Legal hurdles I: Unauthorized sending of newsletters and data protection
Despite the great potential of newsletters, online retailers are also not allowed to do what they want in the area of email advertising. On the contrary: Both in accordance with the requirements of the European Union and under German law, entrepreneurs must observe strict regulations when it comes to sending advertising mails.
One of the most important rules is: Anyone who wants to send customers an email for advertising reasons needs the consent of the recipient. In practice, it looks completely different, because the advertising emails are usually sent with the registration of a customer account or from the first order without being asked. This may bring good sales, but is prohibited. There must always be consent for the advertising, which is done consciously and through an express action by the addressee, for example by actively subscribing to the newsletter via the shop. Any unsolicited and unsolicited mail advertising is an unacceptable nuisance. Dubious tricks, such as pre-set ticks when placing an order, are accordingly ineffective and can even be warned by competitors. Companies,
The double opt-in procedure that is common in practice is generally recommended because this variant can ensure that only those customers who actually want it receive a newsletter. An unwanted registration by a third party should be stopped in this way.
What exactly is a double opt-in procedure?
The double opt-in procedure is a procedure that is used to ensure that a user actually wants to register. A interested party is sent a confirmation email with a activation link as part of a newsletter registration. Registration is only complete after clicking on this link and the user will be added to the newsletter distribution list. The process is designed to protect against misuse of data and spam.
But that’s not all: According to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on May 24, 2016 and becomes mandatory from May 25, 2018, the conclusion of a contract must not be dependent on consent to the sending of a newsletter be made – at least if this consent is not required for the fulfillment of the corresponding contract. In practice, this means that a procedure such as “You can only complete the purchase of this product if you subscribe to our newsletter” is illegal.
Incidentally, all senders are obliged to be able to prove at any time that a recipient has actually consented to the sending of the advertising emails. So retailers should make sure to log consent – although many newsletter programs and services already have an integrated log function that makes it easier for senders to work.
As soon as it is ensured that all potential recipients are legally on the distribution list, the actual sending of the newsletter can begin.
The first impression: sender and subject
All great newsletter content, discount codes and design delicacies are of no use if the recipient does not open the newsletter. In order to achieve this, online retailers have to pay particular attention to two things: firstly, their own sender and secondly, the subject.
If a newsletter has a strangely long or strange sender, the first impression is usually already playful. Some email programs display both the email address and the name of the sender. Senders should therefore make absolutely sure that both elements make sense both individually and in unity and convey a certain seriousness. In principle, the company name or own brand should always be part of the sender / sender address.
The following generally applies to the subject: The spice lies in the short. Opinions differ as to how long a subject should be, however. Pi thumbs up, you can say that a solid subject has an average of about 30 to 50 characters. Since the subject acts like a kind of heading or title, the recipients expect to find out the content of the respective newsletter here: important topics and keywords should be picked up, whereby the important keywords should be placed in the front and the less important ones in the back. The generation of curiosity can also help, for example, to open the email.
Although retailers want to lure and seduce their customers with newsletters, striking and overly aggressive advertising phrases tend to be a hindrance. Certain word constructions or phrases with exclamation marks can even cause newsletters to be filtered out as spam by email clients and thus never reach the recipient. To put it bluntly: a subject like “Super special bargains! Only today! Buy, buy, buy !!! ”dealers should avoid as much as possible – not only because of the risk of being filtered as spam, but also with a view to their own seriousness.
Contents: The goal is crucial
One thing must always be present when sending newsletters: a clear goal in mind. Of course there are many reasons to send a newsletter – for example to remind yourself as a supplier, to introduce new products / a new collection / a new range, to point out a discount campaign, to inform about news, as a thank you to Customers or or or. It may sound banal: But a newsletter can only be successful if the necessary resources are also adapted to the goal.
An example: You present your current seasonal goods in your newsletter and want to entice you with substantial discounts, but do not link to the corresponding collection or website category, but to the home page. In the worst case, customers leave the online shop again after a short time because the search for the right rubric took too long – and only because of a wrong link. The same applies, for example, if unsightly pictures are included in the newsletter or the wrong tone is struck.
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