Electric Marketing Blog

How Can You Continue To Use Your Bought-In Mailing Lists After GDPR?

If you buy business mailing lists and email lists, you can be forgiven for thinking that you can no longer use them after Friday 25th May, when the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into force. Much has been written decrying this Data Protection Regulation update as the end of cold email marketing.  And it does herald some big changes, most notably the tightening up of how people consent to their personal data being used. But this does not rule out cold b2b email marketing or using bought-in business mailing lists to generate sales.

After 25th May, a person must actively consent for their data to be processed and used by the actual company using it. This means that mailing list companies can no longer sell data that is “fully opted-in”. To opt in, people have to opt in directly with the company using the data. Unless your company name was mentioned when the person’s email address was collected, you can no longer rely on consent as a reason to process personal data.

But consent is not the only reason to process personal data. There are six lawful bases for processing data in the Data Protection legislation. You need to show compliance with one reason. The most useful for business-to-business direct marketers and email marketers is known as Legitimate Interests.

Legitimate interests might be your own interests, or the interests of the third party receiving the data, or a combination of the two.

Latest guidance from the Information Commissioner says that legitimate interests may be the most appropriate basis when:

“the processing is not required by law but is of a clear benefit to you or others; there’s a limited privacy impact on the individual; the individual should reasonably expect you to use their data in that way; and you cannot, or do not want to, give the individual full upfront control (i.e. consent) or bother them with disruptive consent requests when they are unlikely to object to the processing.”

Crucially for marketers, direct marketing is described in the GDPR as an activity that may indicate a legitimate interest.

We’ve put together a guide on the simple steps you need to take to use legitimate interests as your reason to continue processing data and to continue using bought-in mailing lists for your email marketing.

Principally you need to carry out a simple legitimate interests assessment and document this assessment. Then update your Privacy Policy to state that you are relying on Legitimate Interests as a lawful basis on which to process personal data. And finally communicate that you are using Legitimate Interests to the people whose data you are processing.

Electric Marketing’s guide details how to do the legitimate interests assessment. And as an example we’ve put our own Legitimate Interests Assessment on our website.

Legitimate Interests is not a new concept and in fact, Electric Marketing has never relied on consent as a basis for collecting and processing data. What is new is that GDPR requires us all to document how we are using data and to communicate this to users and data subjects. Which on balance, seems quite reasonable.

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Smart Companies Focus On Total Reward Packages For Employees

Competition for good staff is hotting up as the UK unemployment rates fall. The UK’s largest companies are alive to the notion that one reward package will not fit all employees; different people at different life stages will value different rewards and benefits.

Whether staff prefer a higher salary or extra paid holiday, gym membership or subsidised lunches, a flexible reward scheme is essential for staff retention and effective succession planning.

Reward or compensation and benefits used to sit in the HR manager’s in tray but now almost all of the UK’s largest employers have a dedicated reward manager on the HR team.

Electric Marketing has taken a break from GDPR to research a new mailing list of reward managers in the UK’s largest companies.

The mailing list features full contact details, including email addresses, of 500 reward managers, working in UK companies with more than 500 employees.

There is just one contact per company, so you will receive a file of 500 reward managers in 500 companies.

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Now You’ve Absorbed GDPR’s Impact, What’s That About PECR?

Now that you’ve written those GDPR policy documents and tackled your corporate mountain of old data, you might be ready to leave the legal stuff to the lawyers and get back to marketing, comms and sales. But maybe you’ve read something about PECR and some people on LinkedIn are still insisting that b2b email marketing will be over in May 2018?

What Is PECR?

PECR is the Privacy & Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 which governs email marketing. As an EU Directive, the UK can choose how to interpret PECR.  Crucially the UK allows businesses the freedom to email other businesses on business matters without consent. Most EU countries do not allow b2b email marketing without consent.

The EU wants to update PECR and upgrade it to a Regulation (the ePrivacy Regulation or ePR) which means that all EU nations must follow the rule to the letter and there is no flexibility on its interpretation.  The European Parliament signalled its desire to update it before May 2018 and bring in the new ePrivacy Regulation on 25 May 2018.   As this would bring the UK into line with the EU and likely outlaw the sale of all third party b2b mailing lists, Electric Marketing wrote to a number of government ministers and departments asking for more information.

Five weeks later, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has emailed a reply; The Rt Hon David Davis MP Minister For Exiting The European Union, passed my letter to them.

