence and respect. Practice the golden rule of email marketing – “market to others as you would have them market to you.”

As we entrepreneurs and independent business professionals expand our customer base globally, it’s imperative we “play by the rules” at home and abroad. For this very reason, it helps to at least know the basics of GDPR now before it’s implemented next month.


GDPR Resources


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

*A helpful guide (in plain english) from the folks at MailChimp


Data Protection: Rule for the protection of personal data inside and outside the EU

*Full text of the GDPR



By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant