How the GDPR affects email marketing today

Marketing managers across the globe have been losing sleep since the introduction of the EU GDPR earlier this year. But what is the GDPR and how does it affect email marketing?

Ever since the European Union rolled out its new email spam laws in May 2018, the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) has been a focal point for businesses worldwide. The introduction has also created a plethora of dilemmas for many organisations: does their business have to comply? If so, how? Will compliance affect customer acquisition and retention?

Companies will have had to work tirelessly to ensure the transition to GDPR compliance was as smooth as possible, while also affecting the way their business is conducted within the European Union. Naturally, companies relying heavily on email marketing will be especially affected.

Until recently, email marketing was a simple-to-implement yet highly effective marketing strategy. Now the GDPR has been rolled out, it’s an area requiring much consideration.

How does the GDPR impact email marketing today?

While personal data protection laws were already in place, the EU has effectively updated these laws to further protect consumers from unwanted digital junk mail.

The overall reach of the GDPR is perhaps the most significant change to the previous laws. It’s not just EU-based organisations that the new laws apply to, but any company storing or processing personal data of any European citizen.

So, what constitutes personal data? The GDPR states a name, photograph, IP address, medical information, or indeed anything related to an individual is considered personal data. As registering for an email account often requires divulging a wealth of personal information, an email address is a prime example of the type of personal data the GDPR aims to protect.

How many emails are being circulated globally in 2018?

In March 2018, the Radicati Group estimated the number of active email accounts worldwide to be 3.8 billion, with over 281 billion emails sent daily. According to the research organisation’s calculations, the number of daily emails will rise to 333 billion within the next four years.

Just as most households regularly receive unwanted junk mail through the post, so too do our electronic inboxes. state that 60% of emails sent in September 2017 were spam. Although anyone who occasionally checks their spam folder could testify to this statistic, this is a significant decrease from recent years. Statista found that 71% of emails received in April 2014 were caught by spam filters – meaning almost three-quarters of emails were unsolicited digital junk mail.

That’s a lot of emails – and exactly the reason GDPR regulators have updated their spam laws. Since the update, businesses will now require the consent of their recipients or other legal means to send marketing emails.

The new rules now stipulate that even an email sent to a specified group of recipients from a personal account is considered email marketing.

With such stringent rules in place, it’s important for all business owners to understand how they may be affected. To help your business comply with the new GDPR rules, here are some of the processes you will need to implement.

1. Acquiring permission from previous subscribers

The most often asked question regarding new GDPR laws is whether subscribers obtained prior to 25th May 2018 can still be contacted.

The answer is twofold. If your subscribers chose to opt-in to your list, then you may continue to send email correspondence. However, if your subscribers were automatically opted in – through a purchased list, a pre-checked box, or other means – then you must obtain consent again.

Thankfully, regaining consent is as simple as asking your subscribers. In fact, seeking permission then storing a record is the basis of the GDPR. Consider running a ‘re-permission’ campaign to obtain permission from subscribers.

2. Obtaining new subscribers and email permissions

Most marketers assume that prospects who have submitted their email address can be added to a marketing campaign list. While this may have been common practice prior to 25th May, it is no longer allowed.

You cannot pre-tick a box to acquire an email address, nor can you simply hide your communication policy somewhere in your privacy statement. Since the new regulations came into force, prospects must now explicitly agree to receive marketing emails or newsletters from you.

It’s up to you to ensure you’re GDPR-compliant

Perhaps due to its convenience and relatively low cost, email remains the marketing medium of choice for Business-to-Business companies. However, you must ensure you and your organisation comply with the GDPR rules or face a hefty fine for each breach of protocol.

Despite the recently updated regulations, email marketing is here to stay. While the GDPR may appear complex, there are steps you can take to make sure your email marketing campaigns comply with the new regulations:

• Ensure marketing emails are only sent to subscribers who have explicitly chosen to opt-in
• Direct a re-permission campaign to existing subscribers to regain their consent
• Refrain from using automatic decision-making methods using your subscriber’s data
• Make it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe from your email lists
• Provide a method for subscribers to manage their content options

It’s important to remember that the GDPR is about managing and providing content to people who explicitly choose to receive correspondence from you. This will almost certainly mean losing a portion of your subscribers who don’t open and read your emails – although, in marketing terms, these are the people you should be removing from your lists anyway. It’s the people that explicitly opt-in that you should be focusing on, to ensure your email marketing campaigns are productive.

While these new regulations may appear intimidating, complying to these rules will lead to improved open rates and higher overall revenue. Rather than being fearful of ensuring GDPR compliance, look forward to the resulting improvement in your email campaigns.

Senka Pupacic is the founder of Top 10 SEO:

Destination London: one of the world’s best-known cities and a destination of choice for hundreds of years

Destination London

As one of the world’s oldest and largest cities, London has been a destination of choice for travellers across the globe for hundreds of years. Founded by the Romans as a major port, the banks of the iconic River Thames now play a major role in the city’s tourism and leisure industry, with London becoming one of the world’s most significant cultural cities.

A host of world-renowned authors, poets and playwrights have called the city home, most notably Dickens and Wordsworth, while the great name of William Shakespeare has long been synonymous with the Globe Theatre in Southwark. Great writers and artists have travelled from far and wide to be inspired by the city’s creative charms.

In the seventeenth century, London grew out of the ruins of the Great Fire and a devastating plague to become one of the world’s biggest financial centres. The central business district of the City of London represented the world’s primary business centre throughout the 19th century, and remains a major meeting point for global businesses today.

Boasting a population of around 8.7m spread across a modest 70km from east to west, London is counted amongst the world’s 30 biggest cities, and is considered the largest urban area in Europe. The city’s proximity to mainland Europe has ensured it has been a key player in European trade and economy for centuries.

London is the world’s most-visited city, and home to the world’s largest city airport system. After landing in London, visitors are instantly drawn towards the iconic sights of Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, but those who take the time to savour London and search out its lesser-known spots are significantly rewarded.

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster have been a tourist’s favourite for decades, along with more recent additions such as the spectacular London Eye on the Southbank, a giant Ferris-wheel built as part of the city’s millennium celebrations in 2000, and Europe’s tallest building, the Shard, which has dominated the city skyline since its completion in 2012.

The London Eye is the best way to experience London as a whole, offering an incredible 360-degree view of the city and instant visual access to London’s most famous landmarks. It’s not one for the fainthearted, however – the London Eye stands 135m off the ground, and once it gets moving, there’s no getting off until it’s made a full rotation.

There are few better cities than London to experience a full range of cultural activities. Take in a live gig at one of London’s many music venues, spend at day at the Tate Modern drinking in the very best in international modern and contemporary art, or simply head into the West End to take in one of any number of international shows and musicals.

The city caters for sports fans as much as theatre fans, and is home to some of the world’s most recognisable sporting brands. Premier League football teams Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are all situated within easy travelling distance of Central London, with the famous arch of Wembley Stadium a few miles further to the north.

If you decide on a day trip out of the city, you can experience the picturesque delights of the English countryside. Visit the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, the royal castle at Windsor or the beautiful Roman city of Bath. Travel further afield and spend a day in the historic university towns of Oxford and Cambridge, or relax on Brighton Beachfront.

Once you’ve landed in London, we guarantee you won’t want to leave. If staying centrally, the entertainment options are endless. Check out the hustle bustle of Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, before heading onto busy Oxford Street for an afternoon of shopping. Finish the day by visiting a quiet bar in Mayfair or enjoying a lavish dinner in Soho.

Somerset House on the Strand
Somerset House on the Strand

For a taste of the most exciting cuisine the city has to offer, we recommend walking down to Somerset House on the Strand, where you can visit the recently-opened eponymous restaurant by Welsh chef Bryn Williams. One of the UK’s most exciting young chefs, Williams has crafted a gorgeous menu that caters for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Whilst you may be tempted to spend much of your time in Central London, heading a little further west will expose you to some of London’s slightly harder-to-find gems. The city is served by an exceptional transport network, but there really is no better way to experience London than on-the-ground, exploring its ever-changing and diverse streets.