EU Plans To Update PECR

The Department For DCMS states that is pretty much impossible for the EU to stick to their timetable of introducing ePR, the update to PECR legislation in May 2018. It points out that while the European Parliament has agreed its policy, all 28 member states are yet to officially state their position on the proposal and the final text of the ePrivacy Regulation is yet to be agreed by the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

“Our stand is that the quality of the text must be prioritised over speed”

The email from the DDCMS says that the UK government is pushing for a workable timetable for implementation, which I take to mean a two year period for business to prepare for the new ePrivacy Regulation.

What Is The UK Government’s Position On The PECR Update?

The email goes on to say

“In relation to unsolicited communication (spam emails and unsolicited calls), the UK’s position is to ensure the provisions for marketing communication are aligned with the high standard set in our domestic regime (‘PECR’) without compromising our regulator’s ability to enforce against such communication.  We also aim to tighten the definition of direct marketing communications to avoid users needing to consent every time they load a webpage with ads. Elsewhere, the UK’s position is to maintain the level of flexibility for Member States in the current law.”

I believe that means the UK’s position is to continue to allow b2b email marketing without consent. But I am quoting the email from the ministerial support team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport verbatim so that you can come to your judgement.

When Will The New PECR Regulation (ePR) Come Into Force?

Perhaps more pertinent is the question of timing; the EU needs to agree a text and pass the update to PECR before the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 for the updated Regulation to become part of the European (Withdrawal) Bill and to pass into domestic legislation. If the EU passes the Regulation, it is likely that there will be a period of implementation which may be two years as with GDPR. If the ePrivacy Regulation is not passed before the UK leaves the EU, we will have to see what sort of Brexit deal is struck with regard to implementing new EU laws in the UK post-Brexit.

What Is The Government’s Policy on Data Protection Post-Brexit?

For more information, read this Government publication Future Partnership.

Electric Marketing will keep a close watch on the progress of PECR throughout 2018 and into 2019.

Our view is that the implementation of PECR reform seems a way off yet. But beyond 2020, the future for business-to-business digital marketing is not certain.

 

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GDPR Signals The Death Of The Opt-In Mailing List: How Can You Still Use B2B Email Marketing In 2018?

The new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules that if your mailing list is opt-in, consent to opt-in to receive marketing communications must be be “freely-given, specific, informed and unambiguous”.

It is no longer permitted to use mailing lists on the basis of the old opt-in wheeze of a series of double negatives to leave a box unticked agreeing to be contacted by “the company’s marketing partners”. The ICO’s (Information Commissioners Office) guidance on interpreting GDPR specifically rules out pre-ticked boxes and states that any third party using a mailing list must be named when the consent is given.

From May 2018 a mailing list can only be opt-in if a person has ticked a box next to a statement that specifically names your company. So your client list and any one who has signed up to receive info from your company on your website are opt-in lists. Third party opt-in lists are pretty much out after May 2018 and any company or list broker promoting opt-in mailing lists is not up to speed on GDPR.

The good news is that ICO guidance also states that

You don’t always need consent. If consent is too difficult look at whether another lawful basis is more appropriate.

Electric Marketing mailing lists are compiled and used on the lawful basis of “legitimate interest”. If you have a business interest in contacting a person, you may contact them without gaining their prior consent to do so. This applies across mailing, telemarketing and email, with some key restrictions.

There are no restrictions on postal mailing. Direct marketing with envelopes and stamps is swinging back into fashion. It is expensive compared to email marketing but compares well with other forms of digital advertising.

Business-to-business telemarketing is restricted to companies which have not added themselves to the CTPS register. All Electric Marketing lists do contain the phone numbers of CTPS registered companies and they are marked up as CTPS. You can buy mailing lists excluding CTPS registered companies. It is worth noting that companies must renew their registration each year so a company’s CTPS status can change over time. You can check a company’s status by putting their phone number into our free CTPS Checker.

Email marketing for business-to-business marketing is restricted by your own list of individuals who have unsubscribed from receiving emails from your company. This is a key point of difference between consumer email marketing which definitely does require consent. The reason for the difference is that email marketing is governed by a different EU directive, known as the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). PECR states that it is permitted to send emails offering business services to business people at their business email addresses, but if they ask you to stop emailing them, then you must remove them from your list and must not email them again.

