B2B email marketing: no opt-in needed

| November 16, 2009

You don’t need an opt-in to email B2B

There’s a lot of confusion about the permissions needed for email marketing. Let’s put the matter to bed.

The rules about email marketing to businesses and consumers are as follows:

Email marketing – business to consumer

  • Unless you’re comfortable being a despised purveyor of spam, you need to get individual consumers’ permission – or
    opt in – before you can legitimately email them
  • This remains the case even when you’ve got an existing or previous relationship with the consumer, for example if
    they’ve bought from you before
  • Even if you’ve got their permission, you must give consumers the opportunity to opt out of future emails every time
    you contact them

Email marketing – business to business

  • If you’re emailing B2B you don’t need to get permission first. It is perfectly OK for your business to email offers to
    other businesses on a ’cold’ basis
  • But it is good manners – and best marketing practice – to always offer an opt out

A grey area can come into play when businesses email Sole Traders, because a sole trader’s business email address might also be their personal email address. If in doubt, strip them out of your mailing list.

Whether you’re emailing consumers or businesses, you need to abide by two simple rules:

1. You must clearly identify commercial communications as such

2. You must give details of the steps someone needs to take to make a contract with you. If your copywriter’s doing their stuff properly, they’ll cover this in the call to action.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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