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Legal Compliance in International Email Marketing

April 25, 2016

International Email Marketing

Regulations for Email Marketing in the UK, France and Germany

Email marketers everywhere should keep in mind the different marketing regulations in international markets. In general, email marketing that takes place within Europe is regulated at the EU level. The EU Directive 2002/58/EC requires that marketers must ask for and receive explicit confirmation from the contact before receiving direct marketing material. An opt-out or unsubscription must be available at all times, without undo effort on the part of the consumer.

Email marketing should almost always, therefore, begin with a double opt-in process. This is both legally compliant and good for the marketer’s reputation.

People who subscribe for a newsletter are less likely to unsubscribe, and mark emails as spam, if they only receive material that they’ve signed up for. Low complaint and unsubscribe rates can also lead directly to higher delivery rates, and improve the marketer’s general reputation. This blog post will describe the legal compliance in international email marketing for the three largest economies in Europe: UK, France and Germany.

Email Marketing Legal Compliance in the UK

Direct marketing in the United Kingdom requires explicit consent on the part of the consumer. For email marketers, this means that the double opt-in registration process is likely to be the most effective.

Unsubscription from email newsletters must be possible at all times, and every newsletter must clearly show who the sender is, whether or not anything is being sold, what the offer is, and if there are any terms and conditions associated with the purchase.

In no case is it permitted to send unsolicited email marketing newsletters. In certain cases, fines of up to 500,000 Pounds can occur.

There is not a clearly defined regulation of how the registration and confirmation process should look. The type of data involved dictates whether an explicit opt-in is required, or if the inclusion of an opt-out option is sufficient.

If no sensitive personal data is in play (for example, when sending mass, non-personal addresses), an opt-out option is sufficient. An opt-in process is always required when messages are sent to individual contacts. There are exceptions to the exact level of rigor, because individual e-mail providers often stricter requirements than the general legislation.

Our recommendation: Always use an opt-in solution with documentation of the registration (for example, entering the e-mail address in a registration form). Even better, use a double opt-in method. better to a double opt-in. Don’t use pre-filled checkboxes, and don’t buy lists of email addresses. As soon as your contacts unsubscribe, remove them from your lists and don’t contact them again.

dma (Direct Marketing Association)

As an international email marketing provider, Newsletter2Go is a member of the British Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The association has more than 1,000 members, among them the biggest brands, NGOs, Ad- and Marketing Agencies in the United Kingdom. All members pledge to abide by a single code of conduct, the DMA Code.

The fundamental principle of this code is to always place customers at the center of all activity. They should have a positive and transparent impression of all communication from, to, and with a company. When they receive marketing information, it should be relevant and reflect their personal interests. They should enjoy fast, efficient and polite service.

This principle requires that the private sphere of email contact lists be respected, and that consumer expectations should be met. Companies also pledge to be fair and transparent in their general business approach.

A careful, considered approach to collecting and using consumer data is necessary. All companies must abide by relevant rules and regulations, both in the UK and in their business abroad. Newsletter2Go’s membership in the DMA is another sign of our careful approach to consumer needs and requirements.

Email Marketing Legal Compliance in France

France requires that advertising and marketing newsletters must only be sent after a consumer opts in to the list. One exception to this rule are emails that are directly relevant either for the job title or the position of person him/herself. As long as the email speaks to one of those two things, an opt-in is not required.

In all other cases, opt-ins are required. Violations of this rule can result in fines of up to 750 Euro per sent email.

Email marketing in France requires that only pertinent data should be collected, and that contacts must be informed as to how their personal data will be used and managed. Consumers have a right to contest how their data is used and collected. Otherwise, normal EU law applies.

sncd (syndicat national de la communication directe)

The sncd is a professional organization of communication and relationship management professionals. It has approximately 200 members that pledge to uphold professional and ethical standards. Newsletter2Go is also a member of the leading direct marketing association in France.

Data protection is a fundamental principle of the sncd. Addresses are not to be forwarded or sold, and data, documents and media must remain protected and private.

The sncd also requires transparency regarding who within a company has access to sensitive customer data. Honesty in negotiation, consulting, and sales are a must.

Sie können also sicher gehen, dass Newsletter2Go die Standards für E-Mail Marketing in UK und Frankreich einhält und bewahrt. Weil Newsletter2Go die rechtlichen Vorgaben der EU sogar übererfüllt, versenden Sie auch an Empfänger in diesen Ländern zuverlässig und rechtssicher.

Email Marketing Legal Compliance in Germany

In Germany, data protection requirements are regulations are very strong: the Telemedia Act; the Telecommunication Act; the Federal Data Protection Act, and other laws regulate how marketing email can be sent, and how personal data must be handled.

It is not permitted to send unsolicited marketing communication to individuals. To send such material, an explicit confirmation is required. This confirmation is generally obtained via a double opt-in registration.

Germany also requires that all companies have a data security officer, who is in charge of maintaining and enforcing data security standards.

TÜV Rheinland

TÜV Rheinland is a leading technical service provider. It tests, inspects and certifies products, services, and other technical matters. It’s governing principles are security, quality, health, efficiency and compliance.

In particular, TÜV Rheinland ensures that Newsletter2Go’s data protection standards are in compliance with local, federal and European law. Our data protection and security standards have been certified by the rigorous TÜV Rheinland testing procedure. This certification means that your data is kept under strict lock and key, and will never be passed on to third parties or be accessed inappropriately.

You can rest assured that Newsletter2Go remains compliant with all necessary email marketing regulations in Germany and the UK. Newsletter2Go takes data protection very seriously, and many of our policies are stricter than those suggested by the EU. With Newsletter2Go, you’ll never need to worry about protecting your – and your customers’ – data.

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