Emails and spam: Sending emails, how legal is it?

You want to launch a new customer acquisition campaign or sales move and immediately think of a newsletter post. It is that simple, we take a list of recipients and we send the campaign to everyone.

Not so fast.

Not taking proper precautions could not only cost you money, but you could also lose customers and end up in illegality. The effort could also turn out to be water on a duck’s back, that is, a complete waste of your time and money.

 

An anti-spam law

Since July 1st, 2014, a law has been enforced. This particular text makes it possible to clarify what it is lawful to do or not in terms of e-mail campaigns. In any case, if you communicate electronically, you are bound to respect it. There are four points to remember in order to legally send someone an email.

 

1- Do you have their consent?

If the person has clearly indicated wanting to receive information from you, no problem! Often, this consent is done through a check box at the bottom of a form.

 

2- Do they have the option to withdraw?

At any time, a user who has subscribed to a newsletter or other type of message should be able to opt out of these communications. Think of inserting an unsubscribe link directly into the messages you send, and ideally also a panel where recipients can unsubscribe without having to wait to receive a message with the link.

 

3- Do you notify who you are?

In your communications, always include your “contact card”. Company name, physical address, email address, phone numbers, etc. This will add credibility to your messages and will assure your recipients that it is you who send this content.

 

4- Are You hiding Something?

Be honest when you advertise something. For example, if you offer a promotion on a set of services, list what is included and what is not. Also remember to mention if taxes are included in the prices you post.

 

More detail on consent

To get permission from someone to send campaigns to them, you do not necessarily have to get approval as mentioned above. There are a few exceptions:

  • If you have a business relationship with the person (client, volunteer, etc.),      you are implicitly entitled to send mail for two years (with the possibility of withdrawing, of course);
  • If a company has openly published contact information, or provided you with a business card, you have the right to contact them, unless you have clearly been instructed not to do so;
  • Caution, it is forbidden to generate addresses of recipients, to collect them in an automated way or to use bought  lists from someone else!

So be careful when preparing your campaigns, because there are many rules to follow. By doing so, you will be protected and you will be able to increase the delivery and conversion rates of your emails, as your recipients have a good reason to receive your communications.

 

Author

Quentin Auvray, Back-end Developer