Data: Are you working within email marketing law?

Breaking email marketing law is a serious offence. Any email marketing campaign you are planning must comply with relevant regulations. Without data, email marketing is a redundant medium. Using the wrong or old data can ruin your email marketing campaign before you’ve even got started. So are you working within email marketing law?


Collecting data

If you are collecting personal data, including email addresses there are certain things you must do:

- ask only for relevant information

- display a clear data protection notice or

- link to a full privacy policy at the point of data collection

- get consent to send Unsolicited Commercial Email Messages through a tick box for example.


Data users (the person collected the information) should then send a confirmation email that:

- Clearly confirms what they have signed up for

- Gives them a chance to correct any incorrect information/cancel registration

- Contains a customer service telephone number.

NB. The ‘harvesting’ of email addresses from websites, emails and other sources in the public domain without seeking individual consent is highly likely to involve contravention of the 1998 Act and the 2003 Regulations.


Soft Opt-Ins

A soft opt-in is a way of garnering ‘permission’ from an individual. This option can be used in conjunction with specific conditions only. These are:

- When an email address is collected in the course of negotiations for the sale of or the sale of a product or service,

- Where the messages are only marketing similar products or services,

- When the consumer is told that the mail address would be used for marketing purposes and offered and unsubscribe/opt out.

Data Protection Notices

A data protection notice must be displayed when collecting any information, whether this is on or offline. This must display the Data User, full corporate name and postal address. It must also contain company registration number, country of company registration, Vat number and any membership of a trade/professional association, unless this is listed somewhere else on the website.

NB, this information is intended to provide guidance only, and does not constitute professional advice. This applies to UK law.

See Email Marketing Law: The Basics or the ICO’s website for more information.

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