There has been so much fear spreading about GDPR recently (mainly from people selling GDPR training) that I wanted to give you something straight from the horse’s mouth.
In this case, the horse is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The summary is that if you have a good email list and you have been terrified into believing that you have to ask everyone on that list to confirm that they still want to hear from you, you will like this. You don't need to.
This is what the ICO say (on their website) about existing email marketing lists:
“What are the rules on electronic mail marketing?
The rules on electronic mail marketing are in regulation 22. In short, you must not send electronic mail marketing to individuals, unless:
- they have specifically consented to electronic mail from you; or
- they are an existing customer who bought (or negotiated to buy) a similar product or service from you in the past, and you gave them a simple way to opt out both when you first collected their details and in every message you have sent.
You must not disguise or conceal your identity, and you must provide a valid contact address so they can opt out or unsubscribe.”
Therefore, if someone has enquired about your services and you have kept in touch with them on an email database, AS LONG AS you give them the chance to opt out each time (unsubscribe), you can keep on emailing them.
If you use a decent email marketing provider that puts an unsubscribe link in each email you will be safe.
I have always used and avocate the use of Aweber. It puts in the unsubscribe link for you. You cannot remove it.
Even without GDPR this is just good practice. You do not want people receiving your emails if they do not want to hear from you. It simply doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help your business.
If you haven’t yet got a decent email marketing system, you really should be signing up for Aweber.