Why Cold Outreach Emails Need A GDPR Unsubscribe

A lot has been written about GDPR and how it supposedly killed email marketing, but it doesn't as long as it's done right. I'm not going to talk about Business to Consumer (B2C), just Business to Business (B2B) sending and why, if you have no relationship with the recipient, then you must have an unsubscribe option ...

We can all buy marketing lists, claimed to be packed with validated emails ready to receive your messages, but there is a much simpler way to get email addresses of businesses and that's with PCM Advanced.

Our system lets you search for any profession in any county or town within the United Kingdom and get (potentially) hundreds of new contacts added to your PCM including telephone numbers, email addresses and even social channels.

"Sometimes, it can even guess the name of the contact too!"

From there, our subscribers usually organise these contacts into one of 32 sections. If they're good on the phone then they can just call them and make detailed notes, but most opt for sending one or a series of cold outreach emails to them.

It's very easy to do ... just create a custom email within PCM, select it, then click the email address of each contact to create a new personalised message in your own mail clients such as Outlook or Gmail. Repeat until you've done the same for each contact you want to reach out to and send them ... it's as simple as that.

But if you just send the email 'as is' you are likely to get some complaints. You see, if you don't have a relationship with the recipient, then you legally have to give them a way to unsubscribe from your email.

Yes, of course, they could just hit reply and tell you they want to be unsubscribed from your list, but that leaves you open to being shouted at. A much simpler way (for both them and you) is to have an unsubscribe option that does it automatically.

At the very bottom of all of my custom email templates, I have the following:

"This message was sent to you in the belief PCM would be of genuine use to you. It was directed to a public-facing business email account and individually addressed. It was not part of any bulk mailer. I know we are all on inbox overload these days so if you don't want to hear from me again, visit https://mypcm.stefficms.com/DNC/?#0# to unsubscribe." It's not in italic though.

You'll notice the https://mypcm.stefficms.com/DNC/?#0# part of this and that's the link the recipient clicks to unsubscribe themselves. When the email is being sent, the #0# will be replaced with a unique, encoded number for the contact and that means that if it's clicked, PCM will automatically unsubscribe them.

This means that it will physically delete the email address from the contact's record within your PCM and also untick them so it's obvious they don't want to be contacted again. When this happens with my own cold outreach emails, I move them to a section called 'DNC' which is short for 'Do Not Contact'. I strongly recommend you use a variation of the above in your own cold outreach emails.

Obviously, if you are a subscriber of PCM then you can include https://yourpcm.stefficms.com/DNC/?#0# to automatically process unsubscribed (remember to change yourpcm to the name you subscribed to). If you're using another email marketing platform such as MailChimp then it will have its own method of auto unsubscribing and that should be included instead.

"GDPR hasn't killed the email marketing world, but it has introduced a few rules that civilised it!"

Any business email published on a public-facing website can be cold outreached to, but you must give the recipient a way to unsubscribe quickly and efficiently if you wish to stay within the law. You don't want to gain the reputation of being a spammer, do you.