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How To Send B2B Cold Emails In A Post GDPR World?

B2B Cold Emails in GDPR World

The GDPR promised to put an end to spammy digital marketing practices protecting individual privacy rights. It came into effect on May 25th, 2018. Any marketers who found themselves moving on the opposite side to the GDPR could face heavy and intense fines.  It is also made clear that failing to comply with the GDPR could leave your company facing fines up to $24 million or 4% of the global turnover, whichever is greater.

did you know

British Airways faces fines of up to €200 million for a data breach that happened in September 2018.

British airways
We comply with the GDPR. Learn more about it now!
GDPR compliance

Before jumping into the GDPR guidelines,

Understand what the GDPR is and its sales in a business.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation is a legal regulation by European Union Council and The European Parliament in 2018.

To comply with the GDPR, companies have to be cautious of the method they follow to collect and utilize personal data, which may include:

GDPR Guidelines to utilize personal data

Personal data is the crux of how sales teams prospect for a business or a project. And the GDPR impacts the way how you collect and process personal data. Personal data can include name, email, phone numbers, interests, and everything that a sales rep is most likely to store in their CRM system about prospective customers.

Personal data may also include IP addresses, social media posts, bank details, and medical information. So, handling all types of personal data appropriately is crucial.


The significant sales’ checkpoints that change under the GDPR is:

  • Collecting the data and seeking permissions from the individual
  • Processing the data


The main goal of the GDPR is to protect the personal data and privacy of every individual. Our blog article will take you through all the five principles you need to know to send cold emails in a post-GDPR world.

Stay GDPR compliant while sending cold emails

The principles that all digital marketers should follow according to the GDPR are:

1.  Ensure you are targeting the right audience

Lead generation  and prospecting are essential and crucial in sourcing data for sales and marketing campaigns.


The GDPR guidelines don’t block or prevent people from prospecting or collecting leads. This directly affects in creating a demand for an intense level of care and accuracy from lead generators.

Ever thought there exists quite a difference in prospecting to men and women? Interesting, right?
Marketing differently to men and women

We suggest marketers who would prefer to follow cold email religiously be vigilant about two significant factors when picking who they’ll be contacting and the types and quality of data they will be collecting.


Under the GDPR, the personal data you collect should ensure adequacy and relevance. To understand the correlation between the mentioned elements, let us look into their definitions first.

Adequacy: The exact amount and type of data that is necessary for your business purposes. Meaning, you cannot collect information that is of no use in your plan of execution. In GDPR-compliant marketing, there exists no such concept of ‘for safekeeping’ of personal data or information.


Relevance: Interacting only with prospects who are interested in buying your product or service. If you have targeted the right audience, there’s nothing to worry about the prospect.


Always make sure you are exceptionally precise in picking your ideal prospects. Then, custom-make your sales copy and campaigns to those prospects and address their pain points.


If, in any case, your prospects act surprised hearing from you, then they are likely not relevant to you, and you could be violating the GDPR!


Altogether, please choose the right prospects and the data you collect from them. Be precise in picking your ideal targets. Make personalization your key to marketing using the personal data that you collected. Finally, turn your marketing ideas into interesting and valuable concepts from your audiences’ perspective to succeed in your field.

2. Mention the reason behind the cold email

Tell them the reason behind your cold email! No matter what, you must address your cause of contact in your communications. Make sure your buyer is the center of the entire purpose of the plan. And thus, your email copy is essential and plays a crucial role in striking deals.

B2B Cold Emails In A GDPR World

Legitimate interest is the most interesting and useful case to both the parties involved. And for this, you would need solid reasons to prove you have a legitimate interest. Some of them are that:

  • Your offer should support your prospect’s objectives or goals
  • Your prospect has recently invested in growth, and your offer endorses them
  • Your prospect would expand their wings into a relevant area with your offer
  • Your past clients are in a similar industry or have a similar offer to your prospect
  • You were referred to your prospect from your network
  • Your prospect asked for any information or just started a search relevant to your offer


Include the essential pieces of information in your email to explain legitimate mutual interest to your prospect:

  • Tell them how you have processed their data and what data you have processed
  • Briefly explain your reason to them
  • Easy instructions to help your prospects change the processed data or demand the removal of their data from your records

Also, explain to them how you got the email address


The GDPR is an extensive article to ensure that businesses handle personal data appropriately. You must explain why you’re emailing. You have to be clear about how you found their information.


