Although the bulk of the EU GDPR (European Union General Data Protection Regulation) that rolled out in 2018 concerned data privacy, storage, security, and disclosure, at Smart Office we are still fielding questions from customers expanding into other countries who want to ensure their communications are compliant. Keep reading for important guidelines that will affect you if you market or do business in the European Union.
Opt in, Opt out. Done. Right? Not exactly. The United States is an “Opt-Out” market; for digital marketing, such as ads, cross-promotion on sites, and email campaign, many companies still purchase lists or mass-notify customers about promotions and services. These organizations then rely on the customer to “opt out” – to unsubscribe – in order to remain compliant with US regulations. In practice, most marketing and communication in the US operates along the lines of the Do Not Call list – you must specifically opt out of communications, but can be opted in at any time. Even Facebook groups operate this way, as anyone who’s been added to a group without their permission knows.
Text marketing in the US is a well-known exception to this playbook. Although spamming and “opt out marketing” still occur under the radar of carriers and enforcers, for the most part customers and prospects will need to “opt in” to receive communications from a company. This “Opt In” is usually managed by your text marketing vendor, and indicates that, at some point in your relationship with you, a specific contact actively elected to receive your communications. The EU GDPR extends the concept of active consent across all digital marketing, personalization, and communication.