All you need to know


Find it difficult to understand the email marketing law? Don't panic! The legal skein is easy to unravel. Follow the guide... using this little legal kit for risk-free communications.

Just remember that when conducting emailing campaigns, several complementary legislations must be observed:

  • the rules on the protection of privacy if you are addressing natural persons (see below),

  • the rules on advertising by electronic means (see below),

  • the "usual" rules concerning public order, good taste, etc.

The legislation is not really complex but one has to be familiar with the mechanisms and be careful depending on the country concerned. Indeed the rules may appear similar, since they are based on European directives, but they are not transposed in member states in the same way.



Basic rules apply when you create or hire "named" files (peter@..., john@...). The right to privacy and the protection of personal details is protected in all countries.

This applies to all natural persons, whether in a private or professional context.

Find out more for France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.



You have files of email addresses? That's great! But you must have the approval of such persons to send them advertising messages, whether by mail, SMS or any other electronic means.

This is governed by a European directive. It has been transposed in member states with sometimes different conditions. What must you remember?



It is up to you to devise and send your messages, just remember of a few health rules of transparency laid down by law:

  1. Make your identity clear.

  2. Be explicit as to the purpose of the message (advertising).

  3. Respect the provisions on games and competitions.

  4. Allow people to unsubscribe (using a form or an email address at the end of the message).

  5. Respect their right to opt-out (to be removed from your databases).



If a recipient no longer wishes to receive mail, the measures required to comply with the will of this person should be taken within a reasonable period of time. You should also send him confirmation that he has been unsubscribed (by email or on a specific Web page); above all, don't forget to clean up your databases (create a reject file).



As you can see, communicating legally is not difficult. But note, there may be certain subtleties. Don't hesitate to contact us or refer to the texts mentioned if you have the slightest doubt.

What must you remember concerning the provisions for the addresses of Sales Data? They may be used for commercial business-to-business purposes (contact us if you have any doubt as to the legitimacy of your advertising project). We will provide you with specific counts according to your requirements and wishes.


What is a good practice of email marketing:

  • Try to go for opt-in-based marketing as much as possible.

  • Provide a statement of use when you collect details.

  • Make sure you clearly explain what individuals' details will be used for.

  • Provide a simple and quick method for customers to opt out of marketing messages at no cost other than that of sending the message.

  • Promptly comply with opt-out requests from everyone.

  • Have a system in place to deal with complaints about unwanted marketing.

  • When you receive an opt-out request, suppress the individual or company details rather than deleting them. (This way you will have a record of who not to contact.)

Email marketing terms:

  • An opt-out is where the email recipient has been given, at the point at which the contact information was submitted, the opportunity to opt-out from receiving the emails, and has not done so (e.g. by not ticking a box in an HTML form).

  • An opt-in is where the email recipient has specifically indicated a desire to receive the emails at the point at which the contact information was submitted (e.g. by ticking a box in an HTML form).

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