Impact of GDPR on email and sms marketing

GDPR and its impact on Email and SMS Marketing


Are you into Email and SMS marketing and a beneficiary of email marketing platforms, or SMS marketing platforms to promote your business? If it’s a “Yes”, you need to know the basics of the GDPR privacy policy changes and how it might impact email and SMS marketing.

Before we review the impact GDPR policy might have on email and SMS marketing even if you are using the right email marketing tools or SMS marketing tools, let us first know what GDPR is.

What is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The GDPR is a new policy by the EU active since 25th May 2018 replacing the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. It focuses on the protection of the personal data collected from EU citizens and ensures the organizations are more accountable in protecting the consumer’s data; imposing strict penalties for non-compliance.

GDPR applies to businesses that cater their products to EU citizens and who study their consumer behavior and priorities. Even if your business is set up outside the EU, if you keep track of the citizens’ data of EU, it applies to you also.

GDPR and Email Marketing

Article 32 of the GDPR in Email Marketing cites that as an email marketer you need to obtain a “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous” consent from the consumer regarding the processing of personal data related to the user. Silence, inactivity from the user end or pre-ticked boxes should not be considered consent. On the whole, your customers must not be forced into giving permission and neither be unaware that they are providing any sort of approval with regards to their data processing.

Some practices the email marketer needs to take up to achieve compliance with the new regulations are:

  • New rules for obtaining consumer opt-in agreement.
  • Consumers must have access to a method through which they can ask their personal details be removed.
  • Evidence of consent storing systems.

GDPR and SMS Marketing

Some of the important factors that you should consider to ensure your SMS marketing is GDPR compliant are:

  • No more bundled Opt-in: The user registration forms must have a clear “opt-in” which is by default set to “No” or kept blank. You must have separate unchecked boxes for SMS opt-in as much as for Emails.
  • Opt-out: You need to make the customers aware of their rights to withdraw consent in every SMS Marketing communication they receive. The right to opt-out of SMS Marketing messages should also be available via other channels; for instance, your website.
  • Permission only to mentioned parties: At the time of registration or sign-up for receiving SMS marketing messages, it is obligatory for the party to make it clear to the customer to whom he is giving the consent. This should not be left to any assumption.

Although complying with the GDPR guidelines might seem an uphill task, but the sooner you start adopting these practices, the better for you.

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