Spam - an ever present irritant for most business and individuals. But how is it defined, how does it apply to your communications with customers or clients? These are questions that every company needs to consider as legislation is increasingly being enacted in all countries.
It is certainly very frustrating that responsible marketeers, simply promoting their goods and services to potential customers in a measured and controlled way, are now being targeted for spamming, particularly so when their own mailboxes are filled with junk from porn merchants, sellers of stocks and shares, pill pushers, body part enhancers and the like, mostly emanating from far eastern servers.
However, the fact remains that there is legislation and all of us need to be aware of what is required to avoid being labelled for sending spam. To avoid this one must ensure:
- Commercial email is only sent to consenting recipients who have agreed to receive mails from you.
- Every commercial email must include an opportunity for the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving such email in the future. Such requests to unsubscribe must be processed promptly and the recipient should be informed of the length of time required for processing.
- Commercial email must not include "from address" fields, subject lines and message bodies that are misleading, false, or deceptive. Subject lines must not mislead as to the content and purpose of the message.
- Email addresses must not be gathered through surreptitious methods like harvesting from websites, from list brokers, or just by taking off from someone's business card without specific permission to use it.
We offer managed solutions for bulk mailing of newsletters and communications on behalf of our customers. We create the newsletter layouts, linking these with enhanced articles and information on your website. We organize and manage your email lists and handle all the opt in and opt out requirements in compliance with legislation with controlled mailings to user groups from specialist external servers.
If you need a solution for mailing of newsletters and promotional materials we will be pleased to discuss and advise the best solutions.
Affirmative Consent (as defined by the U.S. CAN SPAM Act of 2003): The recipient expressly consented to receive the message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for such consent or at the recipient's own initiative; and if the message is from a party other than the party to which the recipient communicated such consent, the recipient was given clear and conspicuous notice at the time the consent was communicated that the recipient's electronic mail address could be transferred to such other party for the purpose of initiating commercial electronic mail messages.
Consent (as defined by the European Commission Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive): Within the context of an existing customer relationship (where a natural or legal person obtains from its customers their electronic contact details for electronic mail, in the context of the sale of a product or a service), it is reasonable to allow the use of electronic contact details for the offering of similar products or services, but only by the same company that has obtained the electronic contact details in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC*. When electronic contact details are obtained, the customer should be informed about their further use for direct marketing in a clear and distinct manner, and be given the opportunity to refuse such usage. This opportunity should continue to be offered with each subsequent direct marketing message, free of charge, except for any costs for the transmission of this refusal.
*From Directive 95/46/EC: Consent shall mean any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes by which the data subject signifies his agreement to personal data relating to him being processed.
Commercial Email: email messages, sent in volume, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a product or service.
Unsubscribe: A mechanism through which an individual may request that he or she no longer receive commercial email.
Unsolicited Commercial Email: Commercial email sent without prior consent.