Does GDPR mean e-mail marketing is dead?

Does GDPR mean e-mail marketing is dead?

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll be familiar with the trends coming round and round again.

And often in small business marketing, with marketers trying to sell new initiatives all the time, methods die and then rise from the ashes like a phoenix, only to be pronounced dead again when the marketer needs to sell a new service.

And particularly with GDPR coming in, the death of email marketing has been predicted – again.

But I met a business owner last week that shows how silly it would be for us to believe this prediction.

The business owner in question was a charming lady called Sally from High Wycombe.

In the course of conversation, we got around to talking about what we each did for a living.

I explained that I do employment law advice for private member golf clubs.

There was a pause on her side before she asked what my name was.

When I told her, a myriad of emotions flickered across her face (Mainly positive ones!).

“Did you send out an email this week about committees being a danger to themselves?”


As it turned out, I’d given a talk at Hazelmere Golf Club 5 or 6 years ago, which Sally had been at.

I’d put her on my email list and she’d been happily reading my very entertaining (if I say so myself!) emails for years.

The conversation segued into GDPR.

And let me lay my cards on the table:

I didn’t expressly ask for her consent all those years ago, but in every single email over 5 years, she had a clear opportunity to unsubscribe.

But she didn’t. The emails was entertaining and informative, so she saw no need to do so.

And therein lies the truth of GDPR’s impact on email marketing.

If you bombard people with emails about me, me, me, buy, buy, buy, then they probably will unsubscribe or complain.

But if you build the relationship, then they will keep listening to you.

Employment law is very reactive – you only need it when you have an issue – so I am not worried that Sally hasn’t signed up with me yet. But I do know that if she has a staff problem, I will be the first HR person she contacts. And all for the cost of an amusing weekly email!

Have a Question? Get in touch below...

    If you are an employee and feel that you have been treated badly, then we strongly advise you to contact ACAS:

    Call the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free support and advice.

    Simply get in touch and they'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace.

    You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute.

    Whatever it is, just give ACAS a call, their team are on hand to respond within the hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm.

    Who We Work With