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Email marketing - The Law

There is no one law governing the Internet or the use of email marketing. However you need to obey the laws of the countries you are sending the email to and from, especially as some countries have much tighter restrictions on email marketing and unsolicited emails.

However if you abide by the basic principles below you should be ok, but it is always wise to check if a specific country has any stricter guidelines.

The recipient

Always check if the recipient has given you their permission to send information to them.  This will have been given if the recipient has opted-in to email contact through a previous communication, or has specifically subscribed to your email marketing.

If you are going to buy an address list from a third party company then always ask and ensure all recipients on that list have actually opted in to receive emails from third parties such as yourself.  It is good practice to ask the company selling the list to you for a small subset of the list before purchasing so you can test it.

On testing the subset you are looking for the number of named addresses (as in not just sales@ or info@), the number of bounced replies and indeed the number of people who immediately ask to be removed from your list.

The Sender

When sending your email always include clear sender information.  This should include a legitimate physical address for the recipient to reply to and a web site address.  Under UK Law additional sender information must be included. Please see the section on UK Law below.

The message

Your email must have an accurate subject line with relevant content.  In addition to your message you must provide the recipient the means of unsubscribing.

UK Law

Companies in the UK have been required include certain regulatory information on their websites and in their email footers since the 1st January 2007.

Every company should list its company registration number, place of registration, and registered office address on its website as a result of an update to the legislation of 1985. The information, which must be in legible characters, should also appear on order forms and in emails.

In further UK legislation under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals may object at any time to the processing of their personal data for the purposes of direct marketing. Similarly, the Privacy Regulations have the effect of prohibiting the sending of marketing emails to individual subscribers who have notified the sender that they do not wish to receive such emails.

References

More information can be found by following the below links

In this Series

Don't miss the rest of this series on email marketing. Follow the links below for the full article.

About Prolateral

Prolateral Consulting is in business to put your organisation back in control of your own Information Technology, specialising in information and messaging security, computer forensic services, and disaster recovery planing.

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Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
Tel : +44 (0) 8450 763760
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