Email Marketing is covered by certain laws in the UK which comes under the Data Protection Act. There is a difference between marketing to consumers and businesses within the UK and we have put together a summary below.
These laws restrict the sending of unsolicited marketing emails to individual subscribers. Companies can still be sent business related emails if they are relevant to their work.
Individuals v Businesses
The distinction between ‘individuals’ and ‘businesses’ is clearly crucial.
Individuals are known as consumers, and you must receive permission from the subscriber to send emails marketing your products and services. When purchasing B2C data, always ask for details of where the consumer subscribed and opted-in to receive your communications (usually known as 3rd party marketing).
Individuals within a business, school, hospital and / or public bodies, can be sent emails, although they must be contacted about business and not individual consumer marketing.
The rules for Businesses (B2B emails)
1. We ask that you only send emails relating to business matters
2. You must ensure that each email has an option to unsubscribe from future communication i.e. a line at the bottom of your email that states: “please reply with stop if you wish to be removed from further communication” or unsubscribe technology through an email delivery system.
3. We ask that you keep your records up-to-date and clean, and do not use any records that are more than six months old.
The rules for individuals (B2C emails)
Individuals / consumers will specifically consent (‘opt-in’) to receiving emails.
You can send direct marketing emails to individual subscribers if they have signed up to receive such communications from the data owner and have consented to 3rd party marketing (i.e. they have ‘opted in’) to receiving such emails from you.
Specific consent requires some positive action by the subscriber. This will generally be a clear box on a website that the subscriber has to tick (not pre-ticked) that states that they wish to receive 3rd party marketing.
Any questions on these subjects, please do not hesitate to get in touch.