The term “email marketing” sound scary and complex but it is something that every one of us has experienced and even used in their life. For instance, the advertising links some free email services add to your emails, or the advertising emails every one of us receives every day in their inbox or the latest news from your favorite website. This is the oldest way of communication between companies and clients because, before the World Wide Web, there was the email.
Until this day, it is a compulsory attribute in every single action made by the consumer on the internet – either for registration in a social network, or to place an order for a certain product from an online store. Although there are already numerous means of communication on the internet and that it is said that Facebook or Twitter would replace the electronic mail, this is not happening and despite the fact that it is a service that is over 40 years old, the email is impetuously heading at celebrating a half-century of existence in 2020.
While the email service is not much different from 40 years ago, the legislation on the topic has been drastically changed. For instance, you can no longer send the unsolicited commercial communication to private consumers.
Briefly, by sending an unsolicited advertisement, you are not only sending SPAM but you can also suffer a financial harm. In Bulgaria, the security of emails is within the competence of the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC), which zealously examines each signal filed. In addition, the CPC keeps a register in which every company may list its email addresses and declare that it does not want to receive unsolicited advertisement to the concrete email addresses. This means that if you wish to send an unsolicited commercial communication to companies (which is allowed in theory), you should first check CPC’s register for the addresses that have declared that they do not wish to receive your email and you should remove them from your list or have a proof that the address in question has been registered and confirmed. The procedure is not easy but fortunately, there are automated software systems that can do this for you.
Many websites think that after they add a warning text there is no law or institution that can punish them. Often this message looks like this:
“Under the Electronic Commerce Act, this mail is an unsolicited commercial communication. Your address has been taken from the public internet space.”
However, this does not free you from guilt before the competent authorities, if you are sending unsolicited communication to private persons and you must be sure that the more emails you send, the more certain it is that you will eventually come across a smart internet consumer, who in just a couple of clicks will file a signal and cause you a lot of trouble.
“We would like to send you an unsolicited commercial communication for which we need your personal approval. If you wish to read it, you may visit www.domain.com.”
This text tries to suggest that the current email IS NOT an unsolicited commercial communication but simply a request for your approval to send you such. By definition, this is SPAM and it can be interpreted as an unsolicited commercial communication.
Break the rules, not the laws!
What is important is not what the law says but how business is done. One law obliges you to put certain text, another one bans you from sending emails to private persons, while another one will require something else. This is highly irritating and every trader willing to develop their business by sending “unsolicited commercial communication” will find it harder and harder to work. That is why you should simply choose an option that does not make you break the laws, but you should not give in to the nonsense you are forced to do.
Instead of reading what you are not allowed to do, you should think of an option that is allowed. No, this is not a circumvention of the law, which is also illegal – this is putting your mind in action so as to reach the consumer database you want to legally send emails to because they want it.
The group buying websites have solved this problem in an interesting way. When you enter the website, they ask you for your email address to send you the top offers of the day. You give your email voluntarily and then you confirm again your registration by clicking on a link sent to you in an email. This allows these websites to send you whatever they wish until you click the “unsubscribe” link and voluntarily refuse to receive any more emails from this trader.
Almost every serious website has a field for newsletter subscription, be it for news, promotions, or services. They invite the consumer to register voluntarily and receive emails from the website. Others place a small text in their terms and conditions for use, which says that every registered consumer agrees to receive emails from the website, including with advertising content. This is a normal practice and a means of obtaining email addresses.
Why is email marketing so important?
In the first place, it is because it is free. This is the only way to reach your consumers and regularly inform them about the services and products you offer. You can advertise before a high number of consumers, for free, or even if you use a paid system and raffles with expensive prizes to collect data, still the price for advertising per consumer will be much cheaper than any other type of advertising. The email communication with consumers is a channel that you should not miss out on, at any cost, although Mark Zuckerberg claims that the end of the electronic mail is drawing near. As a matter of fact, Facebook is sending emails to every single consumer every day.