Take the train to bustling Paddington Station and walk north along the canal, stopping off in Little Venice for coffee and a pastry. Meander to the east and you’ll reach leafy Regent’s Park, putting you in perfect proximity to the London Zoo, and a short walk from Baker Street, where you can be entertained at Madame Tussauds or the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Let your momentum carry you a little further east, and you’ll find yourself at the beautifully designed British Library, a few short steps on and you’ll have reached King’s Cross St Pancreas International, where you can catch the Eurostar and be on the continent in a few short hours.

The Business Design Centre in Islington
The Business Design Centre in Islington

For those visiting the city for work, the Business Design Centre in Islington is one of London’s most popular conference and exhibition venues. Located just minutes from Kings Cross and within walking distance of Angel tube station, the centre provides a stylish and convenient solution for travellers’ business needs.

Two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury
Two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury

A quick hop on the tube and you can make your way quickly back west into Notting Hill. Before heading down towards the famous Portobello Road Market, you simply must stop for lunch at two-Michelin-starred The Ledbury, and treat yourself to innovative French fare in a relaxed and friendly setting.

From Notting Hill Gate, take a short walk into the stunning natural beauty of Hyde Park, rent a paddle-boat on the Serpentine River, or have a picnic at the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, before making your way into Kensington to visit the Science and Natural History Museums and soak up a little more of the city’s diverse culture.

Royal Lancaster Hotel
Royal Lancaster Hotel

If you’re staying further west, there is no better place than the beautiful Royal Lancaster Hotel on the edge of Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate. This architectural icon offers spectacular views of London’s famous skyline, and has recently celebrated 50 years of service, earning itself a sterling reputation for exceptional hospitality.

If heading to the east, take the Jubilee Line out to the docklands area and walk amongst the towering skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, before jumping on the DLR to check out historic Greenwich, where you’ll find the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College, now home to the University of Greenwich.

You won’t do all of this in a day. You probably won’t even get it all into a week. But one thing’s for sure, you’ll never find yourself faced with an empty day. Come rain or shine, there will always be a part of the city ready to welcome you with open arms. London’s vibrant, diverse and friendly culture permeates the entire city.

And here’s the really good news – these are just the highlights. There is so much to see and do in the city. It’s a place that’s perfect for families, small groups or individuals. There is a wealth of activities to keep you busy from the beginning of your stay right until the end. The truth is, you’re probably going to want to come back really soon.

Ontario Medical Association (OMA): Seeking a partner in provincial government


Broadly speaking, all of Ontario’s 34,000 practicing doctors and medical trainees are represented by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). Over its 137 year history, the OMA is the only organization that negotiates labour agreements for doctors across Ontario, advocating for their political, clinical and economic interests.

By and large, medical care in Ontario outside of hospitals is delivered in community-based clinics that are managed by physicians. Many members of the public are surprised to learn that doctors must run these clinics much like small businesses. The product is a doctor who has all the tools at hand to treat and care for patients, sort out necessary referrals, review the results of tests and investigations, perform outpatient procedures and surgeries, do house calls, and so on. Behind the scenes though, doctors employ office staff, allied health providers, and technologists; pay for leaseholds, office supplies, and medical equipment; and ensure that clinics comply with regulatory frameworks and administrative burdens like other small businesses. In addition to clinic work, many physicians also provide in-hospital services like coverage of emergency departments, operating rooms, acute care and rehab wards, obstetrics and so on. Often, this kind of care comes with a demand to work hours that extend long past the normal weekday including overnight, weekend and holiday coverage. On top of this, doctors wear other hats in medical education, administrative leadership, medical research and policy development at local, regional and provincial levels.

Given how intrinsic physicians are in health care, physician expertise is a necessary component in the conversation around keeping patients healthy and safe. In rural and remote areas, one physician will adopt multiple roles at all levels of health-care provision; in urban areas, the burden is often shared. Given the multiple demands competing for physician attention, it’s no surprise that doctors face exhaustion and burnout like every other worker in the province. It’s also no surprise that doctors know exactly what will and what won’t work in their communities for health care delivery.

