I visited Udimi forum the other day and I noticed a post where a certain user expressed his concern regarding the impact of GDPR on the email solo ad buyers and sellers.
According to him,
I have been seeing some websites saying that we will not be able to sell solo ads. That you can only email to people on your list. Not to sell to other people’s list.
Is that right? Is EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679) the end of the solo ad industry unless the solo ad buyers and sellers choose to disregard it?
Let’s see the truth without addressing collateral topics or opinions such as GDPR is crap, it isn’t enforceable to me, and so on …
Sending Mass Emails Only to Your Subscribers
So the main concern was that now you can only mass email your subscribers. You cannot email other people’s list anymore.
But how is that different from the solo ad world that flourished before GDPR came into effect?
Except for the times when the Internet wasn’t regulated at all, mass emailing people who never subscribed to your mailing list was considered spam. No difference at all.
The confusion comes from a very lax and actually inappropriate language used by some solo ad buyers and sellers…
How the Solo Ad Process Actually Works
When you buy a solo ad, the reality is that you do NOT email other people’s list. The solo ad seller does it. Not you.
You do not have access to the vendor’s mailing list. You do not see the list of subscribers, their names, their email addresses, or other pieces of information collected by the vendor from his subscribers.
No privacy breach whatsoever.
The solo ad seller sends your solo ad to the people who subscribed to his mailing list. Period.
Even the field “From” of the emails that are sent is unchanged. Only a noob or a fool would change the field From and use your name instead.
Why? Because in case a solo ad seller does it, there is a big chance to have the emails marked as spam by the subscribers who don’t recognize your name and don’t recall subscribing to your list. The first consequence would be that the email deliverability of seller’s emails will fall down. And that is very bad for any email marketer.
Is Then GDPR Affecting the Solo Ad Industry in Any Way?
1. GDPR’s Impact on the Solo Ad Process
If the solo ad vendors comply with the usual email marketing industry standards – i.e not spamming, letting subscribers easily unsubscribe at any time, not revealing subscribers’ personal information to the buyers, etc. – then there’s no negative impact on them and their business.
2. GDPR’s Impact on Websites
There’s no difference between the web pages promoted by the solo ad buyers in solo ads, the web pages used by the solo ad sellers to sell their solo ads and any other web page or site.
If you have a web page – whether you buy/sell solo ads or not – in case that page gets EU traffic (irrespective of the amount of the traffic) you have to comply with GDPR.
To your solo ad success!