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If you’re sending out email newsletters, you may (or may not) have some concerns about the new rules coming in under the General Data Protection Regulations – otherwise known as GDPR. And yes, I know you’ve seen a lot about this already – but bear with me for a minute…

When you look at the list of people who are receiving your newsletter, there are two possible scenarios. (Or at least, there should be…)

Both present problems. Luckily, we have a solution for those problems right here at Mill House Media.

Scenario 1 – you’ve been careful…

You’ve been very careful all along – because you believe in best practice. And best practice has always been to get ‘permission to send’. In that past that hasn’t been mission critical for business to business emails. (But it has always been good manners.) Some people have chosen to ignore it when they’re emailing consumers (which has always been a bad idea!) but many have not. If you’re getting regular emails from a company, it’s usually for precisely that reason – you’ve done business with them.

So – if you’re a responsible business owner, you will probably have some form of permission to send emails to your list.The catch – under GDPR – is that you now need to prove it. Especially if you’re sending marketing emails. And it’s quite possible that you can’t. At least, not at the moment.

Which is why you will continue to see emails from various businesses that you deal with asking if you still want to hear from them. Because they’re doing the sensible and responsible thing, and checking.

If you’d like to do the same, but want to be sure you do it in exactly the right way, we have a solution. Our list-cleaning service is fully compliant with GDPR because it’s been built that way, from the ground up, by our partners at Syrinx Systems. And it will give you all the proof you need that people have chosen to receive your emails.

Scenario 2 – you’ve been… less careful…

Perhaps you’ve bought an email list. Or perhaps you’ve just done your homework on the internet, and drawn up a list of emails gleaned from the websites of your target customers.

If you’ve bought a list you don’t actually know that you have permission to send. (You’ve only got the word of whoever you bought it from.) And even if all your recipients said they were happy to receive what are known as ‘third party’ emails, you don’t have explicit permission to contact them.

And if you’ve ‘harvested’ your email list you don’t really have permission at all.

Sadly, if that’s how you’ve built your list, we can’t really help you. We have consistently advised against buying email lists over the years, and we’ve always pointed out that ‘harvesting’ emails is bad practice.

Your best option is to start building a list of your own. The right way. And if you’d like help with doing that, and advice about doing it right, we’d be delighted to help.