Email Marketing Law

The thought of their company’s name being dragged through the courts and, even worse, newspapers puts some people off opting for email marketing. However, and rather unusually, the law is clear, simple to understand and sensible. The main legislation, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, shortened understandable to PECR, has just seven main principles.

1/ It applies when contacting individual customers using email or SMS text messages.
This is the one aspect which is certain to change as time goes by. As new form of electronic communication develop so they will be hauled into the fold of the PECR.

2/ Customers must have opted-in to receive such communication.
This is permission based marketing. The recipient must have agreed proactively to accept email marketing from you. Merely failing to untick a box is not sufficient.

3/ There must be an opt out mechanism on all communications.
Every marketing email must present a facility whereby the recipient may unsubscribe or opt out of receiving such emails.

4/ The sender must provide complete contact details.
The recipient must have sufficient information on each email to contact the company sending the email.

5/ The From box must be clear as to origin.
A trick of those who send spam emails is to disguise themselves by using a false name in the From box. A clear source would be good practice for genuine email marketing companies as the email is more likely to be opened.

6/ Applies to direct marketing emails and SMS texts.
This means that ‘domestic’ emails, such as invoices, are not included. To what degree you can pepper such emails with advertising is difficult to say.

7/ Limits the use of cookies.
Companies are obliged to clarify if cookies are used and for what purpose.

Despite this being a very brief summery of the PECR it can be seen that it is reasonable, logical and easy to adhere to. Even when you start going into more depth you will realise that the law continues in this enlightened mode. There is no excuse for non-adherence and not taking part.