The European Union might be a united area when it comes to political and economic ideals, but as for sending B2B emails within the territory, there are seemingly more rules than considerations contained in the Maastricht agreement. In fact, as regards to the rules of B2B email marketing throughout Western Europe, the EU is far from unified and if a company gets it wrong, it risks not only missing out on new sales, but even alienating existing customers and ending in court. This has rendered email marketing for all responsible companies a minefield.
Yet emails are one of the most effective weapons in the marketing department’s armoury. But, wrongly used, they can backfire with disastrous results. In short, don’t send out any emails until you are positive you understand all the rules and regulations. And if companies don’t understand those rules, or choose to ignore them, it could be game over for everyone.
And because the situation is so complicated, we see many corporations that have tried to circumnavigate the rules by applying the ‘Germany’ opt-in rule in blanket fashion across Europe. This is, by fear of facing legal litigation they apply to themselves the most strict reading of the law, even if this does not apply to many countries ( eg. UK, France, Sweden …).
So What’s The Answer?
The answer is straightforward: adopt a consistent approach and one which is based on an in-depth knowledge of the market and rules.
For example, did you know that when it comes to opt-in emails where there is a transactional relationship, there is an exemption in all countries. Now, that seems straightforward, we all know where a transactional relationship exists, say between a company and its supplier.
But hang on, what if say a different department within the supplier company contacts the customer – this is technically a new approach. So is this covered with this transactional relationship?
Let’s look at some other issues. Did you now that generic (e.g. “info@” addresses) do not need an opt-in, except in DK, DE, IT, ES and CH.
Furthermore, opt-in permission has to have been obtained (with the accompanying proof) but there are some exceptions, as example:
- France, Sweden and Finland (if the product, or service advertised is in direct relation to the recipient’s job title and therefore that the job title is known);
- Netherlands (if the email address is available publicly on the internet);
- UK and Ireland
Implementing a common rule ( German double opt-in type) at EMEA level will certainly not get companies in trouble but a more flexible country based approach will bring to the Marketing Automation track a great number of customers and prospects that otherwise will never hear from you on this channel.
For a more detailed assessment of the latest changes in EU Email Permission Legislation and how this can affect your marketing Automation efforts, do not hesitate to talk to a specialized Agency. We at Celsius can help you with confidence when it comes to email marketing campaigns. It’s that’s serious – an email out of place can cause a whole heap of trouble!