One of the most important ways to build trust in your customers and increase your opt-in rate is to make it clear what the contact is subscribing to, and how they can opt out again.
In this article we offer guidelines to the legal requirements and best practices for your opt-in and unsubscribe methods.
Emarsys is not a law firm specializing in data security legislation, and we do not offer legal advice. We want to help you to understand how this legislation can affect you as an Emarsys customer, and this article assumes that you are using the Emarsys Marketing Platform properly, according to our documentation.
You should always refer to a qualified legal source when it comes to checking whether or not you are compliant in any given situation.
Legislation governing the sending of marketing material varies globally, so you should make sure that the texts you use are suitable for the regions in which you are operating.
However, since you cannot control where a customer will open an email or register on your site, it is a good idea to protect yourself by complying with the most restrictive legislation.
These guidelines were prepared for our customers operating in the German-speaking parts of Europe and are compliant with German email marketing legislation. Since this is among the strictest in the world, we consider them to be a benchmark for best practice policy.
Mandatory registration data
If a customer ever does challenge your right to send them marketing emails, it is important that you can defend yourself by providing details on when, how and under what conditions the customer first registered. For this you will need to store the following data:
- The IP address used to register.
- The date and time of registration.
- A copy of your T&Cs, MSA or similar, as shown in the point of registration.
- The registration page as shown at the point of registration.
Product emails based on an existing customer relationship (UWG §7 (3))
Section 7, paragraph 3 of the Federal German Act Against Unfair Competition, UWG §7 (3), states that businesses may send unsolicited emails to customers after a purchase, if those emails are closely related to the items purchased.
You therefore do not need an opt-in for these mails.
However, it is not clear how close this relationship must be, and any kind of unsolicited emails greatly increase the risk of complaints and the subsequent damage to your reputation.
Emarsys recommends not to use this loophole, and to inform your customers and give them the chance to opt out from such mailings via a checkbox on your website or via a link in your communications.
You may send product-related emails if:
- You received the contact information for the message in connection with a sale or a service to your customers.
- The message is sent to directly advertise your own similar products or services and contains no further advertising content.
- The recipient clearly and distinctly has, during registration and also during each transmission, the possibility to reject such use of this electronic information easily and free of charge (beyond the costs associated with a working Internet connection).
- The recipient has not unsubscribed from the mailing.
Place your UWG texts and checkbox or opt-out link:
- On every page where the email address is required, clearly visible and placed directly next to the input field. It must not be behind a link or in a mouse-over, or as a footnote.
- On the checkout page.
- In every such mailing.
Simple checkout registrations
On your checkout page, next to the call to action that completes the purchase, you should clearly inform the customer if you intend to send further emails about the same item that they have just purchased (UWG §7 (3)). The customer should be able to withhold permission at this point.
Footer texts - product emails unsubscribe
In addition to the guidelines for newsletter unsubscribe, if you send the kind of unsolicited emails permitted by UWG §7 (3), you should also state this clearly and, if possible, indicate what was purchased and where. You can then continue with your standard unsubscribe text.
|Description||CSA Guidelines 2016||Legislation (Germany/EU)|
|Active and separate registration, no pre-checked checkboxes.
2.3 Transparent consent
2.4 Conscious, clear and explicit consent
|§7 (2) UWG
§28 (3) 1 BDSG
EU Directive 2002/58/EC
||§13 (3) TMG
§28 (4) BDSG
|Email address is the only mandatory field
||2.6 Data economy
|Affiliate marketing, list of sponsors
||2.3 Transparent consent
2.7 Co-registration and purchase of addresses
|Contact data on website
||4.4 Legally sound legal notice
||2.12 Exception from the opt-in: Email advertising with existing customer relationship
||§7 (3) UWG