Do I still need an opt-out after GDPR?

As of May 2018, your B2B business needs to comply with the EU GDPR laws. This means that you need to get your prospects and customers to double opt-in in order for you to legally be able to market to your contact lists. As a result, there has been a furore of questions surrounding what changes need to be made and what this all means going forward. But amidst all questions surrounding new changes, many people have still been questioning whether they need to keep their old opt-out? Good question.

Here’s our answer.

In short, yes you do need to keep your opt-out option. When you first contact a prospect, you need to give them a choice to opt-in or opt-out (commonly known as an unsubscribe) to your communications. Once they’ve opted in you can get rid of the opt-out choice, but it is best practice to leave it in so that people can leave at any time if they wish (which is their legal right!). Companies that try to avoid or hide this to retain contacts might not only be penalised by the GDPR, but they also tend to get a worst response than those who openly offer an unsubscribe option.

Plus, when encouraging people to ‘opt-in’ it will work in your favour to assure them that they will still be able to ‘opt-out’ at any time!

You must remember, an opt-out can also work as a data cleanse for your marketing. This can be useful for keeping high-quality prospects for your sales team. The likelihood of leads unsubscribing after they have opted-in to your communications is unlikely unless you start sending them really untargeted emails that are off topic to their interests. Personally, we’ve seen opt-in lists perform higher at 37.19% compared to soft opt-out warm data at 26.15%.

In summary, including an opt-out messaging option will be essential at some point of your opt-in journey, because the GDPR is all about giving individuals control of their consent. By including a clear, opt-out option in all of your communications, you keep your business as transparent as open as possible, you’ll be toeing the line when it comes to the GDPR. The transparency will automatically make individuals trust your marketing more too, which is why we promote it as email marketing best practice.

For more on what the EU GDPR changes mean for your marketing, download our whitepaper here.

Still frightened about the GDPR? Download our checklist NOW to make sure you’re compliant.


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