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If you send marketing emails globally, you need to be aware of new European Union privacy rules coming in May.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an effort by the EU to protect user privacy and data. Specifically,  the GDPR outlines strict regulations for protecting the data of EU citizens.

To demonstrate how strict they will be: cookie data will be treated like social security numbers, requiring the same level of protection.

Why should this matter to US-based marketers? Well, the GDPR also regulates the export of data outside the EU. So if you you do business in, process the data of EU residents, or market within the EU, you need to pay attention. Failure to comply with the GDPR  can result in hefty fines.

For your email marketing, there are some things you can do to ensure compliance such as avoiding jargon and keeping your email systems secure.

But you’ll also want to examine your opt-in process. The GDPR requires subscribers be told and agree to how their information will be used and what information they will receive. If you practice inbound marketing, where the simple completion of a form in exchange for an e-book or other offer subscribes a user to a mailing list, you may want to considering adding an opt-in checkbox to your forms. For more information, read “GDPR-ready? How US email marketers can avoid heft new EU fines” from MarTech Today.

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