Given the current situation with the Coronavirus, it is understandable that you will want to provide business alerts and advice to your customers.
The need to send these alerts does not change digital communication, marketing, privacy and data protection laws. And in addition to this, there are spam, phishing and malicious email attacks attempting to capitalize on these events.
We need to balance your messaging needs, legal obligations and the protection of your customers.
Requesting to Emarsys ignore-opt-in feature
To send a one-off email to recipients who have opted-out (or never provided marketing permission) you need to raise a support ticket, requesting the “ignore opt-in” feature for that campaign.
In order to fulfill that request without delay, you need to provide us with three things.
1. Details of the campaign
- Description/purpose of the campaign (please include a screenshot of the email(s), clearly showing the wording).
- Name of the campaign.
- Name of the contact list or segment.
- Number of recipients without marketing permision, who will receive the email.
2. Compliance questions
- Have you consulted with your legal team or similarly authorized person?
- Have you read, understood and can follow the risk minimalization steps detailed below?
- Do you have two versions of the email (promotional and non-promotional), and can you ensure that you will not send the promotional email version to those opted-out of marketing communication?
- Have you removed promotional content ( so that the email content does not promote your organization and does not advertize the availability of products or services)?
- Have you excluded from your launch list your older, inactive contacts who are no longer in your customer lifecycle?
3. You must agree to the Liability Waiver
When you raise this request and provide the necessary details, we will send you a Liability Waiver. The waiver explains the risks and responsibilities of using this feature.
The waiver must be replied to showing that you understand and agree to the risks, responsibilities and associated liabilities.
Minimizing the risks of sending such campaigns
Here are some simple practical steps to protect your customers and send communications in line with regulations:
1. Have an information page on your website
In order to validate your information and message, your emails should be able to link to information on your website. This legitimizes your message and shows your customers where to get the latest information.
2. Use social media
Use social media to communicate with a wider audience. This also takes the pressure of email, allowing you to use your email communications to reach the most important people first.
3. Consider your customers’ needs
Is the content (and especially the subject line) tuned to your customers needs right now?
Your customers are receiving a lot of these messages already; here is a guide from Gartner on messaging during this time, which raises some very interesting points.
4. Create two versions of your email
- A fully-branded version with full marketing content (if you so choose).
- A plain version, purely service information, with no promotional content.
5. Split your email mailing list into three segments
Opted in to marketing - Send this segment your marketing version.
You can send this immediately
Not opted in to marketing, but active - Specifically, you should be able to demonstrate that these are active customers (based on last activity, and/or your customer lifecycle); send these your non-marketing, service-based version.
To send this email, Emarsys will need to temporarily enable “ignore opt-in”.
- Not opted in to marketing, and not active - Contacts with no marketing permission where you are not able to demonstrate they are still “active customers”; do not send email alerts to these people. Instead, rely on your social media, in-store and website notices to inform these people.
6. Don’t send large lists all at once
If you are planning to send to data which is not actively in use, or sending to a list larger than normal, you should split the list and send to it over a multiple hours, or even multiple days.
You want to avoid unusual spikes in traffic from your brand because these can be seen by email filters as suspicious especially when there are spammers trying to capitalize on the current situation.