Despite the unstoppable rise of global email marketing, staying in line with email compliance regulations are getting more and more challenging and limitational to some. Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in May of 2018, over 1,000 fines for non-compliance have been issued, including a €746 million penalty issued to Amazon for a single consumer data protection violation.
From Google to Facebook to small-scale email marketing companies, all are put between a rock and a hard place with no alternative but to comply with CAN-SPAM (USA), CASL (Canada), GDPR (Europe), CPRA (California), and some lower-scale privacy regulations. This calls for awareness and flexibility in the ever-evolving international regulatory framework.
The tightening stranglehold on email privacy may soon leave email marketers with little more than the information their customers are explicitly willing to share. Still, you must comply with the new standards to avoid being disadvantaged against your email-compliant competitors.
The good news is that we know what you need to comply with new consumer privacy rules in the email.
Read on to learn more.
Being Email Compliant = Being Credible = Being Successful
Online privacy has been a topic of debate for the last two decades and is gaining momentum. In 2021, over half of the respondents to a Statista study conducted in the United States said they were increasingly concerned about their online privacy, with even more seeking to increase their online privacy.
Do these concerns have real ground? Absolutely. The notorious CAM4 data breach alone exposed over 10 billion data records, with many world–renowned companies being attacked in recent years, including Yahoo (1,100 data records exposed), LinkedIn (700 million), Facebook (533 million), and Twitter (330 million).
Not all data breaches have to do with email, but as they occur more frequently, email compliance becomes a necessity subject for the safety of consumers. Moreover, regulatory compliance has triggered interest from the world’s leading politicians and lawmakers.
- Email privacy laws are designed to permit users to control their data by (1) asking them for consent to collect their data, (2) making them aware of how their data may be used, and (3) allowing them to request the removal of all personal data.
Non-compliant companies face three major risks:
- Financial: Big companies have paid exorbitant fines for non-compliance, including:
- Amazon – €746 million
- WhatsApp – €225 million
- Google – €90 million
- Data Safety: Privacy regulations are inherently designed to protect companies and users against hacks. Failure to comply with these regulations leads to suboptimal data security.
- Brand Reputation: Product reviews have become a major influence when users decide where to shop online. Non-compliance is a massive stain on a company’s reputation, ratings, and reviews.
The Conversation Around GDPR (And Most Compliance Laws)
As good as the intentions behind GDPR were, the ensuing changes to privacy policies garnered a lot of backlash. For months, inboxes were bombarded with privacy emails, leading to “consent fatigue” — when customers blindly agree with consent notifications rather than reading detailed explanations of new updates.
But customers are the last to blame for inconsistencies related to compliance mandates. Unfortunately, companies constantly twist the true purpose of GDPR and other privacy regulations.
The most common violations are:
- Spamming consent emails when they are already permitted to use customer data.
- Trying to get post-factum permission to use the data they were not entitled to use in the first place.
- Threatening customers to shut down their accounts unless they consent to new privacy terms.
Avoid these violations at all costs. Instead, design a clean notification with off and on switches for every choice. Emails filled with only legal jargon will do you no good.
The Easiest Way to Become Email-compliant
Email compliance is not uniform across the globe. You must understand what data privacy regulations you must follow depending on your company’s location and the customers you serve. For example, compliance regulations for payment processing (PCI DSS) will differ from those for healthcare (HIPAA). Likewise, several different regulations may apply simultaneously, or one may override another.
But then again, the evolving digital security environment will continue to put forward new compliance challenges, so be ready to adapt as needed. Take, for example, GDPR. To become compliant, you must delete all previously collected information on your subscribers, regardless of when you gathered it. This retroactive approach may cost you some customers, but there’s no way around it.
Make Your Emails Compliant With These Safety Protocols
- Understand GDPR: GDPR is the European Union’s regulatory framework that usually encompasses other major international regulations, such as CASL, CCPA, and CAN-SPAM.
- Opt-in consent from recipients – for example, clicking on a checkbox – that is not bundled with other terms and conditions. This information is recorded, including the date and form of consent.
- A detailed explanation of how the customer’s data can be used, including the third parties that can access their data.
- A visible “Unsubscribe” button or link embedded in every email.
- Generalize your email campaigns: For small-scale businesses, it may be best to generalize them based on a single policy you want to follow (GDPR may be the best choice). For those with more resources, you may be able to comply with several privacy standards.
- Segment your subscribers: Grouping your subscribers based on demographics, psychographics, location, history of purchases, browsing history, etc., will allow you to understand what type of emails and compliance regulations you have to work with. For example, businesses catering to European consumers may only need to comply with GDPR.
The Best Email-compliant Marketing Software to Use in 2022/2023
Compliance Techniques & Tools
|Active Campaign: CRM and email marketing automation
|GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2 available on the Enterprise plan
Enquire: senior care CRM and marketing automation software
HIPAA and GDPR
|Litmus: email marketing platform
|GDPR and CCPA
|Mailchimp: all-in-one marketing platform
Mailpro: email marketing software
|Paubox: email protection and marketing software for healthcare
|HIPAA and GDPR
Salesforce: all-encompassing infrastructure of cloud-based software products
GDPR, HIPAA, and many more
Zendesk: cloud-based help desk management solution that can be integrated with email marketing software
HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and more
Learn More About Email Compliance at MailCon in Las Vegas
Compliance can be hard, but not for the world-class email marketing professionals at MailCon. The biggest email marketing conference is returning to Las Vegas on April 17, 2023. Book your tickets to learn from the top minds in the industry at the Caesars Forum, and stay tuned for upcoming updates.