Many potential clients ask can you still use purchased businesses to business data lists for telephone, email and postal marketing without prior consent from the
individuals within the database.
Under GDPR B2B email marketing does not need prior consent/opt-in from the individual when marketing to staff members of limited companies, public limited companies, incorporated partnerships, trusts and foundations, local authority and government institutions businesses are free to use legitimate interest as their legal basis for electronic marketing when legitimate interest exists between you and the recipients.
Sole traders and some partnerships are treated as individuals, so you can only email or text them if they have specifically consented, or if they bought a similar product from you in the past and didn’t opt out from marketing messages when you gave them that chance. You must include an opt-out or unsubscribe option in the message.
The difference between B2B and B2C marketing comes from the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and not GDPR. PECR is a separate piece of
legislation which is currently the law and will remain in place.
Important points to remember:
PECR applies to B2C marketing and to B2B marketing to sole traders, partnerships, unincorporated trusts, partnerships and foundations and their staff members. PECR only applies to electronic channels: telephone, email and SMS.
B2B marketing to staff members of limited companies, public limited companies, incorporated partnerships, trusts and foundations, local authority and government institutions is exempt from PECR but subject to GDPR.
The fundamentals of marketing compliantly under GDPR
1. Use a data supplier that will provide you an up to date marketing list and who is fully
transparent on how the database is sourced, how it is complied, for what reason
the database has been developed and that the data provided is continually
updated and you are provided an updated version to ensure all the contact
information remains current and accurate.
2. The database you hold for marketing without prior consent is only for organisations
(limited companies, public limited companies, incorporated partnerships, trusts
and foundations, local authority and government institutions) and you can
demonstrate they can have genuine need for your products or services that can
be purchased in a professional capacity.
3. You also must contain a clear opportunity to opt-out from future correspondence, provide
information of what you will be sending in future and all requests to opt-out
are honoured. It is also good practice, and good business sense, to keep a ‘do
not email or text’ list of any businesses that object or opt out and screen any
new marketing lists against that.