Do prospecting communications require consent (opt-in) to comply with the GDPR?

The GDPR does not specify changes to the legitimacy of sales prospecting. As specified by the CNIL, prospecting without prior opt-in is allowed in some cases for B2B and B2C purposes. 

In B2B communications (to professionals), it is possible to prospect with professional individual addresses (ex: marie@company.com) without obtaining consent provided that:

  • the communication is related to the recipient's professional role, and 
  • the recipient can easily unsubscribe from your messages via an unsubscribe link in the email.

In B2C communications (to consumers), sending commercial communications without obtaining consent is allowed provided that:

  • the recipient is already your customer, and
  • the communication concerns products or services similar to those already purchased by your recipient, and
  • the recipient can easily unsubscribe from your messages via an unsubscribe link in the email.

Please consider the cases mentioned above as exceptions. Outside of these cases, consent (opt-in) is absolutely required for prospecting communications.

Good to know: this article discusses the GDPR's legal point of view established by the E-Privacy Directive (2002). To maintain a good sender reputation, and thus good email deliverability, we recommend obtaining consent before sending any prospecting communications.