Doctors make a large footprint on the economy through job creation, business investments, and also by caring for workers so they are well enough to remain productive contributors to the economy. The chart below highlights the economic impacts generated from physician practices:

I will admit that, the OMA did not have a positive or productive working relationship with the previous Liberal government since 2015. As labour negotiations hit an impasse, the government resorted to unilateral actions, imposing changes on physicians and the healthcare system rather that work with doctors towards mutually-respectful solutions. The changes ranged from direct clawbacks to physician pay to restricting primary care clinic startups to less funding for chronic disease care. The impact of these unilateral actions was profound. It not only led to a complicated, fractious relationship, but worsening access to care across Ontario. Net income for all physicians dropped by 30% on average and physicians were unable to expand services even though patient need continued to grow.

As it stands, Ontario’s doctors are going into their fifth year without a contract. On June 7, the new PC government took seat at Queen’s Park. The expectation is to reset the relationship with the government. Doctors need a trusted, collaborative partner to not only finish labour negotiations, but also lead health system reform and achieve better patient outcomes.

Examples from the past — like Smoke Free Ontario — have demonstrated the positive impact of doctors and government working together on the lives of Ontarians. This is why during the recent provincial election, the OMA released a platform entitled “Not a Second Longer: A Platform for Better Healthcare” that gave recommendations on how to improve health care and patient care in Ontario. As an association, the OMA’s goal will be to work with the new government to see these suggested policies become a reality. I’ll highlight 3 key issues from the OMA platform below.

Wait times

Ontarians everywhere are struggling with growing wait times for doctors, medically necessary tests and in-hospital care. Wait times are a symptom of a system that is significantly under-resourced. As doctors, we witness firsthand the frustration and health risks incurred as patients wait for appointments, necessary tests and procedures, as they wait for home care, and as they wait for care in emergency departments and hospital corridors while hospitals run over-capacity.

Current wait times for non-emergency cataract surgery is 232 days. Knee replacement surgery: 228 days. MRI’s 98 day wait. These wait-times are magnified in Northern Ontario, and access made more difficult by resources stretched across a vast geography. My President’s Tour this year stopped in several towns and cities in Northern Ontario, and I can attest to the difficulties they face trying to access health care. These waits are hard on patients, their families — and on the doctors who stretch to fill the gaps. Without adequate specialist support, family doctors seek out extra training to cover the local emergency department, obstetrics, palliative care, geriatrics, in-patient critical care, and even local ORs providing anesthesia or doing C-sections. Many Northern Ontario physicians walk a knife’s edge between being a busy doctor and a burned out doctor.

As frontline workers, doctors see the gaps that exist in our system. We want to work with the government on closing them. Working in tandem, we can streamline services, manage issues with wait times and look for innovative ways to fund the system so that we can achieve the Canada Health Act’s call for timely health care for all.

Mental health support and services

Mental health services have reached a tipping point. Over 12,000 children and youth wait up to 18 months for care. Patients report spending up to six days in noisy, overcrowded emergency departments, waiting for a psychiatric ward bed to open so that they can continue recovering. First Nations communities struggle with a suicide epidemic among their youth. And even as existing psychiatrists work full out, all doctors admit Ontario’s health human resources do not match the needs of our population. The reality is that by 2041, 8.9 million Canadians will live with a mental illness. Knowing this, it is imperative that the government work with doctors to address the shortage of mental health services now.

The Ontario Medical Association is promoting health-care services across Ontario

I was thrilled to hear the government commit to a $3.8 billion investment in mental health, addictions and supportive housing in their Throne Speech. This funding will be critical to improve the existing shortfall. Deciding how this funding is best allocated is where the frontline experience and expertise of doctors becomes essential.

Long-term care

4 out of 10 people will live to 90. As time passes, this number grows. As people live longer, they often require more complex care — whether it be home care, retirement homes, an assisted living facility or live-in caregivers. Health Quality Ontario pegs the current wait for a long-term care bed in Ontario at 149 days. In rural and Northern communities, the wait is 6 times as long. Caregiver burnout is rampant as families juggle care for frail elderly relatives with children, mortgages, jobs and busy schedules. Government funding and planning has not kept pace with changing demographics, that much is clear.

