Opt-in and audit trail – absolute must-haves!
In the past, based on personal preference, you were able to utilize the ‘opt-out’ approach to email marketing, governed by current legislation. This was easy to manage thanks to RocketMailer’s built in/non-removable unsubscribe link, that did not need manual intervention. All you had to do was create your email, send and then review analytics. If anyone clicked on the ‘unsubscribe’ link, they would automatically be removed from your mailing list.
Email recipients or “Data Subjects” (as referred to in the laws) need to give explicit consent, through an ‘opt-in’ method, to receive communications from your business. The phrase which comes up when discussing this law is; “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”.
The person giving consent must be able to simply subscribe, based on understanding exactly what they are signing up for, without any elusiveness or misrepresentations by your brand.
So, what does this mean for your marketing lists?
It means you cannot naively bulk email contacts anymore, where you are unsure of their origin. You need to make sure you have either:
- Recorded opt-in/subscription logs for all your email recipients or;
- You will need to re-permission your contacts
This is not the end of email marketing as we know it, so do not be afraid! Rocketseed is here to help you make it less complicated than it has to be.
Running a simple ‘opt-in’ campaign is the requirement for successful re-permission. However, we’ve seen many of these in the past and they contain the mandatory message, but the outcome or result is far less than desired.
So how then do you re-permission clients with as little drop-off as possible?
We suggest running a simple campaign that engages with your recipients in a way that asks them to update their preferences. This type of campaign tells a reader that you care about their email experience and that you actually want to make sure they only receive content about the things they’re interested in.
This email would link to a preference centre which can show the reader all their current subscriptions as well as available options.
Once they complete selecting/unselecting what they desire, they can tick an opt-in button at the bottom which asks them for explicit consent for joining those mailing lists.
And just like that, you will have the opt-in you require.
This would then be automatically stored in RocketMailer, should you need to prove subscription at any time in the future. I would also suggest exporting and storing this log elsewhere as records are very important, once you achieve legal opt-in of course.
NB: Achieving consent to continue sending communications to your readers is heavily reliant on your content and whether or not a recipient chooses to stay on your mailing lists. The above campaign is only as successful as the relationship your brand holds with its readers.
What about my existing clients? Do they need to be re-permissioned as well?
The general understanding is that you CAN contact your existing clients, where there is always an option to opt-out. The opt-out feature must always be available to your clients as per normal sending rules.
The GDPR refers to this as a ‘soft opt-in’ and this form of opt-in for existing clients should only be relied on if you abide by all other laws of the GDPR, in regards to the processing of information.
If a client does question why they are receiving marketing communications from your company, you can let them know that they are existing clients of yours where they do need explicit opt-in, as you are processing their data correctly, in accordance with the law. (This is specific to GDPR and POPI).
If there is ever any doubt, it’s best to utilise the re-permissioning process to be safe.
This can be quite a simple campaign to execute. However, if you are unsure of the legislation’s criteria or need advice from the professionals, we’re here to help.