The legal side of email marketing

The legal side of email marketing

Feb 20 2014 | by SOPHIA CHARTERS

Offering high return on investment, trackable results and more targeted communication with customers, email marketing looks to continue growing in popularity this year.

However, whilst many are utilising this form of marketing, not all may be aware of the legalities and best practice guidelines that surround it.

So what are the main points to bear in mind when considering your future campaigns?

Growing your database

Opt ins – With data forming one of the most essential components of your email marketing efforts it is vital that those included in your distribution list are relevant to your business and interested in the content that you are sending to them. Therefore all those residing within your data lists should have opted in to receiving your campaigns; meaning that they have clearly confirmed that they are happy to receive emails from you. (Typically this would be by signing up to your newsletter through a subscription form, or ticking the option to opt in when making a booking or purchasing an item from you).

Exceptions to the rule – Although most people are covered by the laws surrounding email marketing, there are some that fall into a grey area, such as limited companies, plc and public sector organisations who can be contacted without previous consent, providing that you are contacting them via a generic ‘info@’ address or, if by a named address, the information you are conveying is specifically relevant to them. There is also an exception when it comes to those who you have a previous relationship with, such as past customers. In this case you may add them to your data lists, however, as stated above, wherever possible customers should always be asked to ‘opt in’ in order to follow best practice guidelines.

What should be included within your emails?

Opt outs – By law, every email campaign must contain a clear link to opt out of your future email campaigns. This will usually take the form of an ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the email which only requires one or perhaps two actions in order to complete the process. Remember, you must also ensure that any unsubscribe requests sent via email or over the phone are honoured in a timely fashion.

Company information – Finally every marketing email must also include the full registered name and office address of your company and should be easily readable for those receiving your campaigns.

There are many pieces to the email marketing laws and best practice puzzle, and this blog names just a few. The main laws surrounding the use of data for email marketing purposes can be found in the Data Protection Act 1998 which should be referred to if you require further details.

For information on how AlphaQuad can help you with your email marketing campaigns, just get in touch!

Sophia Charters

The legal side of email marketing