So the opt-in mailing list is dead. But email marketing for business-to-business communications lives on.

Happy New Year!

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New Mailing List of Events Managers in Large UK Companies

List focuses on client companies with dedicated events budgets

Google “events managers” and get the names of thousands of people working in events.  If you are selling to events managers, it looks as if you have a wide target market and hitting your sales figures will be stress-free.

But start contacting those events managers and find that it is one of those job titles that carries different responsibilities depending on the industry sector.  Large hotels have events managers but they focus on selling the hotel as a venue to wedding organisers and training companies.  Travel companies have events managers and their role is to target groups of people travelling to an event such as an international football match. All large venues, whether sports stadium or arts complex host events and the person running this is the events manager.

Those events managers do not buy in any services; their focus is revenue, sales and client servicing. Much like yours in fact.

If you are researching a mailing list of events managers, you are probably looking for a person who buys in event services; the person who chooses the venue, the caterers, the AV supplier, print, furniture, flowers, travel, hotels and all the extras that contribute to a successful event.

Electric Marketing‘s new list of events managers focuses on corporate event managers. We have weeded out the events managers working in venues, marketing agencies and trade organisations. We have excluded the charity sector and companies which organise events as their main source of revenue.

Our list of 400 events managers features companies with a turnover of over £30m. It is a targeted list that aims to bring you new business by focusing on the right sort of events managers which, as ever, are the types with a budget to spend.

 

 

 

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New Mailing Lists of Companies Paying The Apprenticeship Levy

There has been a fair bit of low-level grumbling about the Apprenticeship Levy from the big beasts of UK plc.

Payable by any company with an annual wages bill of £3m+, the Apprenticeship Levy has joined Brexit as the go to excuse for a CEO offering a sticky profits warning to shareholders.

But many companies have embraced the the change; they are not just taking on apprentices, they have developed formal apprenticeship programmes and had their in-house programmes accredited as apprenticeship training providers.

These companies running in-house schemes feature on our new lists of Apprenticeship Levy Employers.  With every apprentice contracted to spend 20% of their time in off-the-job training, these companies seem likely to spend their Apprenticeship Levy funds buying in training.

Mailing lists of companies who take training, learning and employee development seriously.

 

 

 

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Email Marketing and the Next Generation of Marketers

Why Email Marketing is Still Key to the B2B Marketer’s Skill Set

The under-21s are an entrepreneurial lot; revelling in their command of new technology, they blog, vlog and Snapchat, they roll their eyes at Facebook (it’s where old people go online) and only check their emails if they are expecting something.

But they are keen to make money out of technology: they dream of bringing a killer app to market and riding into the top ten of the App Store.

How to achieve this? By blogging, vlogging and persuading other (more influential) bloggers and vloggers to write up the app.

Sending an email to a mailing list of ripe targets for the app is not on their to-do list.

Email marketing is targeted, fast and effective and it is falling out of favour with the new generation of marketers. Our 20somethings have grown up on mobiles and social media and cannot see that companies still require vast numbers of employees to spend time sat at their desk regularly checking and dealing with business emails. Sending an email gets your message in front of the decision maker in the company you are targeting.

Email marketing does require more planning than bashing out a blog; write the email, check the email for spelling, grammar and broken links, send it to some test email addresses to see if it contains a word that triggers filters and make sure that it does not lose its formatting on a mobile screen, test that your unsubscribe mechanism works. And finally choose who to send it to; use your existing client list, your list of leads and prospects or buy in a mailing list of executives in your target market.

If you are selling into businesses, email marketing remains the most direct and cost effective marketing tool in your arsenal. The 40something target for your killer business app is more likely to be reading his emails than reading this blog.

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Why Do B2B Marketers Use Mailing Lists Now That We Have Social Media?

Microsoft announced a leap in profits last month attributing the rise to its relaunch of LinkedIn.

Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, the corporate social media site has been flooded with innovative new functions. Microsoft has focused on the site’s main user-base – recruiters and jobseekers, and sales and marketing people. It offers packages of paid-for extras and add-ons for each of these target markets and promotes them relentlessly, largely by on-screen prompts and email.

I have been on the receiving end of a few comments on the lines of
“Can’t believe Electric Marketing is still going, now that we’re all using LinkedIn”
and
“Who buys email marketing lists these days?”.

But plenty of b2b marketers still buy email lists because while social media has its place, it also has its limits. Yes, you can make contact with a sales prospect on LinkedIn by inviting them to connect with you. And if they do not reply you can use the InMail service. If the prospect ignores your message, LinkedIn cannot get you any further. To persist in chasing that prospect now, you need a phone number, or an email address.

It can take 12 emails, phone calls and other contacts before a business person buys from a new supplier. You can reach out to a prospect over and over using email marketing, direct mail and telemarketing. And you can only start that process by having your prospect’s full contact details to hand.

LinkedIn understands this; it promotes its own products to its users by email. But it guards those email addresses closely; LinkedIn is mainly concerned with its profits, not yours.

Electric Marketing’s mailing lists come with full contact details. Our postal and email lists are sold on the basis of multiple use. If you have a list of leads and prospects that you have found on LinkedIn, our List Research Service can research their email addresses and full contact details for you. 25 years of experience in business-to-business marketing has taught us that re-mailing and regular emails, can build a client base and bring you sales.

 

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GDPR And How It Affects Business-to-Business Email Marketing

GDPR sure has been a long time coming. We’ve been worrying about the effects of the new Data Protection legislation from Europe since 2011. We are now a year away from the deadline of 25 May 2018 to comply. And Brexit won’t save us.

 

For consumer marketers there are big changes but for b2b marketing, changes need to be made but they are not too onerous. And if you already comply with current legislation, you will find yourself with a pretty short to-do list for GDPR.

 

Electric Marketing has prepared this guide to GDPR for b2b marketing. It focuses on what is relevant for b2b marketing.

The key change is that a company must show itself to be compliant with the rules. Write a policy document which sets out how you comply with the rules. Our guide puts the eight key issues into simple language that your policy document must cover.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how email marketing will be affected by the new rules. This is certainly true for consumer marketing but b2b email marketing is not governed by GDPR, it is covered by the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR).

Until PECR is updated, the rules for b2b email marketing remain as they are ie you may send an email to a person’s business email address about business matters without first gaining their permission. Your email must have an opt-out mechanism. If the person opts out, you must not email them again. This is known as an ‘opt-out regime’.

 

What About Consent?

If you are using data for the sole purpose of b2b direct marketing, you do not need the prospect’s consent to do so. GDPR gives six reasons for lawfully processing data ie using emailing lists. Read them here on the Information Commissioner’s website.

B2B marketing does not rely on consent as the reason for data processing. Your policy document will say that you are processing data for the reason that the GDPR calls “legitimate interest” ie you have a legitimate business interest in emailing the person at their business email address.

 

Worried About PECR (Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation 2003)?

The EU has an ambition to update the rules of PECR in May 2018 and has drafted legislation. The draft legislation appears to allow the UK to retain its opt-out regime for b2b marketing and while this could change, it seems unlikely. It is also possible that the EU’s timetable for updating PECR may slip beyond May 2018.

So PECR is as yet unknowable but if the EU’s timetable for the legislation slips just ten months to beyond March 2019, the UK’s Great Repeal Bill may not include the PECR update. To read more about the likely effects of the PECR update, look at solicitors Bird & Bird’s take on PECR here.

 

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Planning To Capitalise On Brexit?

Target The UK’s Importers And Exporters With These Mailing Lists

Brexit talks have begun and the UK is committed to leaving the EU. While smaller, nimbler companies can afford a “wait and see” approach, the UK’s largest corporates are making plans, and contingency plans, to change how they operate, no matter what the Brexit deal will be.

Pretty much all companies will eventually go through a process of adjustment post-Brexit; the UK’s importers and exporters will likely get there first.

These companies are examining their supply chains, pricing imports from outside the EU, looking at currency exchange rates, comparing transport and logistics costs, identifying possible regulatory changes and gathering information on what opportunities lie for them outside the EU.

Maybe you already have products and services to help companies working through this period of change? Or are you developing services to offer companies reassessing their export markets post-Brexit?

The government website uktradeinfo.com has helpfully published a list of companies which have imported goods into the UK and a similar list of exporters. As well as hosts of micro businesses importing and exporting small amounts, you can see the UK’s largest companies currently engaging in international trade.

Electric Marketing has taken the government information and enhanced it so that you can use it for business-to-business e-marketing campaigns to importers and exporters. We have appended addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and contact names of directors and senior managers to the government list of companies. These new importexport mailing lists can be used to target companies who are likely to be planning for a successful Brexit.

 

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