Building a UK GDPR Compliant Mailing List

In this digital age, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. However, with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is crucial to ensure that your email mailing list is compliant with the law. Here are some guidelines on how to build a GDPR compliant email mailing list.

Understanding UK GDPR and Its Impact on Email Marketing

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for individuals. Although it was originally established within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), the provisions of the EU GDPR have been incorporated directly into UK law as the UK GDPR. If you operate inside the UK, you need to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).

GDPR also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the UK, EU and EEA areas. The EU GDPR may still apply to you if you operate in the EEA, offer goods or services to individuals in the EEA, or monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EEA.

How Does GDPR Impact Email Marketing?

Under GDPR, individuals have the right to control how their personal data is collected, processed, and used. This means that companies must obtain explicit consent from individuals before adding them to an email mailing list.

Building a GDPR Compliant Email Mailing List

Obtain Explicit Consent

  • Make sure to clearly explain why you are collecting the individual's email address and how you plan to use it
  • Include a checkbox for individuals to opt-in to your mailing list
  • Do not use pre-checked boxes or assume consent.

Provide Opt-Out Options

  • Include a clear and easy way for individuals to unsubscribe from your mailing list
  • Honor unsubscribe requests promptly and permanently remove individuals who opt-out.

Store Data Securely

  • Implement security measures to protect the personal data of your subscribers
  • Regularly review and update your security protocols to comply with GDPR requirements.

Keep Accurate Records

  • Maintain detailed records of how and when individuals consented to join your mailing list
  • Be able to provide this information upon request from regulatory authorities.

Comply with ICO Guidelines

Use Double Opt-In

  • Consider implementing a double opt-in process, where individuals must confirm their subscription after initially opting in
  • This helps ensure that individuals are knowingly and willingly joining your mailing list.

Regularly Update Your Mailing List

  • Periodically review and clean your email mailing list to remove inactive or unsubscribed subscribers
  • Keeping your list up-to-date helps maintain compliance with GDPR regulations.

For Full GDPR Information

We hope this introduction points you in the right direction. As a business owner you are legally responsible for the compliance of your company. Full details of GDPR obligations can be found on the ICO website.


Building a GDPR compliant email mailing list requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to protecting the personal data of your subscribers. By obtaining explicit consent, providing opt-out options, storing data securely, keeping accurate records, complying with ICO guidelines, using double opt-in, and regularly updating your mailing list, you can ensure that your email marketing efforts are in compliance with GDPR regulations. Maintaining trust with your subscribers is key to building a successful and sustainable email marketing strategy.


At DigitalArena we want you to succeed online, and this can be achieved in several ways.

  • DIY: You can Do It Yourself, as many small businesses and startups try to do at the beginning while they get going.
  • DWY: We can Do it With You, by providing content writing, designing email templates, while you carry out the data handling and mailing activity yourself.

To find out more, please call us on 01530 452276 or email

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Based in the heart of the National Forest, we're able to serve businesses around the country.

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