Everything you need to know about email marketing regulations

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels that a business can make use of, but it is also highly regulated both locally and internationally.  So, you decide to create a campaign and hit send; you need to be aware of the regulations around email.

There are several laws around email marketing in different countries from the CANSPAM Act, GDPR, the Electronic Communications and Transaction Act, the Consumer Protection Act to the Protection of Personal Information Act. While not all of these laws apply to South Africa necessarily, we at TouchBasePro take them very seriously and ensure we follow them. Which means you will need to as well. We recently did a detailed POPI related post containing what you need to know to comply with the regulations. Take a read over here.

Email no-nos 

For starters, let’s take a look at a few basic email no-nos that you should avoid to ensure you comply with email regulations. 

  • Don’t send emails to email addresses that have been purchased, rented, borrowed, scraped or copied and pasted from the internet
  • Don’t send emails to individuals who have not given you permission to do so
  • Don’t share misleading content – you don’t want to ‘trick’ your subscribers into engaging with your content. 
  • Don’t share content that goes against TouchBasePro’s sending regulations this includes but is not limited to pornography, cryptocurrencies, multi-level marketing, gambling-related content, pharmaceuticals, drugs and weapons. 

How to comply with email regulations

  1. Build an organic database of individuals who have given you permission to email them. 
  2. Include a valid postal or business address in your email
  3. Always give your subscribers an option and place to opt-out or unsubscribe
  4. Keep your promises – provide your readers with what you promised you would, nothing more nothing less until they give permission. 

Who can I send emails to using the TouchBasePro system?

You can send to any recipient that has clearly given you their permission to be emailed about your products/services. They could give you permission by:

    • A newsletter signup form on your website.
    • An opt-in checkbox on a form that states that they will be marketed to. This checkbox can’t be selected by default, the person filling in the form must select it themselves in order to indicate permission.
    • Completing a physical form like a survey or entering a competition, and having a checkbox on that form that says you will be contacting them via email/SMS. Again, only if they check that box does it indicate permission.
    • Purchasing from you in the last two years.
    • Giving you their details on a business card – but only if they give you their permission to add them to your list. For example, if they added their business card to a box at a tradeshow, there must be a sign that states they will be marketed to if they add their card.

Why is TouchBasePro so strict on these regulations?

It is a technical issue; we need to protect the reputation of our IP addresses in order to ensure good deliverability. Bulk unsolicited emails result in spam complaints from recipients. To oversimplify the issue for the sake of clarity, spam complaints tend to hang around and contribute to our server’s ranking on various spam filters and mail server rules all over the world. We need those mail servers and spam filters to accept the mass emails that we send on behalf of our clients. So we have to follow the rules and not send junk mail. In the long run, this is good for you (if you are our client) as you can be sure of maximum deliverability of your email messages.

How does TouchBasePro help you comply?

By using TouchBasePro, we provide you with tools that you can use to grow an opt-in database and send campaigns that comply with these regulations. If you are ever unsure of these regulations, please feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to offer guidance and advice. 

These rules and regulations may seem over the top and quite nerdy, but believe us they are super necessary. Imagine your inbox being flooded with inappropriate content or content that you did not sign up for. Annoying hey? That is what we are trying to avoid.