During the election, the government committed to building 30,000 new long-term care beds. Though this is a great first step, building new long-term care beds is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to find practical and sustainable solutions to get ahead of this growing crisis, doctors and specifically those working with seniors, need to be at the table where policy decisions are made.

How we move forward

The OMA’s focus is on advocating for its physician membership now and on shaping a better health care system for the future. We are committed to working with the new government to ensure that physicians have an agreement in place, to ensure that patients have access to the care they need, to ensure that hallway medicine becomes a thing of the past, and to build the strongest healthcare system possible. I know that these things won’t and don’t happen overnight, but I believe these goals are achievable. I and the rest of my colleagues are ready to roll up our sleeves, build a strong partnership with the government and get to work.

Liz Davidson handles Specialist, Issues Management, Government Relations & Issues for the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). Find out more by visiting

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME): Why our future depends the long-term prosperity of manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is a huge contributor to Ontario economy. It accounts for 30 per cent of economic activity, 28 percent of employment and 80 per cent of exports. Manufacturing is not only critical to Ontarians’ jobs and prosperity today, it has the potential to play a much bigger role, providing innovation and sustainable jobs that will drive long-term growth in this province.

The key to growing our manufacturing sector is capital investment. A steady and increasing flow of investment dollars into the sector drives innovation and enhances competitiveness. On this measure, sadly, Ontario manufacturers aren’t keeping pace with trade partners around the world.

Since 2013 US investment in Canada has dropped by nearly half, while Canadian investment in the US has more than tripled. In other words, there is investment flowing into manufacturing around the world but the level of investment in Canada is not where it needs to be for manufacturers to remain competitive on the global stage and be positioned for future growth opportunities. And, it is getting worse. Capital investment in Ontario manufacturing is down almost 20 per cent over the last decade.

This is concerning for all businesses, regardless of their sector. The lack of investment puts Ontario’s future prosperity at risk because of the leading role of the manufacturing sector in long-term wealth creation. By not investing and re-investing in capital and technology, manufacturing business spending drops, and with it sectors it supports and feeds like natural resources, retail or real estate.

While its convenient put the blame on others, like the NAFTA re-negotiations, increased competition from other countries, or changes in the US corporate tax regime, the problem arises from the fact that over the past decade the economic contribution of our sector, and the broader business community, was taken for granted.

The good news is that — with a lot of effort — this can change. We need a government who is willing to partner with Ontario’s business community and create a positive vision for change and growth. If Premier Ford is serious about his campaign commitment to restore Ontario to its historical spot as the economic engine of the country, manufacturers will need movement on four core elements:

1. Ontario needs to better leverage its competitive advantages and use energy policy to drive economic growth. The development of electrical generation at Niagara Falls in the early 1900’s was critical to establishing Ontario as Canada’s industrial heartland. Today, a competitive industrial electricity rate is critical in attracting manufacturing investments.

2. Ontario’s regulations and the affiliated processes must be reviewed and improved to encourage growth and investment. Issues like unnecessary duplications with federal systems or delays in permit awards that are significantly longer than in competing jurisdictions drive investments away.

3. The need for the labour regulations under Bill 148 to be applied to manufacturing should be put in question. Bill 148 is a significant burden on Ontario industry that makes it unnecessarily costly and complicated for companies to employ Ontarians. Manufacturers compete for talent, and the jobs they provide are overwhelmingly among the best in the province in terms of pay, benefits and working conditions.

4. The biggest issue Ontario will have to face is the skilled labour shortages. It limits investments in additions to impacting product development and expansion. The current review of Ontario’s curriculum should be used to address the lack of youth entering technical education and the mis-alignment of skills when youth leave the system from post-secondaries. At the post-secondary level, much greater emphasis on work-integrated learning and greater supports for company-lead training is essential to developing the workforce we need to compete with the best jurisdictions in the world.

These steps are not easy but, in Ontario, manufacturing has tremendous advantages due its scale and historic strength, and it is time to seek to further leverage and develop those advantages to ensure future economic prosperity.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is the voice of Canadian manufacturing. CME represents more than 2,500 companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports. Find out more by visiting