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GDPR & Legitimate Interest - Loophole?

Marketing under GDPR guidelines

I recently heard that you can email a business if you have identified a legitimate reason to do so. For example - I sell business insurance so I would have a legitimate reason to contact companies that require business insurance. I think this loophole only applies to B2B situations - https://dma.org.uk/article/dma-insight-the-legal-base-for-legitimate-int....

Based on this logic I should be able to contact a database of business customers who would have a legitimate interest in the accounting services I offer? Did I find a loophole? Any GDPR experts out there?

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14th Aug 2018 18:02

The question is why do you want to join those in looking so desperate for work that you have to literally beg for it?

Id be mortified if i had to do it, and feel an utter failure as a business if i had to go round cup in hand to business asking for work.

But that's just me. Seems some people don't mind looking like a failure.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
14th Aug 2018 18:20

Harsh.

Isn’t that what advertising is?

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
14th Aug 2018 18:38

Advertising is fairly passive, and you can just ignore it.

Direct mail and cold calling is much more aggressively interrupting people to promote your business.

Always smacks of desperation to me, but I know some people swear by it.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Aug 2018 10:55

I would like to use this information to do some email campaigns. This has worked very well for me in the past. GDPR has impacted my email database, however, I have a good number that have legitimately ‘opted in’ to my newsletter so I must be doing something right.

This kind of marketing does not make me a failure and I don't consider it 'begging'. Some of the most successful companies adopt email as a marketing channel. I'm not a fan of cold calling which is why I use email in the first instance.

Your business is obviously so successful that you have potential customers knocking down the door. Please share the secrets to your success? I’m genuinely interested to hear how you get new business.

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to Slim Freddie
20th Aug 2018 17:57

1. Referrals from existing clients
2. More referrals
3. Website

We are currently closed to new business, which oddly enough normally generates even more enquiries when its on the website than when its not.

Quite frankly I have found the work just floods in.

All you have to do is a half decent job and people will indeed be beating down the door as decent service at a sensible price seems to be an easy sell.

And I can assure you my working is only half decent, but it is very prompt and responsive which counts for more than if its right in client retention.

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14th Aug 2018 21:39

Hardly a loophole, it's stated by the ICO themselves that direct emailing to corporate email addresses is opt-out (https://ico.org.uk/media/1555/direct-marketing-guidance.pdf).

However, sole trader and partnerships email addresses are considered personal email addresses, therefore direct marketing is strictly prohibited without prior consent.

It's not GDPR you need to worry about, it's PECR. Just check the recent ICO Enforcement page!

I personally would stear clear of direct emailing. Stick to direct mail and telephone (unless they're registered with MPS/TPS).

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14th Aug 2018 21:40

Hardly a loophole, it's stated by the ICO themselves that direct emailing to corporate email addresses is opt-out (https://ico.org.uk/media/1555/direct-marketing-guidance.pdf).

However, sole trader and partnerships email addresses are considered personal email addresses, therefore direct marketing is strictly prohibited without prior consent.

It's not GDPR you need to worry about, it's PECR. Just check the recent ICO Enforcement page!

I personally would stear clear of direct emailing. Stick to direct mail and telephone (unless they're registered with MPS/TPS).

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15th Aug 2018 22:09

I wonder whether it's really worthwhile for people to spam businesses with their sales emails. Most of us will delete and not read.
I guess because it doesn't cost the sender very much they think it's worth a punt, ignoring the fact that many of us would never want to do business with people that spam us.

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15th Aug 2018 23:35

Anyone else noticed the increase in spammy letters? Ones that contains the 'there is a legitimate interest' line in this marketing which is actually written on the back of the envelope. Along with if you want to opt out logon to our website or email us, otherwise we will keep sending this carp.

I 'return to sender' anything I didn't ask for, but these letters have also had a few scathing comments written on the envelopes and well as 'opt out'.

Just waiting to see if I get another batch.

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17th Aug 2018 09:43

My experience has been that contacting a database of business prospects is a waste of time. This is borne out by recent research that find 80% of businesses hate being cold called.

Much better to get to know the people you wish to do business with using network events organised by your local chamber or other organisations such as The Coffee Club

Also Linkedin's Sales Navigator is a good way to get to know people so you can build up the relationships and trust. This can take a long time but it's a method of building business that actually works. Cold calling can alienate the people you are trying to do business with so I would avoid like the plague.

Also referrals from existing clients are a great way to build new business - arguably the best way of all.

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20th Aug 2018 16:19

With the introduction of GDPR, everyone is more aware of their rights regarding unsolicited emails, calls or letters. I’d proceed with caution, maybe test it with an email run to a small number of contacts. I’d be interested to know if this was successful. We get most of our business through word of mouth and I dabble with AdWords from time to time.

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21st Aug 2018 11:59

Hmmmm... loophole or not I'm not sure I'd take the risk. Have you tried marketing via social media? I find it works well.

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23rd Aug 2018 10:58

"Legitimate Interest" only applies if those contacts you are contacting have in some way expressed an interest in being contacted by you, i.e. are existing customers to whom you already sell some services or who have first approached you.

Saying all businesses need insurance does not make your spam emails legitimate.

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