Education is Key to Safer Marketing
Being knowledgeable and proactive will always be in your organization’s best interest. That’s why we dedicate so much time toward teaching classes and writing material to help our clients with best practices when it comes to marketing.
A new law going into effect in the European Union (EU) that impacts websites worldwide on May 25, 2018 is called GDPR, and it talks a lot about people being able to easily control the collection and use of their data. It requires simple language, practices, and full-disclosures (learn about GDPR here), especially around email and data collection and use. So let’s review:
- What is permission-based email?
- What is the best practice for opt-in and opt-out?
- What do some of the major CRM, Email Delivery, and Social Media vendors say about GDPR?
- How is CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR Different?
What is permission-based email?
Permission-based marketing usually refers to one of two kinds of permission; implied permission, and express permission.
- Implied permission typically refers to contacting your current customers, members, donors. By doing businesses with you in some fashion and providing you with information, you use implied consent when emailing them an invoice, sending a receipt, or notifying them when their membership is up for renewal.
- Express permission (sometimes called explicit permission) refers to someone providing you their detailed information such as email, phone number, etc. on a form on your website to subscribe to your newsletter, for example. So to clarify, to obtain express permission to email someone, they need to explicitly opt-in to receiving email marketing campaigns from you.
GDPR doesn’t allow express permission given for one thing to transfer to anything else. For example, if someone gives you their email for a free eBook download, you can’t add them to your monthly enewsletter list.
What is the best practice for opt-in and opt-out?
Opt-in is the action taken by someone giving express permission to receive email correspondence from someone. Best practice is being very clear what people are opting into; in exchange for providing their email, what they are agreeing to receive. Best practice also includes clear language that they will have the ability to easily opt-out at anytime and how to do so. This is why using bulk mailing from email programs like Outlook or Gmail to people is not a best practice; there is no easy way for people to opt-out of emails sent that way, nor is there generally any record kept of opt-in. Email marketing service providers such as Constant Contact or MailChimp always include “Unsubscribe” links automatically at the bottom of every email correspondence. These practices went into effect years ago when CAN-SPAM Act was enacted.
What are CRM and Email Vendors doing in regard to GDPR?
Click to read very specific statements and guidelines when using any of these in your online or email marketing. You’ve likely already received some emails from them regarding these changes.
Another Constant Contact article on templates for collecting consent
Another SharpSpring helpful article
Another InfusionSoft helpful article
CAN-SPAM Act vs. GDPR
Both are pieces of landmark legislation aimed at protecting people. While both have some similarities in regard to permission-based email, GDPR is much more comprehensive and broad in terms of overall data collection and storage. Businesses and organizations should be knowledgeable about both.
Vivid Image does not give legal advice. This information is not a substitute for obtaining legal counsel and direction in matters pertaining to GDPR.