Is it legal to send an email to a prospect?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became a European framework for data protection back on the 25th May 2018. From the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018 was born and enforced into UK law.

The GDPR was well exposed to the UK prior to the launch date, even hitting national news channels at certain points. However, a regulation which has been in UK law since 2003 was rarely mentioned or highlighted. A regulation which more than likely affects your business daily.

What is PECR?

The Privacy & Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations (2003) or ‘PECR’ for short, sets out the rules and rights for any kind of electronic communication. This can include any communication of marketing via the channels of:

  • Texts
  • Emails
  • Faxes
  • Marketing Calls
  • Cookies (or similar technologies)

If you are sending any kind of marketing via any of the channels above, you will need to follow the rules set out in the regulation:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/2426/contents/made

So, can I send an email out to a prospect?

Looking closely into email marketing, there are rules set out in PECR under section 22. But, as a general rule you cannot send emails to an individual (not business to business i.e. a limited company) without prior consent or if they are not an existing customer who bought in the past, or are in the process to buy a similar product or service from you.

If, however, you do meet one out of the two criteria set above, you can email your prospects if each communication contains a clear opt-out/unsubscribe.

What about business to business communications?

You CAN email any company, Scottish partnership, limited liability partnership or government body, including personal emails (firstname.surname@org.co.uk) without prior consent. However, it’s highly recommended to keep an ‘unsubscribe list’ to make sure your business does not gain a bad reputation.

Sole traders and some partnerships though, fall under a consumer, meaning you need to follow the 2 criteria previously mentioned.

What about the GDPR?

It’s important to understand and be aware that PECR and the GDPR run alongside each other. The EU, however, is in the process of producing a new e-privacy Regulation which will fit more in-line with the GDPR. A date for this has not been confirmed or finalized yet though.

How can Insight Data help?

Insight Data offer fully compliant lists of companies within the Fenestration and Construction Sector. Advancements and compliance protocols in place from the Insight Data on-site call center team ensure that you have the best foot forward when it comes to compliance with the GDPR and PECR.

Jade Greenhow, Operations Director at Insight Data, comments “Many companies within the construction and fenestration sector are sole traders or partnerships. Our call center team clearly state who we are, what happens to their data and gets the relevant assurances that our data is safe to use. GDPR and PECR can be a headache, so get in touch and let us help you ensure you don’t fall foul to the law.”

For more information, click here or email hello@insightdata.co.uk