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The new privacy policy affecting email marketing

The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance was amended last year and the direct marketing provisions has been effective starting from 1 April 2013.

The prevailing phenomenon was that companies purchased a bulk list of emails and deliver the marketing email with a link to unsubscribe from future campaigns. Companies actually did not receive any consent of sending the marketing materials from the list of recipients. And if the recipients do not unsubscribe, they will continue sending those materials.

The new provisions, work the other way round – it requires recipient’s consent to be expressly provided, which total inaction or silence would not be sufficient for the purpose of consent.

Little tips to avoid violating the policy:

  • Never send email marketing to a purchased list.
  • Use double opt-in method for subscription
  • Send one-to-one invitation to the prospects about joining the marketing list
  • If you have an old list, you should ask for permission again