Why Abandoned Cart Emails Need To Be GDPR Compliant

GDPR is a big deal for email marketers. Simply put, it’s the biggest change to European data privacy laws in 20 years. The goal of GDPR is to give individuals better control over their data and that includes being able to completely take back prior consent when they don’t want to be marketed to by companies any longer. 

As a marketer, you need to ensure that you only send abandoned cart emails that are GDPR compliant. While this means that there are some new things you’ll need to do with your email marketing campaigns, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost—especially with abandoned cart emails.

Marketing Messages And GDPR

GDPR is a regulation that protects the personal data of European Union (EU) citizens. It applies to all companies processing the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where they are located.

This means that if you’re emailing people in the EU and you’ve collected any kind of personal information from them, GDPR applies to your communication practices. 

What Is GDPR?

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, a set of rules that apply to all companies that process the personal data of EU citizens. This is EU legislation was created to protect the privacy and rights of EU citizens and was designed to give individuals more control over their data and how it’s used by organizations.

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When it came into effect in 2018, GDPR was celebrated as a major milestone in consumer protection. Until recently, however, it was unclear exactly how email marketers would have to change their practices to comply with these new regulations. 

How Does GDPR Affect Abandoned Cart Emails?

Let’s look at how GDPR applies to abandoned cart emails and what it will take to ensure they’re compliant so they can help your business grow rather than cause trouble for it.

Before you send abandoned cart emails, you need to know how GDPR affects them. With the new rules in place, there’s no question that these campaigns are more important than ever. But if you don’t follow the guidelines of the new law, your email marketing efforts could backfire and hurt your business.

Utilizing Form Elements To Improve Compliance

If you have a form on your site, make sure to add a checkbox to your shopping cart software that indicates whether the user agrees to receive abandoned cart emails. This way, clients must manually select it and are aware of what it means before consenting to receive emails from your company.

Make sure this checkbox is marked with a privacy policy statement so users know exactly what their data will be used for when they agree. It’s also best practice to get explicit consent from users before sending out abandoned cart emails for the first time.

eCommerce marketers should never assume that if someone has bought something from their site in the past, they are free to send unsolicited email communication relating to their business.

Sending GDPR-compliant Abandoned Cart Emails

GDPR compliance is more than just a legal obligation, it’s also a great way to boost your sales. To ensure that you are sending GDPR-compliant abandoned cart emails, keep the following in mind email personalization is key.

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Make sure that each email has a personalized subject line and body text that reflects the customer’s interests based on their previous browsing activity. For example, if someone was looking at baby clothes but decided not to complete their purchase on your website or app, then send them an email with content about how easy it is for them to buy from you again as soon as possible.


As discussed, you can use abandoned cart emails to encourage customers to complete their purchases and avoid losing potential revenue. However, you need to be GDPR compliant with these emails if you want them to be effective, and more importantly, adhere to regulations about personal information.

By providing the client with an opportunity to decide whether they want any recurring communication you can protect your business against potential litigation. If clients choose not to opt-out, then they can automatically be added to your client email list without needing further consent from them.

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Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon