ANTI-SPAM POLICY JANUARY 2014

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1 ANTI-SPAM POLICY JANUARY 2014

2 CONTENTS Introduction... 3 What happens if the anti-spam policy is not followed?... 3 Legal responsibilities and requirements... 3 Spam Definition... 4 Multinational campaigns... 4 B2B electronic communications... 4 An international definition of spam... 4 Acceptable Use Policy... 6 Consent... 6 UK B2B electronic communications... 6 Message content... 6 Basic rules and standards for marketing with Communicator... 7 Third-Party Data... 9 B2B or B2C and destination country... 9 DMA Guidelines for using third-party data... 9 Glossary Further Reading and Useful Links w: 2

3 INTRODUCTION This guide is intended to help users of Communicator avoid sending a digital message that is unsolicited or is perceived as such by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and message recipients. By using Communicator for any form of digital marketing via any available digital channel, the user agrees to adhere to Communicator s Anti-Spam Policy. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ANTI-SPAM POLICY IS NOT FOLLOWED? The Communicator Anti-Spam Policy forms part of the Platform Agreement that governs usage of Communicator. Where there is reason to believe that Communicator s Anti-Spam Policy has been breached, Communicator maintains the right to take immediate action. This could mean putting a campaign on hold or terminating a campaign until it has been established whether a breach has been made. Communicator maintains the right to remove access or disable dispatch permissions from a Communicator user where it is evident that a breach has been made. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS Digital marketing, electronic communications, data collection, storage and usage are subject to a number of different acts, regulations and codes beyond the scope of this document. The requirements detailed in this document do not limit, replace or supersede any legal responsibilities, industry standards, codes of conduct or best practice. Informational links have been provided for your benefit at the end of this document. For advice in these matters and to discuss any questions raised by this guide you should consult your legal adviser. w: 3

4 SPAM DEFINITION MULTINATIONAL CAMPAIGNS Almost every digital marketing campaign is a multinational campaign, subject to international regulations. For example, recipients based in one country may use international providers and filters, may work for companies with offices or servers in other countries or may travel and pick up abroad. Every country has its own national legislation, definitions and best-practices. ISPs and other industry bodies extend these definitions further and have their own requirements and define Spam differently, so we need to use a broad definition of Spam. B2B ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS In the UK, sending business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing campaigns without prior consent is not legally defined as Spam, but recipients who receive unsolicited B2B electronic messages can still mark s as Spam and get the sender blacklisted. The legal privacy standards for B2B digital marketing communications may be lower than B2C (consumer) communications, but your customers and your recipients have higher expectations than these minimum legal standards, so B2B senders must not use permissive legislation as an excuse for bad practice. Because companies often have offices or servers in more than one country and because it is common for people to travel and pick up , with B2B communications we still need to apply a broad, international definition of Spam. AN INTERNATIONAL DEFINITION OF SPAM 1. Spam is the sending of bulk unsolicited digital messages, of a commercial or non-commercial nature to consumers or businesses 2. Unsolicited means without permission or consent a. Permission and consent are related to context and expectations: message type and content must be related to the context of the consent which has been provided and related to the expectations of the recipient. Consent may be able to be implied by the actions of the recipient or the context or the relationship between the sender and recipient. b. Permission for one type of communication cannot be transferred to another type of communication unless it is in line with original context and recipient expectations w: 4

5 3. Consent must be provable, intentional, specific and informed a. Provable means that there should be a record of the source and date of consent b. Intentional consent is consent which is freely and explicitly given, not coerced and fully transparent c. Specific consent is not general, but must be applied to a specific purpose or action in line with the recipients expectations and original context d. Informed means that anything unexpected must be explained to the recipient so that recipients fully understand that they are consenting and understand what they are consenting to In Practice: When obtaining consent you would normally want the recipient to perform an action, such as entering an address (which was not a required field), select an option or tick a box and that the purpose of the consent or subscription was obvious or clearly explained at the point of signup. w: 5

6 ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY CONSENT Make sure you can prove every address or mobile number has opted-in before importing into Communicator. Sending digital communications without a form of consent will result in spam complaints, ISPs will block your s, mobile operators will block your text messages and you may have access to Communicator suspended. Opt-in consent may be achieved or inferred by any of the following means, or similar: A subscription form on the sender s website supported by a privacy policy An offline data collection process where the recipient has clearly given explicit consent by placing a check mark on a form, or where the form clearly shows that the has been collected for digital marketing purposes A customer who has made a purchase within the last two years (last 12 months for recipients in the Republic of. Ireland) and the sender is sending messages related to that original purchase A business contact where the sender has received contact details, directly or via a trade show, event or forum, where or mobile contact was clearly stated or expected UK B2B ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS Within the UK, prior consent is not explicitly required for B2B campaigns and it is permissible to fulfil these campaigns on an opt-out basis. This legislative permission should be used with caution and with reference to the recommendations stated in the paragraph regarding B2B communications within the Spam Definition section of this document. If using third party B2B data, please refer to the Third Party Data section of this document for guidance on how to achieve the necessary standards for performing opt-out B2B marketing. MESSAGE CONTENT You may not send messages which are offensive or promote anything illegal. Message content must be related to the context of the consent which has been provided and related to the expectations of the recipient. Some content will generate spam complaints or delivery problems. In order that Communicator can maintain the highest delivery rates possible for all of our customers, the following types of content or messages are prohibited: w: 6

7 Pornographic, sexually explicit, dating services, adult services or adult novelty items Pharmaceutical products, herbal or vitamin supplements Make money online or from home opportunities Short term loan, pay day loans, credit repair, get out of debt, stock market or day trading tips Lead generation or list rental services BASIC RULES AND STANDARDS FOR MARKETING WITH COMMUNICATOR Communicator is a very powerful delivery and digital marketing platform. To help make sure you do not have delivery issues or lose your sending reputation, all users of Communicator are expected to be reasonable and do the following Provide a working unsubscribe mechanism which removes recipients from the mailing list within 48 hours Identify the sender and provide recipients with a simple means of contacting the sender Understand your data and campaigns. Understand who receives messages and why. Make sure the same people do not receive too many s Monitor inboxes and act on recipient requests. Monitor opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes and take early action when negative results are evident to avoid longterm problems Before sending large volumes to a new list or data which has not been used for a while, test a couple of small batches first If recipients are not opening, clicking or responding to your s you should reduce volumes to those recipients and test methods of re-engaging with them. Eventually you should remove long-term inactive addresses from your list Get in touch with us if you need help, support, advice or ideas w: 7

8 In Practice: Go through your own sales process. Sign up to your own mailing list. Look at the wording and consider what expectations you are setting. What messages would you expect and when? Try and unsubscribe. Is it easy, or would you simply mark the as spam? Remember that customers forget, people change addresses and their minds. Your recipients won't open everything you send them, but try and catch them early on if they are becoming disinterested. And if they really are not interested, let them go and focus your attention and energies on your most valuable and engaged customers w: 8

9 THIRD-PARTY DATA The rules for using third-party data are the same as those explained in the Acceptable Use Policy: Make sure you can prove every address or mobile number has provided consent before importing into Communicator Message content must be related to the context of the consent which has been provided and related to the expectations of the recipient Provide a simple unsubscribe process The above may be difficult to adhere to when using third-party data. Here are our guidelines for sending messages to third party data using Communicator. B2B OR B2C AND DESTINATION COUNTRY UK B2B third party data can be used if you inform Communicator before importing any data and follow the DMA guidelines which are explained in the following sections UK B2C third party data can normally not be used because you have not obtained direct consent. You may obtain a person s consent through a third party, but a lot will depend on the clarity and transparency of the information that the third party gave the intended recipient when they collected their contact details Non-UK B2B third party data must not be used without specific information about permission requirements for the destination country and prior permission from Communicator Non-UK B2C third-party data must not be used without specific information about permission requirements for the destination country and prior permission from Communicator DMA GUIDELINES FOR USING THIRD-PARTY DATA Before using third party data you must seek direct and specific assurances from the data vendor about the basis on which the information was collected. Additionally, you must inform Communicator Corp before importing any data and follow the DMA guidelines which are explained in the following sections. w: 9

10 1 - INFORMATION ABOUT THE DATA Before accepting third-party data from a vendor and before importing into Communicator the sender should ask the data vendor to provide the following information: How the list was compiled. This should provide information about how and where the data was obtained (trade events, telephone calls, other third-party lists, public information, websites, etc.) and whether the people on the list were made aware of their inclusion on the list. This information should be specific The context of the list or opt-in. This should provide information about the type of messages that the recipients would expect and want to receive When the list was created. This should provide an indication of the oldest, most recent and average age of the data How and when the list was verified. This should explain the verification process and give an indication of the expected bounce rate The data protection information and privacy policies which were present at the point of data collection. URLs should be provided for these How to process unsubscribe request. It must be possible for an individual or an organisation to request removal, not just from the purchased list, but from the underlying source list 2 - DATA REQUIREMENTS To personalise footer information in the messages the data vendor must supply as part of the list the following information. This information also provides a quality assurance check and will be used should there be any delivery problems. opt-in or data-collection source name and URL opt-in or data-collection date unsubscribe URL (if personalised to individual) last activity or verification date 3 - CONTENT REQUIREMENTS Within messages to be used with third-party data, the sender should include information telling recipients why they have received the message, who the data vendor is, where and when their data was collected, and information about how to stop receiving these s and how to be removed from the underlying source list. w: 10

11 This can be as simple as having appropriate information and links in the message footer, but may be difficult to achieve if the link between the recipient, the origin of the opt-in and the data vendor is tenuous or if the data vendor operates under a range of company names. As it is difficult to understand how this could be achieved in text messages we advise against using third-party data via this channel. In addition to the Acceptable Use Policy, messages sent from Communicator should contain at least the following: The sender s true identity as well as the identity of the data owner or data vendor, including a valid means of contacting the data owner. Recipients should be able to easily respond to s A clear reference to an easy to use and functional process to cancel the subscription or consent, which immediately and permanently removes the receiver from the source mailing list owned, managed or brokered by the data vendor In Practice: Third-party campaigns can be very effective, but it is rarely the easiest option. Be wary of vendors who are happy to just give you their data without knowing anything about you or how you are going to use that data. Who else is using that same data? Be realistic in your expectations, ask your data vendor searching questions and if in doubt, ask your Account Manager for help or advice. w: 11

12 GLOSSARY TERM DEFINITION Data subject Data owner Data user Data controller Data processor Personal data Third party advertisers A living individual who is the subject of personal data. An organisation responsible for the collection, storage and maintenance of address and personal data. An organisation that uses data either its own data or data from other sources for any direct-marketing purpose. A person or organisation that, either alone or jointly, decides how and why any personal data is to be processed. List brokers/managers come under this definition. A person who collects, stores, or deals with personal data on behalf of a data owner or data controller. Information from which a living individual can be identified either on its own or combined with other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller. A person or organisation that uses rented data for direct marketing. w: 12

13 FURTHER READING AND USEFUL LINKS Companies Act Electronic communications requirements ICO guidance on the Data Protection Act 1998 and the PECR 2003: Data Protection Act: Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations 2003: Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) 2000 regulations: Guide to Businesses on Distance Selling F07ABEAA13BE20F010 Office of Fair Trading Guide Distance Selling Explained: Committee of Advertising Practice Code: DMA advice on cookies and their usage: ICO guide to the collection and use of personal data online: s/library/data_protection/detailed_specialist_guides/personal_information_online_cop.ashx w: 13

14 Digital marketing, electronic communications, data collection, storage and usage are subject to a number of different acts, regulations and codes beyond the scope of this document. The requirements detailed in this document do not limit, replace or supersede any legal responsibilities, industry standards, codes of conduct or best practice. For advice in these matters and to discuss any questions raised by this guide you should consult your legal adviser. w: 14

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