Remarketing emails, when done well, provide good service to customers. These emails are often kept and used as a reminder, or quick path back to items in their shopping cart. In the case of a web form, being able to pick up where you left off on a long form is really appreciated, and can save the customer significant time and effort.
There is a significant opportunity for emarketers here. On average 70% of shopping carts, and 62% of web forms are abandoned before completion. Yet email remarketing should recover on average between 10% and 30% of abandoners. That translates into significant dollars.
Several global brands have asked us about the compliance requirements for remarketing, especially in Europe. So we engaged Ruth Boardman, a partner at Bird and Bird LLP, and one of the world’s leading electronic data privacy experts. Ruth and I co-authored a white paper on email remarketing compliance which covers this subject in more depth, and additionally we recorded a webcast titled Email Remarketing and Compliance (in the US and European Union).
In a previous blog, we looked into what marketers have to do in order to comply with CAN-SPAM in the US for email remarketing – this week, I’m looking into The European Privacy Directive in Europe, which is slightly more complicated.
Email remarketing compliance in the European Union is more complicated than in the US because while there is umbrella Europe-wide legislation in the form of the European Union Data Protection and e-Privacy Directives, each of the individual countries in Europe have interpreted the legislation slightly differently.
European Union Privacy Directive Email Remarketing Checklist
As with all processing of personal data, you will need to comply with general data protection obligations (including, but not limited to ensuring security of data, accuracy and quality of data and filing requirements). Here is a useful checklist of the specific requirements for email remarketing in Europe to comply with the European legislation:
- Have an opt-in / opt-out on your shopping cart or web form: You need to explain to customers that you will keep their email addresses for email marketing and ask them to give consent to this – for example by ticking an opt-in box.
• Opt-in: To maximize the number of prospects to whom you can send follow-up emails, you should design your registration page so that your email marketing opt-in box is as close as possible to the place where the customer enters his email address.
• Opt-out: The European Union e-Privacy Directive also allows businesses to send email marketing on an opt-out basis in limited situations to customers who have not ticked an opt-out box. Some member states only allow marketing to be sent on this basis to customers who have made a purchase (not prospects); others such as the UK and France, allow emails to be sent on an opt-out basis more widely where there has been a negotiation for a sale. This exemption varies country by country.
- Easy unsubscribe mechanism: The sender has to offer the recipient a free-of-charge, valid and an easy-to-use mechanism to say no to future emails (opt-out).
- Honor opt-out requests promptly: You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request promptly.
- Don’t use false or misleading information: You must not disguise or conceal the identity of the sender in a commercial email message.
- Tell recipients where you’re located: Your message must include your valid physical postal address.
An Opt-In approach will work universally across the EU. However, some countries will allow remarketing on the basis of an Opt-Out. More details about the compliance requirements of the major European countries (France, UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland) can be found in the Country Compliance Table, contained in the email remarketing compliance white paper.