After some healthy debate amongst the local business community about bulk email, here’s some pertinent information for complying with the UK Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. It is not comprehensive, but covers the main issues:
Opt in – You can only carry out unsolicited marketing by email if the individual you are sending the message to has given you their permission. If you are at a business networking meeting and email addresses are circulated then this would be within the law as someone’s presence at such a meeting gives implicit permission to be contacted.
Opt-out / Unsubscribe – In tandem with the above, a ‘soft’ opt-in must be accompanied by the addressee being able to opt out or unsubscribe from future emails easily. A clear statement of how and who to contact should be provided and acted on quickly.
Good data management – It is important that good data quality practice is carried out so a system must be in place to update email addresses, record bounced emails and correct where necessary.
For sending out bulk emails we would always recommend using a good email client such as Constant Contact rather than Outlook cc lists as it helps you comply with data protection laws as well as providing many other benefits:
- automatic handling of opt outs and opt in so you can easily comply with data protection laws
- tracking of open rates, bounces and click through’s so you can assess the success of your email
- tools to improve your data quality
Please get in touch to discuss setting up email marketing for your business. See our email marketing page for more information.