The traditional and old method of generating contact data lists isn’t a suitable option now. To save your time and efforts, you could always bring in third parties or data providers to help you out in such cases. Make sure if you’re working with a third party, you know from where they source their data and the credibility of the services.

Want email lists that are compliant with all national and international data policies?
National and international data policies

3. Keep an easy step to unsubscribe or opt-out

Give people a straightforward way to opt out. Then, show them the path to restrict the approach from your end as well.


The GDPR asks for a strict right to ensure one must erase an individual’s information if they demand to and never contact them again.


A direct link to unsubscribe at the bottom of your email makes your job much more accessible and automated to clean your database. Include a statement in the footer like, “If you don’t want to hear from us again, just reply “No thanks,” and we’ll never contact you again.


Also, nowadays, every outreach software comes with an automatic unsubscribe feature as a fundamental element of the services.


A checklist to follow while designing your opt-out strategy. It should always be: 


  • Clear – without beating around the bushes.
  • Easy to comprehend and follow – make it an easy 2-step method to unsubscribe
  • Enforced – take the requests seriously and take immediate action by deleting the requested data or information.
Now you are good to go with opt-out processes. Learn more about the opt-in check method in securing prospects!
Opt-in check methods in securing prospects

4. Maintain your database, always!

Regularly audit your CRM database and contact lists and send re-engagement emails whenever necessary. Here are some of the easiest ways to keep your database clean.


Secure your database with every necessary step to maintain your processes and system safe and secure. DataCaptive offers data cleansing, lead enrichment for CRM, and various other marketing services for B2B companies.


And if you plan to share an individual’s data, you must inform the data owner about it. You must notify the data owners that you share their data for specific purposes.


It would be best if you let the individuals know where exactly their data is used. If you store all their data, you must take necessary precautions for security and safety purposes.

did you know

It’s on records that certain companies like TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse had to face hefty fines as they’ve failed to prevent data breaches and delayed informing the data owners of violations.

Carphone and Talk Talk

Some pointers to keep in mind as a part of the GDPR compliance – data security:


  • Ensure all your software and systems you regularly use have taken steps to become fully GDPR compliant.
  • Keep a record of the levels of clearance and regulate the access to data at your organization.
  • Keep your processes and systems secure.
  • An extra step of precaution – anonymize, encrypt or pseudonymize data wherever possible.

5. Always have an answer to complaints and questions handy

People are sensitive about their data. Consequently, you are likely to encounter your share of unfriendly responses whenever you cold email your prospects.   Some common questions are:


a. What gives you the right to email me? 


Explain the reasons you thought that they are a relevant person to contact from your end. Maintain a clean and transparent record of your lead generation process, which helps you give detailed answers to your prospect.


If your service is not directly related to the contacted person, tell them why and how you thought they are relevant to your service and give them the reasons.


An example which a sales rep from your company could use:


b. Where did you get my information from?


Tell them where you found their data and why have you thought it was appropriate to contact them. Make a statement about why they would be interested in your product or service!


If you are using third-party services to rent or purchase data lists, check with your account manager from where they’re sourcing the data.


Suppose the email address is found through Facebook by your data provider, the best way to put that out is:


c. What information do you hold about me?


If the individual asks you to provide the details regarding the collected information, you must provide the information you have collected and how it has been processed. This is because the GDPR enforces your prospects’ right to be informed and right to access.


An example of a response about a company process would be:


To sum up our write-up, we’re attaching a simple yet effective template that could help you better understand the type of cold calling emails you will need to send in a post GDPR world. You can also download this template, and it’s absolutely free!



Here’s what you were waiting for!
Download my free templates

In conclusion, cold emails don’t leave you in the cold in the post GDPR environment. On the contrary, cold emailing is one the most effective now than ever. By following the pointers mentioned above, you can run cold email campaigns and generate new business and revenues for your company.


We hope this write-up helps you understand how to send B2B cold emails in a post GDPR environment. Feel free to comment with your thoughts or let us know if you want us to write something for you.

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