Over the last few years, email marketing has become a new way for brands and companies to talk to their customers. Emails about sales, last minute deals, cheap property, expensive property have been arriving in our in-boxes along with the usual rubbish… And down here on the French Riviera, email marketing has become more and more popular.
But is it OK to email the whole of the anglo business community? Is “cold calling” allowed? Is it legal? Our friends at Celsius International are THE experts in email marketing and know the legal ins and outs of what is OK, and what ‘could’ get you into trouble. Pure Design have just undertaken a huge corporate style guide and rebranding of Celsius International and we’ve picked up some tips along the way as to how best approach the next ‘mail out’. We’ll be sharing over the next few weeks some of the insider tips thanks to the latest range of White Papers Celsius are promoting:
What you need to know to run cross-border B2B email campaigns in Europe…
Across Europe today, the sending of electronic communications is regulated by Article 13 of the 2003 European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. However, for email marketing specifically, the “country of reception” principle applies – this means that the law of the country of the recipient of an email applies, even when the sender is situated abroad. Since at national level laws on data protection vary widely, this makes planning and executing cross-border email campaigns covering a number of European countries very complex.
Another challenge faces B2B marketers specifically – laws on B2B email marketing are often vague, with many grey areas where it’s difficult to find clear direction. Some countries have now specifically stated that (the often stricter) B2C regulations apply to B2B email marketing.
In addition, some countries will have rules about message content, others consider whether an opt-in is necessary on the basis of the volume of the campaign and some also require an opt-in for “generic”, firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses!
Informed consent: When collecting data, the data controller has to inform the subject of a variety of items: the types of data being processed, the purpose of the processing, the specific recipients in the event of a data transfer, the rights to withdraw consent, etc. Informed consent means that the data subject has to give firm, unambiguous consent (ticking a box, for example) for his or her data to be collected, processed, stored and transferred.
Opt-in: This is where it is compulsory for the recipient of an email marketing campaign to have given prior consent to receiving direct marketing messages via their email address. For many countries (like Germany), the sender of the email has to be able to provide an objective evidence that he received the consent of the recipient. In those cases it is recommended to obtain a “double opt-in” – collect the data consent via telephone and confirm with a click on an email for example.
Opt-out: In this instance, a prior opt-in is not necessary, but the identity of the sender must be clear and the email must provide a valid address to which opt-out requests can be sent.
Soft opt-in: In most countries a “soft opt-in” is available when the recipient’s email address has been collected in the context of a sale of a product or a service and the company uses the email address for direct marketing of similar products or services. A clear and easy opt-out facility must be included in all such communications.
Compulsory unsubscribe link: Although some countries do not specifically require this (and these countries are now very few in number), it is good practice to always include an opt-out facility in every marketing communication sent via email.
Celsius help B2B multi-national customers to gain the best return on their marketing investment by increasing their prospect and customer value. Their direct marketing and database solutions enable them to understand better their target markets, improve sales performance and broaden market coverage throughout Europe and, in many cases, beyond.
To learn more, go to www.celsiusinternational.com or call Coraline Sidney on +33 4 92 94 40 00.