7 Email Marketing and Data Privacy Best Practices

7 Email Marketing and Data Privacy Best Practices

In the ever-evolving landscape of data privacy and email consent, maintaining trust with subscribers is paramount. To help you navigate this complex issue, we’ve gathered seven insightful responses from professionals, including a Chief Data & Privacy Officer and a co-founder. From building a privacy-centric culture to adopting a transparent consent-management approach, discover the best practices these experts follow to ensure regulatory compliance and maintain subscriber trust.

  • Build a Privacy-Centric Culture
  • Respect Subscriber Email Preferences
  • Implement a Double Opt-In Process
  • Utilize an Email Preference Center
  • Emphasize Transparency and Preference Management
  • Provide Post-Subscription Email Options
  • Adopt a Transparent Consent-Management Approach

Build a Privacy-Centric Culture

The watchwords here are transparency, data governance, and respect. I believe that building a privacy-centric culture in your organization, with respect for data subjects at the core, is business-critical in this age of heightened awareness of how companies use data for marketing.

It’s important to ensure that data has an audit trail from the first time an individual’s PII enters your data ecosystem. Ask simple questions to pressure test your systems and workflows: how did you obtain the data, why do you need it, and what will you use it for?

Create workflows and processes that protect an individual’s data. Don’t collect, store, or transfer data that is not fit for purpose, and don’t use it for marketing purposes out of scope. Handle data subjects’ requests quickly and fully.

Reach out and do a “permission pass” check-in to maintain consent. It’s not just about upholding applicable legislation; marketing to an engaged audience will provide better marketing outcomes and help brand equity and reputation. Be a good actor!

Karie Burt
Chief Data & Privacy Officer, Anteriad

Respect Subscriber Email Preferences

We allow our subscribers to manage their email preferences, and we respect their decision should they choose to unsubscribe from our marketing emails. You’d be surprised that there are companies that don’t!

I have experienced getting emails from marketers from whom I have already unsubscribed, and it’s incredibly frustrating. I also have experienced subscribing to a marketing email only to find I have to jump through hoops to unsubscribe. Not only is it a bad user experience, it goes against the CAN-SPAM Act!

Veniz GuzmanVeniz Guzman
Digital Marketing and SEO Specialist, Promet Source

Implement a Double Opt-In Process

Implementing a double opt-in process is a highly effective consent management approach to ensure regulatory compliance and build trust with subscribers regarding data privacy and email consent. With a double opt-in, subscribers are required to confirm their subscription by clicking a verification link sent to their email after signing up. This method not only confirms the subscriber’s intent to receive emails but also provides a clear record of their explicit consent.

This transparent approach aligns with data protection regulations like GDPR and demonstrates your commitment to respecting subscribers’ choices and privacy. By employing a double opt-in process, businesses can maintain a clean and engaged subscriber list, fostering a positive relationship with subscribers while mitigating the risk of non-compliance and potential data privacy concerns.

Edlyn Collanto
Edlyn Collanto, B2B Marketing Research Specialist, UpCity

Utilize an Email Preference Center

A vital element in any email marketing strategy is understanding your customers deeply. Achieving regulatory compliance and fostering trust is best done through a meticulously designed email preference center. It allows customers to choose the topics of interest, providing you with crucial insights into their preferences and explicit consent to utilize this information. It empowers the marketing team to tailor communication, ensuring the delivery of relevant, timely information and offers.

To further enhance compliance, a robust practice goes beyond merely recording opt-in or opt-out preferences and maintaining a history of choices and changes to those preferences. Keeping this historical record adds a layer of protection against potential violations, reinforcing your commitment to transparency and integrity. This approach resonates with subscribers, paving the way for more engaged and satisfied relationships.

Mark T. Levell, CEO, Privacy and Marketing SaaS Specialist, 4Thought Marketing

Emphasize Transparency and Preference Management

Transparency is vital. We ensure compliance by clearly communicating our data-usage practices in our privacy policy. For email consent, we adopt a double opt-in process. Subscribers confirm their subscription via a confirmation email. This guarantees explicit consent and reduces the risk of unauthorized sign-ups.

Additionally, we provide a user-friendly way for subscribers to manage their preferences or unsubscribe. Regularly updating our privacy policy based on changing regulations and industry standards is crucial.

In my experience, transparent communication, double opt-in, and easy preference management foster subscriber trust, uphold data privacy, and maintain regulatory compliance, establishing a firm foundation for ethical email marketing practices.

Samuel FletcherSamuel Fletcher
Co-Founder, SupplyGem

Provide Post-Subscription Email Options

ConvertCart is all about consent. For instance, an email is sent right after subscription with options of what will be sent, and the subscribers pick. Every once in a while, non-openers are emailed asking if they still want to be on the list. This is how trust is built that sticks around for the long haul, ensuring everyone is on the up-and-up together.

Harsh VardhanHarsh Vardhan
Head of Content, Convertcart

Adopt a Transparent Consent-Management Approach

To ensure regulatory compliance and maintain trust with subscribers, a transparent consent-management approach is strictly adhered to. A double opt-in process for email subscriptions is implemented, where users confirm their intent to subscribe twice.

Clear and concise explanations of how their data will be used and stored are provided in the privacy policy. The preference center allows subscribers to customize their communication preferences, giving them full control over the type and frequency of emails they receive. Regular updates on privacy practices and compliance efforts are communicated to subscribers, enhancing transparency and building trust.

This approach has not only helped maintain compliance but has also led to an increase in engagement rates and subscriber loyalty.

Sarah PolitiSarah Politi
Founder and Managing Director, Jade & Sterling

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “How do you ensure regulatory compliance and maintain trust with your subscribers in terms of data privacy and email consent? Share one best practice or consent management approach you follow.”

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