The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): How to get GDPR consent

This new guide outlines what GDPR is, and takes you through the steps to getting provable, recorded opt-in by your contacts.

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  • Publication date: April, 2018
  • Pages: 60
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-329-4


Article 3 of the GDPR says that if you collect personal data or behavioral information from someone in an EU country, your company is subject to the requirements of the GDPR

At first glance, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) can look like a mountain to climb. The GDPR raise issues with how you secure the information you keep about your clients and customers, and also your staff members.

The GDPR is a huge topic that has worldwide implications, and this practical guide isn’t designed to give you a complete overview of all your requirements. There are plenty of data protection consultants doing that.

What this guide can do for you though, is show you what to do with your database of contacts – whether that is the contacts you already have in your marketing list, new contacts you meet when networking, or when you receive requests to unsubscribe from your communications or to be deleted completely, often called “the right to be forgotten”.


Executive summary

About the author 

Section 1: About the GDPR

  • About the GDPR
  • Who and what does the GDPR apply to?
  • The GDPR principles
  • What are the lawful bases for processing?
  • What is consent?
  • How this guide can help you
  • How this guide works
  • Currently using multiple contact lists?

Section 2: How to get GDPR consent from your existing contacts 

Part 1: Getting consent from contacts with email addresses

  • Introduction 
  • Just obtain consent? Or also find out issues?
  • Which route to getting consent is best? 
  • Purchasing email marketing software and setting up a preferences form 
  • Create your covering email 
  • Getting plenty of responses 
  • Create “Thank you for updating your details” text
  • Get your email text checked 
  • Send a test email to yourself 
  • Check the updated details in your software worked
  • Create segments of contacts in your database 
  • Send your emails and watch the responses
  • Send “Thank you for updating your details” emails
  • Report back initial findings
  • Using updated details to spot contacts with issues that need resolving
  • Send a reminder to people who didn’t respond
  • Send a second reminder to people who didn’t respond
  • Send a final reminder
  • Summary
  • Checklist

Part 2: Get consent from contacts without emails

  • Introduction
  • Checklist of things you may need 
  • Create your letter text
  • Create your thank you email text
  • Create your mailing list
  • Merge and post your letters 
  • Sending your letters via Hybrid Mail
  • Capturing your responses, if you only have hundreds
  • Capturing responses (if you have thousands or more)
  • What to do with “delete me” and “unsubscribes”
  • What to do with “return to sender” letters 
  • Follow up your responses with a thank you
  • Sending hard copy reminder letters 
  • What to do with contacts without contact details
  • What to do with contacts who don’t respond at all
  • Summary
  • Checklist

Section3: Unsubscribes, the right to be forgotten, and new contacts

  • Introduction
  • Include “unsubscribe” and “delete me” options on all marketing
  • How to manage unsubscribe requests
  • How to manage delete requests / right to be forgotten
  • What to do when meeting a new contact 
  • Getting that new contact into your database
  • Set up internal processes to capture details quickly 
  • What to do with your newsletter sign-up form on your website 
  • The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): How to get GDPR consent
  • Sending a welcome email to your new contacts
  • Sending a reminder email to non-responders 
  • Thank the contacts for checking their details
  • Automation makes it easier for you
  • Do not add information on contacts you will not use 
  • Keep your CRM database (or central list) relevant
  • Schedule data integrity checks
  • When new colleagues join your firm 
  • Spring clean and enhance your CRM information
  • You are still OK to speak to clients as normal 
  • Summary

Section 4: Doing better CRM and marketing

  • Consent gives you better click rates and responses 
  • Consent shows you who to spend effort on, or not
  • Send marketing emails that get more responses 
  • Promote things more people say affect them
  • Improve your cross-selling performance
  • Summary 
  • Extra resources
  • Legal disclaimer
  • Contact details
Full Overview


Simon McNidder
Simon McNidder is an independent CRM database consultant. His company, Database First Aid, offers organisations proven advice (or assistance) on setting up or improving CRM and marketing data, databases, and eMailshots. Simon has spent over 20 years using, managing, and implementing CRM databases, mostly in law and accounting firms, including 15 years at Pinsent Masons as their CRM database manager (where he won two national CRM industry awards).   

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