Non Opt-In B2B Email Marketing is legal in the UK unlike B2C (Business to Consumers) and as such is a very popular medium in which to reach out and introduce your products and services. On May 25th 2018 new legislation comes into force (GDPR). The sending of emails to individuals constitutes the ‘processing’ of an EU citizens data. In order to ‘process’ (send an email) you will need to establish what legal basis your are ‘processing’ the data on.
Although there are more than two categories, the two which are relevant to email marketing are either “Consent” OR “Legitimate Interest”.
Consent – This requires permission to be provided from the individual being processed. See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/consent/
Legitimate Interest – This could be an alternative legal basis to ‘process’ an individuals data if you can establish certain facts and parsed an internal ‘Legitimate Interest Assessment’. Providing that assessment parsed the criteria needed and you have documented the assessment, ‘legitimate Interest’ could provide the legal basis in which to ‘process’ (Email). See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/legitimate-interests/
If you cannot establish ‘Consent’ as your legal basis for ‘processing’ under the new rules, then in virtually all cases ‘Legitimate Interest’ will be the most likely alternative available for processing.