Do you or your company sending out email campaigns? Or perhaps telesales or door to door sales? Make sure you’re aware of your obligations under the law. We will focus on Law changes in the email marketing laws but you should generally always keep an eye out with www.gov.uk and make sure you know your legal rights as well as your customers’ and are aligned to the latest changes and updates in regulations.
Here’s our summary of the key things you need to know:
What you need to include in your emails:
The UK Companies Act as well as the EC regulations both require that you include your legal company name, postal address, registration number, and a valid email address in every single email that you send out. It must be clear who’s sending the email – you can’t attempt to conceal your identity in any way as this is illegal and considering misleading. They should also be able to easily opt-out or unsubscribe and you should then make sure they are never emailed again.
If you’re collecting personal information or data from your clients, you almost certainly need to be registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The main regulation covering email marketing is the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, which came into force in the UK on December 11th 2003 clearly stipulates this as a must for any companies involved in data collection.
This legislation affects anyone using email or SMS marketing. There are several key points which you must observe in order to avoid being liable for a severe fine which you can see below (provide by Sign Up To):
- If you have had no prior commercial relationship with a person, you will have to obtain their permission to communicate with them by email or SMS text message.
- You cannot obtain this consent via sending an email or SMS message to ask for it, and the permission has to be actively and knowledgeably given – i.e. the user must tick a box or actively opt-in by performing a specific action.
- If you have had a previous trading relationship, you may be able to communicate with them about a similar product or service. It’s that little word ‘similar’ that gets the lawyers salivating. Because English law is largely determined by case law and precedent, it will be some time before the definition of ‘similar’ is determined, very expensively, in court.
- You must clearly identify the sender of the message.
- You must provide a valid reply address.
- You must make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe from future communications.
- Further restrictions on sending ‘spam’ mean you have to clearly identify who you are, who you’re sending on behalf of and what you’re offering, including any applicable terms and conditions.
It is also important to be aware that there can be severe penalties for not adhering to the above laws so it is crucial you do as a business.
Feel free to click here, and here for more information directly from the Marketing and Advertising legal branch of the government as well as the Information commissioner. If you need a full transcript of the GDPR legislation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) you can find it at the link here This indexed version makes it easy to find specific areas of interest.
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